Thrive, Not Just Survive, In 2023

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:3, NIV).

John Kotter writes in his book, Change …

Humans have within them something we call the Survive Channel. It has the biological equivalent of a radar system that is constantly on the lookout for threats.

The Thrive Channel also has a radar system, but instead of looking for threats, it seeks opportunities.

We all want to thrive, but life is filled with such complex and seemingly never-ending issues that our “survive” channel often runs continually. The “survive” channel narrows our focus, eliminates broad-scale thinking, and increases stress.

Our “survive” channel works well running from bears in the woods but overburdens our nerves when we encounter many complex threats each day.

Overtaxing our “survive” channel makes us primal – often irrational and frightened at every scent of trouble.

The “thrive” channel, if it is not overwhelmed, if it is coaxed back into play after the initial “survive” moment, will allow a calm approach to problem-solving. When the “thrive” channel becomes our dominant emotional status – we begin to enjoy challenges as they give us opportunities to advance.

Both “survive” and “thrive” are needed, but “thrive” must define our lives.

How do we thrive in 2023?

Psalm 1 says …

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night (vv. 1-2).

Let’s consider “wicked” as behavior unbecoming God’s character, “sinners” as actions that miss the mark of God’s purposes in our lives, and “mockers” as skeptical despair. Yes, as we tally our culture, our compromises, and our forms of religions that lack power, we conclude that most everything happening today promotes “survive.”

If following God is the key to “thrive,” then mockers will never find peace.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction (Psalm 1:6).

The Bible teaches that God created us with both “survive” and “thrive” channels. We choose by our lifestyle whether “survive” or “thrive” characterizes our thinking. In a sense, when we decide to rebel against God, we bring judgment upon ourselves – ever-spinning and ever-deepening cycles of “survive.”

I pray that all of us will “thrive” in 2023 …

Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

Learning to “thrive” through meditation destroys the negative impact of “survive.”

Let’s thrive in 2023!

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