Who Should Apologize First?

Once again, studying in a coffee shop leads me to surprises … and insights.

Overheard from two young ladies chatting over lattes: “Well I really think he ought to apologize to me! He’s the one who started it!”

“Do you think he’ll apologize to you?”

“Oh, I doubt it. He never says he’s sorry about anything and I’m getting tired of it. He always thinks everything’s my fault. But this time, I’m not going to be the one who apologizes first!”

Who should apologize first? I get asked that a lot in therapy sessions. Individuals – ladies or men equally, it seems – are adamant that they shouldn’t have to apologize unnecessarily. They will argue and rationalize  endlessly to protect their right to NOT apologize to their spouse. Amazing!

What is behind this passionate desire to not be found wrong? Only one thing fits that bill – pride.

In my pride, I will not admit that you were right … or that you were even a little more right than I was. How many families has pride broken up? How many hearts has it broken?

The bible is pretty clear about God’s view of pride:

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
“Pay back to the proud what they have coming.” Psalms 94:2
“I will not put up with anyone with a proud heart.” Psalm 101:5

Not good. Why does God hate pride so much, do you suppose? Well, let’s look at the lady at the coffee shop. She was so determined that she would make her husband apologize, she was forgetting all about their relationship of love in order to beat him at a contest of pride.

Pride makes us try to hurt others so we can feel better about ourselves. In essence, pride makes us god of our lives and our world, rather than lovers and partners with our mates. Pride will eventually destroy relationships as you become jealous of your partner every time you don’t “win.” Being right becomes more important than your love for each other.

Q: Who should apologize first?
A: The first one who realizes they have caused pain to their partner should apologize first – and then not care whether their mate apologizes back.

Love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry, as the movie line went. Instead, love actually means being willing to do whatever is necessary – including apologizing – in order to bless your sweetheart. Apologizing first is a win-win proposition. You apologize, they feel better, you feel better, everybody wins!

Do everything you can to keep your love alive and well.

STEPcoach Bob Collins

Published in: on May 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

What is A "Christian Marriage"?

In an article discussing a televangelist’s recent statement that Alzheimer’s is sufficient grounds for one spouse to divorce another, the writer, Russell D. Moore, gave one of the best explanations I’ve heard of what a “Christian marriage” is. Far beyond a simple agreement between two adults to live together and help each other out, a marriage, in a Christian sense, is a reflection of God’s promise and relationship to man.


Moore begins by explaining that,

Marriage, the Scripture tells us, is an icon of something deeper, more ancient, more mysterious. The marriage union is a sign, the Apostle Paul announces, of the mystery of Christ and his church (Eph. 5). The husband, then, is to love his wife “as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:25). This love is defined not as the hormonal surge of romance but as a self-sacrificial crucifixion of self. The husband pictures Christ when he loves his wife by giving himself up for her.

Marriage is a crucifixion? Is he saying that being married is a slow, agonizing, torturous death sentence? Admittedly, some marriages I’ve worked on have looked like that on the surface, but that’s when both partners aren’t looking at the partnership correctly. Moore goes on to elaborate: 

At the arrest of Christ, his Bride, the church, forgot who she was, and denied who he was. He didn’t divorce her. He didn’t leave.

The Bride of Christ fled his side, and went back to their old ways of life. When Jesus came to them after the resurrection, the church was about the very thing they were doing when Jesus found them in the first place: out on the boats with their nets. Jesus didn’t leave. He stood by his words, stood by his Bride, even to the Place of the Skull, and beyond.

Keep in mind here that the “Bride” doesn’t refer to the wife in today’s marriage, but to Mankind. In the same way that Jesus accepted His responsibility to protect his Bride (The Church) even to the point of taking her punishment on Himself, both parties in a marriage should see themselves as the never-leaving, refusing-to-give-up, to-the-death protector of their spouse.


The bible tells us that a “husband must love his wife as Christ loved the Church.” (Ephesians 5:25) Does this mean that a wife is less expected to love her husband sacrificially? I don’t think so. Paul was writing to a totally male-directed culture, so he emphasized the then-leader of the household should change his current attitude of ownership to that of sacrificial love. 


