Pearl of Wisdom #22
Don’t expect what other people have, unless you’re willing to pay the price they paid to get it.
Some say we live in the age of entitlement. People have a tendency to want or even expect what other people have – without being willing to pay the price they paid to get it.
Some newly weds or homeowners expect the same standard of living as their retired parents, not realising it took their parents their entire lives working and saving to be in a position to live that way.
We want to lose weight and be fit and healthy, but don’t want to spend the hours in the gym we need to. We want the “body” but aren’t willing to let go of the chocolate!
The same can be true of churches and ministries. We see a “big church” (which is not necessarily a measure of success) and want our church to be the same. A Bible teacher draws in a crowd of hundreds, and we feel we ought to have at least the same.
What we often fail to understand is that these things all come at a cost and a sacrifice. Whether in ministry or in business or life in general, success takes time and patience. We may be watching the end result of years of hard work, expecting to have it all in a few weeks.
I encourage you to have goals and dreams, but set realistic expectations. Don’t look at others and covet what they have. Do what they did to get it. Learn from them, and strive towards your goals.
And remember, we usually only ever see the “edited highlights” of a person’s life. Instagram and Facebook are very selective windows into a person’s world.
Be blessed this week.
Pearl of Wisdom #21
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, rather it is thinking of yourself less.
Humility isn’t exactly something we celebrate much in our culture. When we look to celebrities, we offer see arrogance, selfishness and pride.
Many of us misunderstand what true humility is. We believe that a humble person is someone who beats themselves up constantly, who treads themselves down and thinks very little of themselves.
That is not biblical humility.
Humility is not about mistreating ourselves, instead it’s about moving ourselves out of the way and keeping God in His proper place in our lives.
A humble person is someone who is totally reliant on Jesus. They don’t think of themselves more or less than they ought, and instead keep their minds on Christ.
Pride can be seen in arrogance of course, but it can also be seen in self-loathing. Pride is simply putting the emphasis on “us” rather than God.
Try to be humble this week. Don’t loathe yourself, love Jesus!
Pearl of Wisdom #20
Don’t seek to be used by God, instead seek to be usable.
Many of us want to be used by God in some special way to do a great work for Him. There is nothing wrong with such a goal, and it comes from our love for Him.
We ask God to use us, but often times God won’t answer this prayer. It’s not that He doesn’t want to, but rather He doesn’t want us to be harmed. God cares more about us, than about how He can use us. He loves us, not what we can do for Him.
Think of it this way; He will not put us into a situation we cannot handle, bringing harm to us and to others, just to get something done. He would rather help us grow to a point where we can serve Him in this world.
Don’t ask God to “use you”, instead ask Him to help develop your character so that He can use you. When we become “usable” we no longer need to worry about God putting us into positions of service. Once we are mature or have the experience we need, God will put us to work to bless others.
God loves you more than you know.
Pearl of Wisdom #19
Life is not a dress rehearsal
We only get one shot at life, and it is often far shorter than we would like. There is no dress rehearsal, and we do not get a second chance.
We must make the most of every single day!
All of us look back over our lives and wish we had done certain things differently. We recall wasted opportunities or mistakes, and wonder what might have been. This is not without value, but we cannot live in the past.
Even if you have wasted every day up to now, you can still make the best of whatever time you have left. Don’t waste it! Time is the one thing you cannot get more of.
You can’t change what has been, but you can do whatever you can to make the most of the rest of your life. Be blessed.
Pearl of Wisdom #18
You are not a failure; you just haven’t succeeded yet
You are not a failure until you truly give up. Everyone else is just “pre-successful”.
Thomas Edison, although perhaps not the true inventor of the light bulb, never gave up. He “invented” numerous ways of how not to make a light bulb, until he finally got one that worked. And he only needed one.
Whatever it is you are trying to achieve, don’t ever consider yourself a failure. Until you are successful at your goal, you are just learning all the ways not to do it, and if you keep trying, you will make it one day.
Never give up! Push on and keep trying! You can do the things that God has put on your heart to do! Don’t ever let the word “failure” come out of your mouth – instead, just consider it a practice run!
Pearl of Wisdom #’17
We ought to spend our time here, preparing for there
In our society, which is largely anti-God, anti-Christian and promotes evolution, humanism and secularism, it is hardly surprising that people think very little about eternity – life after death.
If you take a Christian worldview, then you believe and understand that this world is not all that there is. There is an eternity, and what we do here on the Earth determines what that eternity will be like.
We live in a physical world, and must of course live our lives. Rather than living just for the here and now though, spend more of your life preparing for the world to come.
After a thousand years in eternity, you really won’t care quite so much about the problems of this life.
If you do not know Jesus Christ, and aren’t sure of your eternal destination, I encourage you to put your trust in Him. Jesus is the only way to heaven, and none of us know how much time we have left to make that choice.
Read these relevant posts to find out more – “Resurrection Sunday” and “One Way“
Pearl of Wisdom #16
Love is a verb
You have no doubt heard this phrase before, but I think it is worth repeating.
