I have recently learned a few valuable life lessons, ones which apply to our kids here too!
My pastor just started a sermon series called, “I Quit!” The premise is that there are several habits/behaviors that we need to give up in order to live full and happy lives. I am enjoying these lessons.
The first week was all about making excuses. It has been said that “Excuses are the nails used to build the house of failure.” The second week hit closer to home for me. We needed to quit complaining.
As I have gotten older I have found my voice. It is a “joyful noise” at times, and I might be confusing my perceived honesty with diva like complaining. This was brought to my attention recently at an event by a co-worker. So, was I complaining or just being honest? Isn’t admitting you have a problem the first step? I wanted to quit.
The next week was about fear. Pastor Mel posed the question on Facebook; “What is your biggest fear?” Twenty five people commented on that post with all kinds of fears including snakes, birds, change, failure, and the future. All my fears were covered, and then some (except for gators, yikes)!
I realized that I have spent a lot of my life in fear, and I wanted to fear less. One of my favorite quotes is by Martin Luther. He says, “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands; that I still possess”.
So what are your fears? Fear of loss…losing your job, a loved one or status? Fear of failure or rejection? Or how about fear of the unknown…this one is huge, and can really consume us. If you notice, one fear can quickly lead to another and then we are basically living in fear, which will never produce happiness.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of self-control. Yet, even as I read this verse I wonder how many of my important life decisions were made out of fear. Would I rather spend the rest of my life running away from things, or running toward them?
I have a tagline on all emails that I send out. “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God.” So why is that when we are faced with conflict or struggles that we tend to trust God the least?
Ultimately we need to make a conscious choice to fear less, and trust God more. Zig Ziglar said, “F-E-A-R has two meanings; ‘Forget Everything and Run,’ or, ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours”.
The final week was about comparing. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Oh, don’t worry; I wouldn’t dare say that I am as wonderful as these other men who tell you how good they are! Their trouble is that they are only comparing themselves with each other and measuring themselves against their own little ideas. What stupidity!”
Comparisons usually fall into four categories; stuff (he who has the most toys wins), appearances, performance, and circumstances. If only I was prettier, smarter, had more money, a better job … and the list goes on and on. But are we comparing ourselves to people that excel us … make us better? Or are we proud and envious? Comparing can be the death of contentment.
So what about you? Are you ready to quit; making excuses, complaining, living in fear, and comparing? I am too!
Quitting never felt so good!
By Diana Lang