act the right way???

“YOU SHOULDN’T DO THAT!!!!”  When we were growing up, you probably heard that a few times, as did I.  Now that I’m an adult, I still hear those words in my mind sometimes.  “You shouldn’t be driving so fast!  You shouldn’t be sarcastic, you shouldn’t be so casual, you shouldn’t . . . . . ”

In religion, there’s lots of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”  – we wishfully think that the right behavior will fix everything.  From my perspective, this kind of thinking is like putting peacock feathers on a cow:  accessorizing the external in an attempt to deny or compensate for the internal.

More than we realize our beliefs shape our behavior, so perhaps we would be better to consider what we believe as the first step.  Yucky beliefs and thinking always result in yucky words and actions 🙂

when I’m wrong

 I don’t like to be wrong & this is often based out of pride.  I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me look bad.  I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me feel inferior.  I don’t like to be wrong because it hurts my ego.  Nevertheless, because I’m human, I’m not always right.  So here are some ways to constructively handle being wrong:

  • learn and grow from being wrong – it seems to me that I often learn more from being wrong than being right
  • get busy fixing whatever has been damaged from being wrong – this can include apologizing, taking responsibility (rather than shifting blame), forgiving and making amends
  • take on a humble mindset on a daily basis & this can help take out the sting from being wrong

My sense is that being wrong isn’t an if  issue, but rather a when issue.  With this thinking, it’s helpful to have some constructive strategies in place 🙂

admiration & esteem

 I’ve been thinking about people who I admire & more specifically, what I admire about these individuals.  Here are some thoughts:

  • Kathy – I admire her quiet strength;  she is the glue to her family
  • Christy – I admire her willingness to serve & use her talents in any opportunity to glorify Jesus
  • Karen – I admire her wisdom & ability to hear God
  • Steve – I admire his exuberance & zest for life
  • Diane – I admire her ability to work SUPER HARD & not complain
  • Tim – I admire his leadership & willingness to make step up & make difficult decisions
  • Jeremy – I admire his willingness to not get stuck in his intelligence but to include the reality of healthy spiritual living
  • Julie – I admire her commitment to spiritual community even when its difficult
These thoughts have come on the heels of something I read this morning: Phil 4:8 – think about what is true, honorable, right, lovely, pure & a good repute / admirable.  It seems to me that when I look for these things or think about them, its easier to find & see them all around me 🙂