Traits of Proactive People

Last week I discussed how I sometimes feel hopeless and helpless in our crazy mixed-up world. A lot is going on that can cause us to despair and feel there is nothing we can do to deal with this craziness in a positive, faithful way.

But in that post, I reminded us that we must learn to face hard realities by trusting in God’s goodness and sovereignty in all. And, as a faithful response to his will to take on our challenges with a proactive approach to living out our faith in the time in which we live. I refer to this way of living as “Proactive Living.” 

What does it look like to be proactive? What are some of the characteristics or traits of proactive people? Here are some words that describe people I believe to be proactive: independent, interdependent, anticipatory, planner, accountable, energetic, optimistic, and celebratory.

God has given us a new life because we have put our trust Jesus. Not only has he forgiven all our sins, he lives within us to empower us to live out his love in our culture. 

Let me attempt to develop a profile of traits that we can develop as we continually grow in our faith in Jesus. 

1. Independent and Interdependent 

Proactive people are usually self-starters who can work alone and enjoy using their gifts. However, they are wise enough to realize the giftedness of others and can be interdependent when the situation calls for the combination of individual gifts to get the job done.

A great example of this is a marriage of independent people who work together to build a functional marriage and to rear healthy, well-adjusted kids.

2. Anticipatory/Planners

Proactive people think ahead and anticipate possible challenges in order to prevent unnecessary problems. In other words, they don’t create problems for themselves by being lazy and irresponsible in the way they live.  They realize actions have consequences and they attempt to gather good information and make plans accordingly. They realize that life has enough crises to deal with without creating additional ones through poor decisions and actions. Proactive people plan.

3. Accountable

Proactive people hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their choices. They do not blame God or others for their poor choices. While they may have been wronged by the actions of parents or others, they own their choice of how they will respond to what has happened to them. Instead of becoming angry and bitter, they choose to work with God to learn and grow from the experience and to “make lemonade from the lemon.”

4. Optimistic/Energetic

Optimism and energy also describe proactive people. While recognizing the reality of evil, wrong, and dysfunction in so many areas of life, these people don’t give up, they persevere and dedicate their energies to making life a little better for themselves and others. These wonderful people have faith that the ultimate victory over sickness, loss, evil, and death belongs to God.  They face the daily battle to do their part, large or small, to further the Kingdom of God. Though times are tough and dark, the proactive person of faith knows how the story ends.

5. Celebratory

We need to be able to see trouble and problems through the eyes of faith. There is no problem bigger than God or his ability to bring good from it into our lives. We need to celebrate this great truth. When life hits us hard, we may need to slow down and take some time to celebrate the simple things around us: a flower, a beautiful spring day, a robin searching for a worm, a snow-covered hillside, and the company of a good friend.

We celebrate the life we have been given. We celebrate the lives of our families and friends and their successes and blessings. We should be grateful; every day should be a day of thanksgiving. We celebrate the gift of a new day, food, clothing, housing, and health. We celebrate having enough to be able to provide for the needs of others.

Most of all, we celebrate the fact that God loves us and has done the most incredible thing of bringing us into his family through the work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!   With all of this in mind, why not choose to really live as long as God gives you life?   Wake up and be proactive. Here is a short blog on developing a proactive mindset that I think you may enjoy.  

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