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Posts Tagged ‘Choices’

“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” Jude 1:22

I must admit to you that compassion is not my strong point.  It’s not that I don’t care about people, it’s just that sometimes I see people that try REALLY hard to help other people.  The people they are trying to help don’t listen to them, and make a BIG mess of things.  At that point, they “want help.” 

Or I see people who smoke for years and then are devistated because they have lung cancer.

I see people who break the law and then are upset that they get speeding tickets or fines.

I honestly think to myself “they got themselves into that mess, and now they’re complaining about it, I’m not going to go out of my way to help them out of it.”

Again, it’s not that I don’t like people, or don’t pray for people who are in situations, but sometimes I feel like people bring things upon themselves.   I was having this conversation with my sister one day and she told me point blank that I need to work on having a little compassion.  I was a little bit speechless when she said that (and I am not usually at a loss for words.)  Our conversation pops up in my mind once in awhile and when I was thinking about compassion last night, I thought what if God used the same logic that I do when it comes to compassion…..””they got themselves into that mess, and now they’re complaining about it, I’m not going to go out of my way to help them out of it.”

Wow, NONE of us would ever be able to go to Heaven if that’s the way God looked at things.  I’m so glad that He doesn’t use my logic. 

I’ve set a goal to pray for people who’ve made mistakes, people who are in bad situations in life, and people who have health problems EVEN if I think that they brought it upon themselves, EVEN if I don’t agree with their decisions, the least I can do is pray for them and ask God to show me ways that I can show compassion toward them.

Sometimes when someone is in the middle of a situation, they don’t always have the best judgment to make the decisions that we think they should make.  Sometimes, they need to make their own mistakes to learn a lesson the hard way, but most of all, they need someone who will have a little bit of compassion on them, someone who will look past the mistakes, the bad judgment, or poor decisions, and love them the same way that God loves us.

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Today was a good day, every day this week has been a good day…..as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a “good day.” 

Growing up, I had many days that started out to be “good days” that went from bad to worse.  I finally came to the realization that having a “good day” is a choice not just something that happens to us.  So have I had bad things happen in the last year?  Sure I have.  Does everything go the way I want it to go? No way!  Is everyone nice to me (um, no) Is every day a beautiful sunny day, of course not. 

Bad things happen, people treat us unfairly, people say things they shouldn’t say.  Things don’t go according to plan, accidents happen, traffic gets backed up, Grace gets crabby, money gets tight, bosses get demanding, but it doesn’t have to ruin our day. 

Let me explain……a very wise woman I knew growing up (we’ll just call her “Mom”) told me MANY times over the years…..”Beth, you have to choose to have a good day.”  I would cry because my friend was mean to me……”Beth, you have to make the choice to have a good day.” I would be crabby because my sister was picking on me……”She’s making me have a bad day!” I would whine……” Beth, you have to choose to have a good day, no one can make you have a bad day unless you choose  to have a bad day.” came mom’s reply. 

I hated to hear that.  Whenever I was having a “bad day” growing up, I felt very grouchy and angry about it.  I didn’t want to hear that I could consciously do something about it.  I wanted to sulk, to be grumpy, to wait until something “good” happened so that I could stop having a “bad day”

Years passed, I moved away from home, I was in my early 20’s and I worked at a marketing firm as the Assistant Branch Manager. It was a good paying job, but very high stress and very long hours. 

 One day, I walked into work not feeling very well.  From the moment I walked in the door to a stack of messages, a full in-box, a full calendar, a line of employees waiting to talk to me and a boss who wanted me in his office ASAP, I felt overwhelmed and sick to my stomach from all of the stress. This was going to be a bad day, I could already feel it. 

I sat down at my desk to get my bearings, not sure where to start (well, I knew that going to my boss’s office ASAP would be a good start…..) “Beth” I could hear my mom’s voice in my head, “you have to choose to have a good day, bad things happen during the day, but you can still choose to have a good day.”  I had about 3 seconds to make a choice and get in my boss’s office before our meeting started.  I had never tried my mom’s advice on choosing to have a good day, but I figured, what could it hurt?  The day couldn’t possibly get any more stressful.  “OK” I thought to myself, “This is going to be a good day.”  I took a deep breath and walked into the meeting.

That was one of the BEST days I can ever remember having in a long time.  “Wow” I thought “this really works, mom knows what she’s talking about!”  My day turned out so well, that I decided to start choosing to have a good day every day.  For the next few months, every time something bad would happen in my day, I would stop and remind myself, “Beth, don’t let it ruin your day, even though something bad just happened, you can still have a good day.”

I began having “good days” so frequently, that now, I don’t even have to remind myself to make the choice to have a good day, even when bad and stressful things happen, it just comes naturally to me now to have a good day despite the circumstances.

One thing I noticed once I started following mom’s advice, is that before, when bad things would happen and I was having a “bad day”  my day would go from bad to worse.  Once one bad thing happened in my day, it was a downward spiral.  Now since I started making the choice to have a “good day” even though bad things happen, I’ve noticed that when something bad happens, I deal with it, move on and it’s not a downward spiral.  I don’t feel grumpy or crabby for the rest of the day because of it anymore.  I LOVE having “good days” every day, and it’s all in how you look at it.

Thanks Mom, I had a very good day today!

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