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CHOOSE A TOLERANT ATTITUDE

       We all have a thing or two we can’t tolerate. For example, I can’t stand for people to chew loudly. I tend to avoid people who get upset or emotional when somebody disagrees with their opinion. It irks me when women dress inappropriately for church. It annoys me when ministers and public speakers consistently mispronounce words or use incorrect grammar. Yes, I admit that I have a pretty extensive list. These kinds of intolerances are pretty universal and fairly harmless to others. In my case, they are actually more a reflection of my unwillingness to extend to others the grace that God extends to me. I’ve made tremendous progress but this is an area that I consistently target in prayer.

        Tolerance is not about agreeing and embracing differences. It is accepting every person’s God-given right, as free moral agents, to believe as he wishes and to behave according to those beliefs so long as his actions do not infringe upon the rights of others or established laws of the land. It is the ultimate test of your emotional and spiritual maturity to love and pray for those whose beliefs and behavior you deem intolerable. When such beliefs violate biblical commands or principles, your response as a child of God should be the same as it would be if you were to see a blind man heading for a cliff. Unfortunately, in today’s society, the typical reaction is to condemn him for going in that direction rather than having compassion and showing him a safer route. Where is the compassion?

       By no means should you view compassion as compromise, any more than you could ascribe such to God who loves sinners and hates sin. Why don’t we just emulate our Heavenly Father? Of course, this does not prevent us from protesting efforts to legalize beliefs and lifestyles that violate Scripture nor behavior that we know would be detrimental to society. However, we must be careful not to address these issues with an intolerant attitude–that mean-spirited, hate-filled rejection of other members of God’s creation simply because they have chosen a path that we do not endorse.

       Yes, you can cooperate with your pro-choice coworkers on company projects while being adamantly opposed to abortions. You can respect that your neighbor is a Democrat without casting him aside as a “bloody liberal” because you are a conservative Republican. You can honor the emotional display during the worship services of certain charismatic churches without judging them to be without substance—merely because you prefer worship services more akin to a funeral wake.

        Intolerance is not good for society as evidenced by the resulting crimes against individuals, wars, riots, and acts of terrorism. And, it’s not good for you as an individual. There is a certain level of agitation and nick-picking that accompanies an intolerant attitude. It robs you of your joy and dims your light to the world. We would all be wise to heed the words of the late Dr. Edwin Cole who said, “In matters of taste, bend with the wind. In matters of principle, be as firm as a rock.”

       You can choose to address your intolerant attitude starting now. The next time you encounter one of your intolerable targets, be conscious of your negative feelings and consciously resist them. Ask God to replace them with care and concern.

       Father, I repent of every type of intolerance that I have engaged. Please keep me mindful that you have given every human being the right to choose his beliefs and lifestyle. I ask for an abundance of your love and grace so that I may extend them to those who need it most. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

For a detailed study of 30 attitudes to embrace for a quality life, check out my book,
Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life—in 30 Days.   https://www.deborahpegues.com/product/choose-your-attitude-change-your-life-in-30-days/

BORN TO LEAD—LIKE A WOMAN: PART 2

        As of this writing near the end of 2020, women held only 7% of the CEO spots at S&P 500 companies (the 500 largest corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange). Not one of them was African American or Latina. These statistics are dismal. However, God forbid that you roll over and accept such gloomy facts as your personal fate. You must believe that you are going to be the exception to the predictions that it will take approximately two more centuries before gender equality in the work arenas becomes the norm. You can’t wait 200 years. The good news is that there are some actionable strategies that you can begin to employ now that can fast-track your journey.

        You see, women belong at every leadership table. Why? Because it would be unwise to exclude half of God’s creation in managing the business, political, social, or other aspects of his great universe. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve, the First Couple ignored God’s grand plan to work together in step with His perfect plan. Eve veered off path and disobeyed God. And, the battle of the sexes began.

        In my new book, LEAD LIKE A WOMAN, I take a faith-based approach to “righting the ship”. It reflects my high regard for ancient wisdom (a.k.a., the Holy Scriptures). I believe the Bible is the best leadership book ever written. In fact, this belief is one of my “leading” traits.  My personal experiences and lessons learned and those of the exceptional women leaders I interviewed for the book validate this truth. I want to inspire you to “cross the stereotype line” and wisely pursue your God-given destiny.

        For those of you who are aspiring or new to leadership or those who have not gotten the desired response to your leadership efforts, the book will help you appreciate, embrace, and manage 12 powerful, inherent, and stereotypically female traits that give you an edge as a leader in today’s culture. These traits include being collaborative, nurturing, communicative, servant-hearted, vulnerable and more. If you have unwisely suppressed these traits or taken them to the extreme hoping to be more effective, each chapter will challenge you to change your thinking and to avoid turning these assets into liabilities.

        Further, Part 2 of the book will highlight 12 counterproductive habits and tendencies that thwart your progress as a female leader. Habits such as disfavoring other women, downplaying your accomplishments, lacking executive presence, misunderstanding the male mindset, and more. The good news is that you can overcome all the roadblocks to your good success. So if you are ready to look in the mirror, be honest, and commit to making the necessary adjustments, I assure you that you can begin to enjoy a fulfilling, balanced, and prosperous adventure as a woman of influence for such a time as this.

BORN TO LEAD–LIKE A WOMAN: PART 1

“It’s a girl!” From the moment you were born, gender socialization began. Socialization, the process by which we learn how to behave based on societal norms and values, is the basis for the gender stereotypes that you must deal with for the rest of your life. Socialization starts with your parents and is perpetuated by relatives, teachers, and other influencers, who reinforce the different expectations for female versus male roles.

        For centuries, we have been socialized to view leadership as a man’s domain. Women who have entered this sacred realm face a double bind: maintaining their femininity while skillfully crossing the stereotype line and being assertive and strong. For some people, both men and women, the idea of a powerful female is still too much to accept as a norm. But things are changing, albeit slowly. When I read World Economic Forum’s December 2018 report, projecting that it will take another 200 years to close the gender gap at work on a worldwide basis, I knew I had to do something. Write something… something that would inspire women to pursue an individual track to fulfilling their callings and careers. After all, we are born to excel in leadership.

        From the beginning, God instructed man and woman to function as equal, interdependent partners. In Genesis 1:28 (NKJV),  He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. ” Neither Adam nor Eve could achieve this mandate independently of each other. They were going to have to work together. This was the grand plan not just in the context of marriage but in the operation of the planet. Despite what you have read, heard, or experienced in society and religion, know that men and women can only be “fruitful” (producing good results or being profitable) when they work together. Yes, the sexes are different in their design and qualities, but they must begin to see their differences as complementary rather than conflicting.

        Over the past four decades, the increase in female leaders has produced new approaches to the exercise of leadership. Women’s leadership styles have been shown to be more transformative, participative, and inclusive than the leadership styles of their male counterparts. According to the results of a 2008 Pew Research initiative studying whether men or women make better leaders, participants stated that women possessed the top eight leadership characteristics, including honesty and intelligence, by a ratio of five to one when compared to participants’ rating of men.

But despite accounting for nearly half of the workforce in the United States—and more than half of the middle-management positions—women are still rare among CEOs of the largest corporations. Is there any hope?  Stay tuned for Part 2…

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