Victory in the Transition

During a one-to-one discipling session recently, we were talking about change in our lives. The man I was discipling said… 

I used to be a basketball coach, and I always told my team that our victory was in the transition between defense to offense or offense to defense.

HHHHMMMHHM—a perfect example of a disciple teaching the discipler.

I’m in transition now with my life. We will all be in transition sometime. And our success in a life of fulfilling God’s calling comes from godly transition.  

We stabilize our lives in one situation, and then change happens—we can resist or ignore the change. We can plan poorly or get angry with others. But change happens—like a basketball court (perhaps not as quickly), but we are always shifting from offense to defense and then defense to offense.

Our victory of not losing relationships, keeping integrity, advancing the Kingdom of God, and fulfilling our ministries is in the transition.  

Recently, I was watching Caitlin Clark running down the court after intercepting a pass, and though she looked hopelessly guarded by an opposition player, she somehow threaded a pass to a teammate who then had an easy layup.

Defense to offense. And vice versa. How do we make great transitions in life? There is no better transition playbook than the Book of Proverbs.

First:  Make and keep a plan.

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty (Proverbs 21:5, NLT).

At the church where I pastored for 49 years, my succession plan took a year to develop and three years to implement. A business leader told me, “I haven’t seen a better plan in any other business or church.”

Second:  Guard your heart.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23).

In the Bible “heart” is often used to indicate motives and hidden agendas. If our purpose during transition is to release success in others and not self-seeking, the chances of a successful transition go up exponentially.

Consider Caitlin Clark passing the ball and letting the other player score.

Third:  Seek the advice of others.

There is safety in having many advisers (Proverbs 11:14b).

It’s difficult to get good advice, and sometimes even more difficult to accept advice. The Book of Proverbs comments, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6).

We transition best by walking with friends who speak truth in love.

What changes are happening in our lives? What is the best transition between our past and future? No matter what our success has been in the past, we can place our future in jeopardy by not transitioning well right now.

Let’s make plans, check our motives, and seek the advice of friends. As the Book of Proverbs concludes…

Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you (Proverbs 4:6).

Victory is in the transition! Offense to defense and vice versa.

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