Initiative is “Recognizing and doing what needs to be done without being asked or coerced.” Initiative is seeing what needs to be done, and doing it. An employee with initiative does not wait for her boss to tell her what to do, she anticipates what needs to be done, and she does it. James 4:17 says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
A person with initiative thinks like a chess player and prepares for two to three steps ahead. A person with initiative never points out a problem that he does not have a solution for. The person with initiative tries to be a problem solver, not a problem pointer-outer.
The Bible shows how a person with initiative will be rewarded. Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8). In the original Greek, the words “ask, seek, and knock” are in the present tense. This means that the believer is to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. If you continue to ask, you will receive. If you keep seeking, you will find. If you keep knocking, the door will be opened. The person who fails to find the answer is the person who stops seeking.
What are the enemies of initiative?
1. Fear – the solution to fear is to face your fears and overcome them. Usually fear comes from the unknown. Recently, my son was scared to go on a roller coaster, but after he finally tried it, he found that he loved the experience. He faced his fear and overcame it.
2. Procrastination – the solution is to get started. Once begun, the task is half done. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
3. Daunting Goals – the solution is to break big goals down into bite size pieces. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you cut down a forest? One tree at a time. How to you transform a nation? One person at a time.