Both partners must be willing to lay down their lives for the other in a conventional Christian marriage. We should be willing to love each other “as” Christ loved His Bride. “As” here has multiple meanings. I means “in the same way as,” “to the same degree that,” “as far as,” and “to the death like.” 


And, while I see a few marriage relationships that go that far, I see way too many that wouldn’t even consider laying down their “life” for their mate. Their “life” here meaning their own selfish demands, their own interests, their own desires, their own comfort, or even their own opinions! If a husband or wife can’t gracefully say to their partner, “OK, Honey, whatever you want, I’ll go happily along with,” how can they expect to stand strong together through all the bitter attacks marriages face these days? And, if each is respecting the other, discussions will settle honest differences of opinion about issues that matter. (Or mediation will, as a last resort to peace.)


You and I, as spouses, must be willing to “take up our cross” for our spouses, putting their needs above our own comfort or even survival. We must be willing to die – literally and figuratively – for our sworn partner-for-life. If my wife cannot trust me in the little things, how can she trust me in the big things like fidelity?


Another thing Jesus said applies to us spouses, too. “You should be Perfect, just like your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). “B-b-but that’s impossible! No one is perfect!” you cry. Jesus knew that better than you or I do! But He was giving us a goal to aim for when He said to be perfect. Just as a good coach will say, “Go out there and win this game,” knowing that his underdog team has little hope of  winning, so Jesus was telling us husbands, wives, and parents, “Go out there and give it your 100% best try. If you don’t beat them, at least let them know they met a team who was giving it their best.”


Whether you are a Christian or not, you owe it to your spouse to give your all; to never just half-way love them; to pour yourself out for them. You promised. You swore before God, your family, and your friends that you would do your best to be Perfect, that you would love your spouse, “as Christ loved the Church.”


You have it in you to be a “perfect spouse.” You have it in you to amaze your friends and family with how strong and true you are. You have it in you to teach your children, through your example, how they should live their own marriages and how they should parent their own children. Dig down and pull that determination up. If you need help, I’m here. But I know you can do it!


God bless your whole family!


STEPcoach Bob Collins
If you have questions about any of the Christian concepts or “code words” in this post, I’ll be happy to discuss them, or explain them to you.
[the original article by Russell D. Moore is at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/septemberweb-only/robertson-alzheimers-divorce.html]

Published in: on September 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer Short-Shorts

Saw much more than I wanted to again this morning of a young lady as I was heading into my favorite family restaurant. I wondered if they were switching to Hooters or the Playboy club, but no, it was just a girl going out for breakfast during the Summer. Her tiny shorts were more like a bathing suit bottom than short pants!


And I thought again, “Does her dad have any idea she’s flashing his daughter around like that?” He may, or he may not care. The “standards” today are almost non-existent.


And before you start calling me a prude, think how our new standards are affecting life in the US. Rape, physical assault, and attitudes about what’s normal have been changed immensely in just the last 20 years. Just one generation ago, prostitutes weren’t allowed to wear in public what our precious children now wear to the mall, restaurants, or even church!


When parents stop caring how provocatively their children dress or what their children consider “decent,” their children will go as far as they can … then allow their children to go even further. That’s your grandkids I’m talking about now!


“B-b-but,” you stammer, “what can I do about it? She’s practically a grown woman! I don’t have any right to criticize her, do I?”

In Deuteronomy 4:9, we’re instructed, “Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

In other words, you are to tell your kids what you’ve learned about the results of being too loose and unconcerned about your body, morals, or reputation. You, yourself will suffer from how your children display themselves in public, because anyone who sees your daughter running around nearly naked is going to place most of the blame on you for the way you brought her up and what you didn’t teach her. You will be judged by how you have raised your kids … you know that. You feel it every time your kids throw a fit in public and everyone’s eyes swing from the kids to you.


Then, there’s the repercussions on the kids, themselves (and your grandchildren, too). Jeremiah 5:7-10 says: 

“How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels.  

8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.

9 Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?

10 “Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the LORD

Wow! What a clear picture of our kids today! They’ve been given everything, but they’ve turned their backs on everything we know and should have taught them to respect! “Well-fed, lusty stallions” indeed! Doesn’t that sound like the boys strutting around demanding respect they’ve not earned?


And then God almost cries out His frustration over how our kids act (and don’t you feel it, too?) “Shouldn’t I punish them for acting out so badly?”


Don’t you owe it to your kids to warn them what they’re doing to you and themselves and to their children? Whose responsibility is it to teach them right from wrong, if not yours? And who will have to deal with the results of their falling away from the standards that helped raise them? 


One last point: The time to teach your adult children right from wrong is Now. Proverbs 22:6 says

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Start with your preschool kids, teaching them modesty. Continue into elementary and middle school, guiding them to wear decent clothes, not the latest fads that try to turn little girls into adults too soon. And keep after them as teens to act in a way they will be proud to look back on as they grow up. 


Whether they’re your biological or your stepkids, you are the ones responsible to demonstrate a good example. As a stepdad, I wasn’t directly held responsible for how my stepdaughter looked and acted, but I had the opportunity to guide her toward how she should act and what she should expect from boys she dated.


If it’s tough – it’s just part of parenting and stepparenting. But you’ll be proud of them later on when they continue to live the way you’ve taught them.


God bless y’all!


STEPcoach, Bob Collins

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)  

How will American Christians Cope?

I get emails and newsletters every day, speculating about the collapse of the American economy and what it will mean to us, as Christians, as our civil and religious freedoms are taken away. We’ve seen the 10 Commandments removed from public; God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in history verboten in schools; Cursing Jesus’ name is OK, but praising it is ridiculed or forbidden; evolution the new state religion; constitutional foundations cast aside as old fashioned … on and on and on. What does all this mean to us, to individual Christians and to our children and our families?

I can tell you exactly what it all means to us – relatively little! People, of all the  American citizens, WE have the least to be concerned about. Why? Because we have been through all this and much worse before! Time and time again!

We like to ignore history because it’s hard to keep up with, and it’s uncomfortable to think of how things have been before. I don’t know about your (step)children, but for mine getting her interested in history was like trying to feed her spinach! But if you push your children (and yourself) to take a bit of time to look back, you’ll be very encouraged by what you see … eventually.

Just after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the brand new baby church was almost snuffed out by the current general public. Civil religious rights? How about being shunned by businesses and government services? How about a school system that taught our kids to actually worship idols? How about being hustled out of our beds and homes in the middle of the night to be dragged into mock courts where we were charged with everything under the sun, found guilty without representation or recourse? How about having your family taken from you and probably tortured and killed? How about being the entertainment for a blood thirsty mob as you are murdered publicly in cruel and imaginative ways?

In the Dark Ages, we true Christians even had these things done to us by “The Church.” If we refused to accept the world government’s twisted version of Christianity, the very religion (in name) that we followed would jail, torture, or kill us!

Even following the Great Enlightening and the Reformation, which broke the monopoly of the false Catholic church, we were subject to the nearest king’s warped ideas of how we should worship, pray, or even believe. When we finally got miraculous freedom to worship publicly and we gained some influence over our own lives here in this new experiment of America, we saw enemies confront us on every front.

Despite political challenges, evolution, and a slowly eroding government, we have been able to relax into our illusion of security, forgetting where we have been and what we have come through to get here. We have found it easy and comfortable to think we have permanent home here in this world, when Jesus Himself regularly reminded us that we are strangers in a hostile land. We used to sing songs that were to serve as reminders: This World Is Not My Home, I’m only passing through, among others. But history is just to pesky to remember. And we’ve let ourselves and our children get lazy and complacent about our real position in a lost world.

And so, here we are again, about to be shaken from our reverie and woken to the harsh reality that we are Christians in a lost world. We may lose our temporary liberties to exercise our beliefs freely and openly. We may lose the right to worship at the corner church or promote our convictions in elections or wear t-shirts or bumper stickers that shout our ideals to the world. And we may feel really, really put upon and downtrodden and persecuted. And we may in fact be outlawed.

But, whatever else we lose, whatever else is taken away from us (or pried from our cold, dead fingers), Christians – true Christians will never lose our faith. Just as school boards may insist on no prayer in schools, but our kids can still pray silently whenever they want, in the same way we, their parents, can never be stopped from believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. We may have to use codes, as some of our ancestors did in Ireland or Poland, but we will still be able to encourage each other. We may meet in back rooms and basements, but we will still pray and praise together.

So my idea of preparing for hard times is not to stockpile gold or bonds. Rather I’m concentrating on increasing my dependence on God’s providence, my familiarity with scriptures, and leading my family into a greater understanding of those Words of life. I know that, no matter what happens with the government, the economy, the ecology, the world community, or even the New World Order, my God will still answer prayer, He will still watch over His children, and He will provide for His own.

If we only survive a few years or months or weeks as fugitives and secret worshipers, we will leave others behind who know the truth and who know how to share it. And we will still have a wonderful, perfect future to look forward to in Heaven, then the New Earth with our God and our family. And it will be unimaginably better than anything we have had here, in America, over the last couple of centuries.

So, bring it on world, and Come Lord Jesus, Come!

STEPcoach (and Christian!) Bob Collins

Published in: on November 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Empty Bird Cages

This is about the clearest, most fitting description of Christian salvation I’ve ever seen. Please read it and let me know if you “get it,” agree, disagree, or even have your own “bird cage” story to share.

God bless y’all!
—- —- —- —-

GOD’S GRACE

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.

Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….
 
“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

 I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” he replied.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Take ’em home and have fun with’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease’em and pull out their feathers to make’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

 “But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”
 
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden,
and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap,
used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
 
Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

 “And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.
 
“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

“How much? He asked again.
 
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.
__._,_.___

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Different Take on the "Christmas" Battles

Letter from Jesus about Christmas —

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 – 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up… It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6.. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary– especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian.. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stepparenting Made Easy – in 3 Simple Steps

I’ve been teaching my stepfamily clients for over a decade now that, “stepparenting isn’t nearly as hard as most steppers make it!” What I mean is, all you have to do to be a successful stepparent is to love your spouse and their kids unconditionally, consistently, and more than yourself. That’s our simple marching orders from out Leader: “love your ‘neighbor’ as yourself,” love never fails, and “consider others more important than yourself.” (Those are in the Bible: Matthew 22:39, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and Philippians 2:3-8)

Now what does that mean in a real life, stepfamily, situation? We (remember, I’m a stepparent, too) are to completely open our hearts to this new family, “warts and all.” And we are to place their needs before our own. BUT we are not to take over and try to re-create them in our own idea of a perfect family. If your new husband had no legs when you married him, you made a contract to love him as he is. You don’t begin insisting he walk! And if he’s a (particular sort) of father to his kids, you might lovingly make helpful suggestions once or twice (any more than that is nagging!), but how he raises his kids is his business.

You and I signed on as a spouse, not as a co-parent. God in His infinite and sometimes-really-hard-to-understand wisdom chose the biological parents of your stepkids. We may never know why in this life but He selected the ones He felt were right for the job. … and it was NOT you or me. We get the *privilege* of being a blessing to them, but we ain’t their mama or daddy! We are allowed to contribute input and assistance from time to time when the bio-parent requests it, but only then.

NOTES:
1) your stepkids have bio-parents (BPs) already
2) we are not them
3) but we can be invited to help by BPs

This is how our job becomes much, much (much) easier than most of us make it. We are not responsible for how these children turn out. …
We are not responsible for how these children turn out.
(say it with me …)
We are not responsible for how these children turn out.
We are not responsible for how these children turn out.
That job has already been Assigned to others.

Our job is to love our spouse and their children no matter what they say, or do, or vomit out of their precious little mouths at us. Love them. Period.

“Think of them more highly than ourselves” means, don’t despair of their abilities to raise their own children. For some reason they were Picked to raise these kids. We are the special dessert they get just for choosing us! We are not the main dish in the meal. If you see your spouse doing something stupid in raising their child, gently, respectfully suggest another way to them. If they take your advice, you have bragging rights forever (no, not really, be humble!); if they ignore you, it’s their right. Just like it’s your right to ignore outsiders who tell you how to raise your kids.

“Outsiders!!!” Yes, we’re outsiders to this family. We have been invited in by one part of the family (spouse) and are a part of him/her, but we DID NOT marry the whole family. They have already established their habits, their quirks, and their oddities long before we came along. It is high minded and rude of us to assume that we need to change them, no matter how “wrong” their ways look to us (the invited outsiders).

THEREFORE…

Life as a stepparent can be so very much easier to bear if we will keep in mind that our job is just to love them no matter what. Our job is NOT to fix them or change them or re-create them.

Step back. Sit down. Take a deeeeep breath. Let it out. Take another deeeep breath. Let it out. Relax into just loving them. If they act like a zoo full of monkeys, well, then get a bag of popcorn and enjoy your front row seat! Sometimes monkeys is monkeys. You can put hats on them and teach them to play the banjo, but they still are just cute, lovable, fun-to-be-around monkeys.

You’ll give yourself a sprain if you keep trying to make them conform to your ideas of what they should be like.

Stepparenting is really quite easy, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

Love, joy, and peace
STEPcoach Bob Collins

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just Breathe

  • Some days you just need to concentrate on breathing. When the demands get too many & the load gets to heavy, just breathe.
  • When the stepkids are getting to you; when your mate is frustrating you; when it’s too much. close your eyes, relax, and just breathe.
  • Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Everything doesn’t have to be immediate. Everything can pause occasionally.


Breathing is terribly underrated. As basic as it gets, and yet so very vital. Focus on breathing in, then out. Just breathe for a bit.

  • Far too often, we ALLOW the world and demands on us to determine our pace. CHOOSE to slow down. Just breathe.
  • If you don’t set a manageable pace, you will run out of breath before the end. Slow down and do things right. Just breathe.
  • Rushing around does NOT get more accomplished. It just confuses your soul. Focus on one thing at a time. Just breathe.
  • Life was never meant to be so damaging to your soul. God promises to lift your burden if you ask. Just breathe.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Did You Do?

Watched an interesting TV show this week: “What Would You Do?” in which hidden cameras observe man-on-the-street reactions to moral dilemmas. The idea of the show is to catch people either being good or being bad.

The producers provide tricky questions such as what would you do if you saw a man doping a woman’s drink, or someone cutting in line at the grocery store … only to win a prize for being the 5 millionth customer, or if you received an email by mistake that foretold your boss’s being fired … just when boss is buying expensive house.

The show is kind of fun as you watch some folks turn their heads and ignore others’ problems, kind of uplifting as you watch others jump in and help, and kind of uncomfortable as you think about what you would honestly do in that same situation.

But it got me thinking that the show is probably pretty accurate regarding our own life review. It’s something to consider, whether you believe (as I do) in a Heavenly debriefing in which we get to review our life’s taken or missed opportunities, or if you just accept that someday you’ll be an old geezer, sitting in a nursing home reliving your memories. Either way, what you do now will affect your future.

If nothing else, your reaction to others’ problems teaches your children a lot. They watch you either ignore or reach out to help someone in trouble and they learn that you are honest about what you tell them they ought to do. They then model their actions after what they observe in you.

Watch the show sometime. Then apply the premise to your own life occasionally. Try to visualize how your reaction will look to someone else, or to yourself in a few years as you review it.

Everything you do (or don’t do) has consequences. Your actions and words affect others. You have the power of life and death in your tongue, the Bible says. And your children’s faces reflect the impact you make on their hearts.

BC

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Get Over It!

In twenty years, most of the petty demands you’re making will seem childish and selfish. Do your future self and your children a favor and get over it.

By demanding everything exactly the way you want it, you are setting yourself (and all who love you) up to be constantly disappointed and frustrated, i.e. unhappy.

Why is this so hard? Jesus clearly pointed out that it is easier to be forgiving and nice than to be demanding and mean. Do you just not believe Him, or do you think yours is a better way? To quote that guy on TV, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Just forgive. Let it go. Accept an apology when it’s offered – and assume an apology when it’s not offered. Or just let-it-go. Do you honestly have so few real needs in your busy life that you have time to throw away on sulking and rehashing your whines?

Love God ( = obey His directions) and love your neighbor (duh! that’s the person nearest you, too!). Forgive. Get over it!

STEPcoach

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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