A friend gave me a very special gift recently—the gift of flexibility. In a world where we’re all doing our own things, furthering our own agendas, and looking out for our own best interests, it was a rare and precious treasure.
Flexibility has several definitions. The first is my favorite: the ability to bend without breaking. Ever seen toddlers go to pieces? They’re not characterized by their ability to bend without breaking. We, however, should be.
The second definition is equally profound: the ability to be easily modified.
And the final: a willingness to change or compromise.
My friend’s willingness to yield her preference for someone else’s made me appreciate anew this valuable quality. It also sealed my undying love for her.
Flexibility voices itself in many different ways:
It says, “Whatever you’d like to do is fine with me.”
It says, “I don’t care; you pick.”
It says, “It doesn’t matter where we go, just as long as we’re together.”
It says, “I know it’s short notice, but I’d be glad to help.”
I’m not saying we should never express an opinion or a preference. I also realize we can’t be flexible all the time, nor should we yield our convictions or commitments. We can, however, like my dear friend, look for simple ways to honor others above ourselves.
Here are some ideas:
1. If you normally pick the restaurant, television show, or weekend activity, let someone else choose. Who knows? You just might discover a new favorite.
2. If a boss or coworker asks you to pitch in outside your area of expertise, say yes. Employers highly value employees who approach their job with a flexible mindset.
3. If your spouse or friend is running late, don’t fuss and fume. Extend grace. Ask, “How can I help you?”
4. If you’re stuck in a line and people around you are grumbling, say something pleasant to infuse positive energy into the situation. Keep the big picture in mind, realizing that a little delay probably won’t significantly alter the outcome of your day.
Flexibility is a quality Type A people like me especially struggle with. We’re decisive, opinionated, and motivated. We like efficiency and getting things done, and we usually have a clear idea of how to make it happen. Because of these traits, it can be really hard for us to be flexible. But like definition #1 above, if we don’t bend, someday we might break.
Now it’s your turn. How have you given the gift of flexibility? Maybe someone else’s flexibility has blessed your life? Tell us about it in the comment box and join the conversation.
If you’re reading by email, click HERE to visit Hungry for God online, scroll down, and share your thoughts in the comment section.