Is there anyone who likes saying sorry? Saying sorry is as dreaded as going to the dentist and is usually avoided or put off as long as possible, especially if the consequences aren’t fully comprehended. When we say, we’re sorry we are admitting that we made a mistake, that we hurt someone we care about and we aren’t as perfect as once thought. Our ego takes a hit when we have to say we’re sorry and even worse if we bring up past mistakes we run the risk of further confrontation and reminders of our lack of perfection.
Even though offering an apology can be a humbling experience it doesn’t have to be a humiliating one, in fact, it can heal humiliation, guilt and lead to forgiveness. A genuine apology is one of the most sought-after things in relationships, families and even among co-workers. They are often avoided because people are either too prideful or too ashamed to apologize. Saying sorry, especially among men, is considered to be a sign of weakness and lack of control when in fact being able to say those two little words and meaning them illustrates great strength and honesty.
Continue reading “How to Say I’m Sorry”
I am one of those people who struggle with being merciful. I lack patience and hate praying for patience because I don’t want to wait. People seem to frustrate me more than I would like because… well, because they don’t seem to be paying attention and are even more peculiar than I am. I find it difficult being patient with strange people.
I guess I need to spend more time contemplating 1 Thes. 5:14, “Encourage the timid, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.” But God! It is so much easier to pass judgment. At my workplace I want things done in a timely manner but most of all I want them done correctly. I get frustrated with mistakes caused by laziness and indifference and employees who spend more time surfing the internet than tending to their work. Unfortunately, I lack the authority to make any significant changes. Then again, maybe these struggles are for my good because the Bible says you get what you give.
Continue reading “Patience and Mercy – Two Things I Lack”
Learning to hear God’s voice is sometimes like trying to understand what my wife means when she is talking to me. At times, it feels like we are speaking different languages. I hear her but completely misinterpret what she is saying. Of course, I love my wife and try hard to listen and understand, but I have to admit that I frequently miss the mark.
We know God wants a personal relationship with us and you can’t have a relationship without communication. God spoke to numerous people throughout the Bible in different ways, but I believe that He usually speaks to us much more subtly than through a burning bush or an audible voice from the sky. God often speaks to people through impressions in their mind and the Bible. You might get a strong feeling to help out a stranger, avoid a particular path or break a sinful habit.
Continue reading “God is That You?”
We all want to be appreciated and feel important especially to those that are the closest to us; spouse, family, friends, boss and our children but sometimes we feel like we are taken for granted. You may work your butt off at work day-after-day for several years and never receive a performance raise. You may make dinner every night for your family without as much as a thank-you or an occasional night off. You mow and trim the lawn religiously each week, so your neighborhood homeowners association stays off your back but get a complaint letter if the trees aren’t pruned.
You might do 7 loads of laundry a week-cleaning, drying, folding and distributing to your family without any recognition for how long it takes or any acknowledgment at all. You clean the clutter off the kitchen counter every night only to have 6 papers piled on it when you get home. You might feel as if you work in a shoe store because you spend so much time picking shoes off the floor. Sometimes it seems like you’re doing more and more work without as much as a simple thank you.
Continue reading “Stop Being Taken for Granted”
Wisdom is a trait that many want to possess. But, as we know from the nightly news and our own experience, it seems like the majority of people lack wisdom. Solomon prayed for wisdom and knowledge which God granted (2 Chronicles 1:7-12). It would have been easy to ask for riches but Solomon was the King, and he already had wealth and power. Wisdom and knowledge are two qualities that can create more success and wealth than you could ever imagine.
If we were able to apply Godly wisdom and knowledge to all that we do; I imagine we would be very well off. But as evidenced by Solomon, the thirst for more can corrupt and happens to people like you and me every day. We get sucked into a world that continually communicates to us that we need more or what we have isn’t good enough, and our focus is directed away from the things that matter and toward material possessions or money.
Continue reading “Words of Wisdom and Knowledge – Sign Me Up!”
Is Your Past Controlling Your Life?
According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, our brains “cling to habit at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”
The weight of your past can get very heavy and the longer you hold on to it, the heavier it gets. Everyone at one time or another has been subject to hurt, ridicule, disappointment, rejection, judgment, neglect or abuse. It could be that one day your spouse stops saying how beautiful you are and starts commenting on how you could lose a few pounds around the waist. Or your boss goes from telling you how great you are doing to criticizing every move you make. Over time you may begin to feel negative about yourself and that you aren’t good enough. Your self-worth takes a beating, and you start looking at yourself through other’s perceptions of you-real and imagined.
Continue reading “Getting Over the Past and Leaving it Behind”
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be in a constant downward spiral with one bad thing happening after the next? If this sounds like you, you’re probably wondering what lessons you are supposed to be learning from all these trials. Is our lesson to have more faith, patience, tolerance, forgiveness or humility? What do we need to do to get our lives back on track and experience joy?
To begin the process, accept the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect life. There will always be storms in everyone’s life; divorce, death, illness, flat tires, basement flooding, poor decision making and so on. It isn’t possible to avoid problems in our lives or the lives of those closest to us. It is liberating to comprehend that life doesn’t need to be perfect or problem free for you to enjoy happiness and joy.
Continue reading “When Storms Come”
Interestingly enough a marriage can be on the rocks for years with both parties unhappy. The nagging, power struggles and constant arguing may have turned loving feelings to hate and bitterness. Many times people feel as though the only solution is to divorce, but divorce has its own set of consequences and issues.
Dysfunctional relationships can sometimes feel like the norm, especially if they have been that way for a long time. When the relationship ends, you expect to feel better, relieved and hopeful but instead, you discover that you miss the dysfunction. Constant unhappiness with your partner became your usual routine, and now that he or she is gone it may feel like something is missing. Along with the changes, divorce brings it also stirs up feelings of failure and low self-esteem. It goes without saying that no matter why divorce happens, it is a massive life change and can often lead to depression.
Continue reading “Divorced and Depressed”
Why is it the ego, the concern with self, is so strong sometimes? All we think about is what is in it for me? Life would be better only if we had more money, a different job, friends, a new car, beautiful clothes, etc. Why is it so hard to find satisfaction in life?
The Bible talks about how no matter how much we have, we are never satisfied or content. Man is always striving for more and never fulfilled. The pleasures of sin only last a short time. He who loves money will never have enough.
The “always wanting more” syndrome has been around for a very long time, and I would venture to guess that the majority of the population struggle with it. We pursue our desires by engaging in all things that please us but it rarely lasts. We seek lasting satisfaction by becoming a workaholic to buy more things, but it only leads to wanting even more. We never quite reach our arbitrary mark of success, and other areas of our lives suffer. We buy toys and other possessions thinking they will satisfy us, but there is always one more thing we have to possess.
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In life, people will disagree with you, hurt you, bully you, correct you and disappoint you. There is simply no avoiding it but do we like it when it happens? Of course not and unfortunately many people begin to worry, feel bad or resent others. Too much energy is spent reacting to what others do and say. Let’s face it, situations have their challenges but dealing with difficult people can be even more challenging. One of the best ways to increase your happiness is to learn how to react or in this case, not react, to other people.
Continue reading “Dealing with Difficult People”