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Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness

 
By:  Mission Team September 15, 2021
#AmazingNation, #How-To, #Humility, #Jesus, #Leadership, #Strength

A while ago, I was in isolation with two other missionaries because we tested positive for COVID. One of the many routines that we picked up was reading time. Let me explain. Reading time consists of one missionary reading to the other two missionaries from a book, in this case, Lone Survivor. This has, all jokes aside, been a saving grace and an awesome way to keep life interesting while quarantined. Anyway, I wanted to share one thing I learned from this book. The main character (Marcus Lutrell) talks in depth about his training and formation for the Navy Seals. He describes Instructor Reno, a tough man's man, and who led his first weeks of training in preparation for BUD/S, a 24-week training course. One thing that stuck out was how often the instructors would treat the recruits unjustly. Once they tore apart their rooms while they were not in them, and then they made the team run intense exercises as punishment. When Marcus later asked Instructor Reno about this, he responded that the physical training is one that a man will endure, but it is the mental toughness that needs to be tested.


You know, despite being unjustly treated by those instructors, the Navy want-to-be’s could either obey by cleaning the room as if they were guilty, or they could quit in the name of being treated unjustly. By their decision, the instructor will know their mental toughness. Will they be able to take the injustice, that amount of injustice, and then keep giving one hundred percent? That is mental toughness. This is something that Jesus possessed. It is especially obvious when we look at His passion and death. Jesus was not stupid. He and the Father knew this was unjust, that He must die for our sake. But He endured it. That is mental toughness. If I am to become more like Christ, I too must grow in mental toughness.

You know, as a missionary, I recently had to face a situation that was not as nearly intense, but nevertheless questioned my mental toughness. As I already mentioned, some missionaries caught COVID, and therefore the community was separated. All the missionaries did not agree, including me, with the rules we had to abide by in order to prevent it from being passed throughout the community. Sometimes obedience is this: choosing to do what makes no sense but trusting in Jesus, who gave you that leader. It is humility and surrender to Jesus Christ through surrender to the orders of those He puts in authority of you, as long as it is not sinful.

Now this is what I am not saying. I am not saying to obey leaders who make rules but don’t have the authority to make those rules. If that authority is giving rules which are outside their jurisdiction of power, then that is a different question. For it is our responsibility to be responsible and choose the right course of action in any situation. This is the job of the American people with our government. Sometimes disobedience to the government is the right course of action, but only when that "law" is one that was not the government's job to make, or when that "law" is sinful. On the other hand, those who are in authority of you and have that jurisdiction, to obey them is actually a chance to choose humility and surrender to Jesus Christ.

Jesus exemplified obedience when He spoke to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was first real with God the Father, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, Your will be done!” (Matthew 26:42) So assuming that a person has the authority necessary to ask something of you, a step you may take is what Jesus did, be real. Let them know if it bothers you and why. If the command however remains the same, then you may unite your obedience to the obedience of Christ in the garden of gethsemane. Whatever little or big annoyances you must endure, endure them with Christ.

Jesus's willingness to endure His death proves His mental toughness, but what about yours? Ask Him for the grace to be mentally tough as He is. Your circumstances or suffering never have the power to discourage you. Choose joy despite your circumstances. Catholics are not slaves to their circumstance. We are not victims, we are victors in Jesus Christ. And if a quarantine can steal your joy, then the quarantine itself is not your biggest problem. I invite you, be a victor with me for Jesus Christ. Christ didn’t just mourn suffering, He embraced and conquered it by rising from the dead. That same Jesus resides in you.

“The Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.” ~ Romans 8:11

man in brown office uniform facing people in black officer uniform photo – Free San diego Image on Unsplash
white printer paper on green typewriter photo – Free Current events Image on Unsplash
yellow and black pedestrian line photo – Free Hold the rail Image on Unsplash
Free Colombia Image on Unsplash
"Agony in the Garden" by Lawrence OP is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 


About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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