segunda-feira, 26 de março de 2012

The bad side of being proactive.

According to Wikipedia: “Proactivity is anticipating and taking charge of situations…” During the 30’s the expression was limited to the experimental psychology field, but nowadays is largely used. The companies use it to define a person who anticipates situations and outlines plans to prevent problems that may occur. People who work for technology companies or on IT positions know what I am talking about; they need to be very proactive. The competition of the company is lying on their shoulders. Companies are desperately seeking for people with this attitude.

Nevertheless, before you get totally convinced that being proactive is a good thing; I have to tell you that it is not a contemporary concept. According to the Bible (Samuel 13 1-14), King Saul got victorious against his enemies but something went wrong. Let’s see the other side of it:

Samuel Versus 5 “The Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude …” Saul’s soldiers slipped away in fear. As Samuel was delaying too much (more than the 7 days, as promised), he decided to make a burnt offering, in order to have his troop get together again.

“10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. 11 Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul replied, "When I saw that the people were slipping away from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were mustering at Michmash, 13 Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever, 14 but now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.” Saul showed with his attitude he was not that man.

The logical idea behind the word “proactive” is obvious: look for potential problems before they happen, think of a viable solution in advance, in order to avoid the problems. Here we go! Perfect world; all under control, all happy, and all enjoying the results ... Well, here is the trouble; as a friend of mine uses to say: "Be excessively proactive is a way to hell." A person, who is too proactive can make even bigger mistakes and impact negatively the organization they work for, also can make irreparable damage to their personal and professional life.

When it is about God’s kingdom or our spiritual life, you should even be more careful. Be sure you are qualified to have certain attitudes and positions. Learning how to put limit in your actions can avoid creating even bigger problems. A single decision can affect other peoples’ lives or even can put many lives in danger.

Saul made the decision to do something above his qualifications and lost his throne as a king of Israel.

God bless you.

See Portuguese Version

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