In my last blog, I wrote about a leadership retreat I went to. This retreat was the big ending to an online leadership program that I was a part of.
During this program, I learned a lot of good information. But one thing that stuck out to me was the acronym our instructor taught us: DWYSWD.
Now, I can’t tell you for sure if he coined the phrase, but I learned it from him.
DWYSWD simply means do what you say you will do.
While this is especially important in leadership, it’s still incredibly relevant in life in general and can be applied to so many aspects of life.
So many times in life we are very “wishy-washy”, back-and-forth, and act as if we haven’t quite made up our minds.
We call ourselves Christians and claim to love and serve God, but we don’t spend any time in His Word or in His presence.
Maybe we go to church one Sunday and repent of a particular sin, and then three days later fall back in the same trap.
Maybe we say we believe in God, but when hard times come, we begin to question whether or not He’s even real.
There are countless situations where this back-and-forth action comes into play, but we, as Chrstians, are called to stand firm in the faith.
Ephesians 4:14-15 says, “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.”
From this text, we are taught that we should not be “tossed and blown about”. In Ephesians, “new teaching” was called out because that’s what they were dealing with at the time — that’s what was causing people to trip up.
But let’s fill it in with something relevant to our time.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of emotion.
We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of fear.
We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of doubt.
We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of temptation.
All of these things and more cause us to trip up.
But we are called to stand firm in the faith.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.”
Today, I challenge you to make your mind up and stop letting yourself be tossed about by the wind.
Stop letting yourself be swayed by doubt, led astray by temptations, and distracted by wild emotions.
I know, saying this sounds great and maybe even encouraging.
But putting this into action isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.
Sometimes we desire to not be swayed, led astray, and distracted, but we can’t quite keep ourselves from doing just that.
So how do we put this into action?
To be honest, we’re all so different from one another and deal with different things. And since I’m not a counselor or a psychologist, I can only tell you what I’ve done and give you pointers.
First, it’s important to know that we have control over our brains.
I think we look at our brains (where we feel things, make decisions, and think, of course) as an uncontrollable thing.
Like, we can move our arm on command, we can move our foot on command, and we can even tell ourselves not to breathe for a period of time, but have you ever tried to stop a thought in its tracks? Not so easy, is it?
Have you ever tried to shut down an emotion or add a goal like working out or eating healthy to your daily habits? It’s super hard, right?
However, while telling our brain what to do is not easy, it is possible.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says this: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
I’ve always loved this verse, but for so long saw it as goals instead of the battle plan that it is.
Let me break it down so we can all better understand what I mean.
First of all, I’ll point out that this verse says “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” so you can see that it is possible. If you believe the Bible is true, you have to believe this.
In this text, it tells us that “we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” So while we can use methods that the world uses such as therapy if needed, this is only a single step in our battle plan.
According to the Bible, our weapons “have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
We’re talking divine power, as in not human power.
We, on our own, can not stop our thoughts. We can’t change our emotions.
But with divine power, we “demolish strongholds…arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Speaking practically, this comes from surrendering emotions to Christ, and talking about them with Him. It comes from reading His Word and finding what He says about certain situations.
It comes from worshipping Him in the hard times, and reassuring yourself of His promises to His children.
It comes from seeking Him in all things, despite not “feeling it” in the moment.
It takes effort and work, but it is possible.
When I’m facing overwhelming emotions and temptations, the first thing that I try to do is speak to God.
It might sound a bit odd, but I’m bringing His presence into my brain.
If you can, worship and read the Word. Maybe try finding scripture correlating with your situation.
Depending on the situation, I remind myself of His promises and I encourage myself in the Lord, as we’re called to do.
These actions help lift me up.
But there’s a step that I think is so important, and that’s this: make your mind up to get out of it.
I think so often when we feel doubt, fear, depression, anxiety, or whatever it is, we just think well, this is how I feel so I guess this is how it is. And we don’t make any effort to get out of it. We just settle in it.
We want to get better and get out of it, but we don’t.
There are so many reasons why we might do this, but today I challenge you to make your mind up to do something about it.
Tell yourself today, “The next time I face something like this, I’m going to do something about it.”
And then, we apply DWYSWD. Do what you say you will do.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” Philippians 4:1.
Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license.
An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life.
Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige