Weekly Thought – December 26, 2017
Fred believed introspection was an element in forward progress, not an end in itself. He was never high on “navel gazing.” But he encouraged clearly defining gifts, talents, and the way they can be used. He was also very practical about this analysis. May this Christmas season bring time to reflect on 2017 and the way our great God has been present. Before presents were opened, Fred gathered the family together and read Luke 2. We, at BWF, hope the story of God’s coming in the flesh brings joy and hope.
1) Do I give money easily? As a child I was raised to believe in the tithe, or 10%. I was also trained to see this as a percentage of the gross, not the net. However, I don’t think this is an adequate level for those with wealth. The Old Testament talked about tithes and offerings as distinct items. A friend of mine anticipated a growing business, so he and his wife sat down and considered what lifestyle level would be appropriate for them. As their income rose they held to their lifestyle and gave away anything that was above that. It took discipline and ego control, but they both attested to great joy.
2) Do I believe God loves me? I once did a casual survey and I was surprised to find a smaller than expected number of people genuinely believe God loves them unconditionally. As one man answered, “He wouldn’t love me if He knew me as I know me.” Fortunately, God has unconditional love which we can experience by faith. We can believe in His act of love shown to us through the crucifixion of His Son and promised salvation promised for those who accept Him.
3) How do I react to change? If I see change as something favorable to me, then I welcome it. If it threatens me, then I resist it. I must remember that all progress involves change and work to develop a positive attitude towards new possibilities.
4) Do I hold grudges? Grudges show a lack of strong thinking. They are fueled by hostility, and animosity. I should rid myself of grudges through either clearing my mind or asking forgiveness. Grudges automatically cloud our thinking. We can hold them against a person or an idea. They waste our time and productivity.
5) Am I basically optimistic, pessimistic, or realistic? If by optimism it is meant a tendency towards the positive and pessimism is the tendency toward the negative, then I actually believe the better option is realism. One of my favorite phrases is, “the current reality.” Max DePree, the highly respected CEO said his responsibility was to define reality for his large organization. I read a book by a POW who said the captured servicemen fell into three categories: optimists, pessimists, and realists. He said the pessimists survived the shortest time, followed by the optimists. He said those who saw their situation as neither good, nor bad, but “what is” were able to make it through the best.
This week think about: 1) How do you know God loves you? 2) Which of this week’s questions is most penetrating? 3) How do I express gratitude?
Words of Wisdom: “I must remember that all progress involves change and work to develop a positive attitude towards new possibilities.”
Wisdom from the Word:” But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I continually trust in God’s loyal love.” (Psalm 52:8 NET Bible)