A verb is an action word – it describes something we do. Love should be visible.
It is easy to say the words – “I love you,” but do our actions tell the same story? I can wish you well, hope that things work out OK for you, but if I do nothing to help, then I’ve not really loved you at all.
Being part of a church, I often hear of people praying for one another. If you believe in the power of prayer, then that’s a wonderful thing to do. Sometimes though I fear we are praying to God about things we could take care of ourselves.
If someone is without transport, we don’t need to pray for them, we need to give them a lift. If someone has a sick child or relative, we can provide a meal to give them one less thing to worry about. While doing our own shopping, we can pick up a few things for an elderly neighbour.
Love demands action – what is it demanding of you this week?
It’s better to strive for everything and get some of it, than to aim for nothing and get all of it.
I used to know someone who always said “It’s better to hope for nothing and then you can’t be disappointed.” While I can see where they were coming from, I always thought it was a sad way to live.
You are far better to aim for everything and get some of it, than to aim for nothing at all, and get every bit of it. Target the moon and you may miss, but there’s a good chance you’ll at least reach the skies.
What are you expecting? Do you go through life just waiting for the next thing to go wrong, or do you push on to reach the best in all things? I imagine the former way is much harder than the latter.
Aim as high as you can, and give it all you’ve got. I hope you achieve every bit of your God-given goals.
Pearl of Wisdom #14
What is now in the junkyard was once somebody’s lifelong dream.
Life is a funny thing, and is so often dictated by the drive to gain material possessions. It is not wrong to have things, and indeed we need many of them, but it ought to shock us to realise how much of our lives are driven by the pursuit of “stuff”.
It is even more humbling when we consider that whatever we gain in life – materially that is – cannot come with us. Whatever you believe about the afterlife, surely you will agree that none of these possessions we worked so hard to get can come with us.
Think about what you will one day leave behind. Your dream, whatever it was and no matter how long it took you to build, will ultimately age, breakdown or be thrown away.
Junkyards and rubbish dumps are full of things that were perhaps once someone lifelong dream.
I don’t say any of this to depress you! But I’ve learned that life is very short compared with eternity, and we only get one shot at it. Don’t waste your life working for something that will one day be trashed.
Work out what is really important and start building a lasting legacy.
Pearl of Wisdom #13
Not everyone does things in the same way that you do
Don’t you just love it when someone says, “I wouldn’t have done it like that…” just AFTER you finish doing a task?
You often see it in a working environment; when one employee tries to explain something to another. It seems a simple and straightforward task to the person that knows, and they just can’t understand why it’s such a mystery to the one learning.
The truth is that we are all different. What I find easy, you may find hard; and vice versa. Likewise, you may need to explain something to me several times before I get it, but someone else may grasp it on the first attempt.
Is one better than the other? No – it’s just different.
We need to understand and consciously remember that not everyone is like us. It is extremely arrogant to look down on someone else who can’t do what we can. If you look hard enough, there will certainly be things they can do that you cannot.
We must stop judging one another, and learn to work with each other. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and God put us together so we can work together – not against each other.
Be patient with other people this week, as they will no doubt have to be patient with you!
Beating yourself up is a symptom of pride.
In the past, when I made a mistake I would tend to beat myself up about it. The length and severity of my “self-beating” would depend on how serious I perceived the mistake to be.
And let’s call it what it is – not a mistake, but a sin. A falling short of God’s standards.
I’d think to myself, “How could I have done such a thing? I’m supposed to be a Christian! I’m better than that, and I shouldn’t be doing such things! I’m so unworthy. I just can’t do anything right!” And so on and so forth.
Read back what I used to say to myself again. How many times did I use the term “I” or something similar to it?
Answer: a lot.
How could I have done such a thing? Well, because I’m only human, I’m not perfect and I’m still on a journey with Jesus. As long as I live and breath, I’ll never be perfect in and of myself, only in Christ.
It is a symptom of pride. Believing we are above sin or simple mistakes indicates that we have a proud heart.
Often we think that beating ourselves up is a humble thing to do – far from it. In fact, it is suggestive that we don’t think Christ’s punishment was enough, and that we somehow need to add to it.
If you sin this week, don’t spend any time beating yourself up. It’s a waste of time. Just accept Christ’s work and forgiveness and move on.
No one can give you a bad attitude, they can only give you an opportunity to get one.
Attitudes cannot be given as gifts – either good or bad. In truth, the only one who can control your attitude is you.
I heard a story about a guy on a lift (elevator for those outside the UK!). As he waited for his floor, another man got on with an umbrella. As he turned around, he began to jab the umbrella into the first man’s ribs – completely by accident. Commenting on it later, the first man said “That dude made me so mad!” A friend corrected him, “No, all he did was poke you with an umbrella. You got mad all by yourself.”
This is real wisdom.
No one has the power or right to change your attitude except you. All they can do is give you the opportunity.
You will likely face many opportunities to develop a bad attitude today. Rise above them if you can. Decide right now to maintain a good attitude no matter what life throws at you.