Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

LIVING IN THE STORM

Posted: May 12, 2012 in Emotions, Life!, Work, Worry
Tags: , , ,

I haven’t written a blog post in some time so I decided to pick up the pen (actually laptop) again. The truth is, I have not had a clear enough head to put any thoughts together in an organized fashion, and that is a good description of my whole life right now.

In September of last year, I left the job I had and loved for 14 years.  I am fully convinced I was following God in this and I am still convinced today. What I seemed to forget is that following God will sometimes put you right in the middle of a storm!  Look at this passage from Matthew 14: Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray… Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.  Do you get the picture here?  The disciples were doing exactly what Jesus had instructed them to do and it put them right in the middle of the storm.

I thought about just listing the frustrating events that have been my life over the past 7½ months since I moved back to Mississippi but every time I would start to write them, I would hear a little kid voice in the back of my head saying, “I think I hear the whambulance.”  Just so you know, for some time now I have been working on a manuscript for a new book titled: AM I CRAZY OR WHAT?  I suppose after the disclosure that I hear kid voices in my head one might conclude that I am giving away the ending of the book. But I digress.

While sitting alone in my blue Lazyboy, I got the idea to write down a list of the areas of my life that have been wounded, some dramatically, since last September. Then I wrote down another list of the fears I have in each one of those areas, fears of what might go wrong, fears of more pain. And then, finally, I wrote down a third list of what I really hope for in those areas in the future.

And it hit me: my list of fears on the one hand and my list of hopes on the other represent two different visions for my future coming out of what has been the most painful and challenging rip in that imaginary protective membrane surrounding my life that I have lived in for the past 14 years. There are two very different destinations for which I can set my internal compass at this point. I mean, I can’t stay where I am. That’s one of the realities of pain. It always drives us somewhere. The question for me is … where will I wind up?

Actually, I think that’s the question that faces every one of us when we suffer in this life. What are we going to do with the pain of divorce or injustice or physical infirmity; the death of a dream, a betrayal, the death of a loved one or any other loss. How are we going to grieve? How are we going to react to loss? (And the word “grief” is simply a way of describing our reaction to a loss).

Beginning with my next post, I am going to look at the topic of grief.  Please feel free to send me an email if you have a story of grief recovery or if you have a question about the grief process.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


You can’t do business without communicating. That means to get ahead you’ve got to continually work on your communication skills. It has been estimated that 75% of the problems at work are related to poor communication — with customers, clients and co-workers. Poor communication is also the most frequently mentioned problem in marriage counseling.

To Effectively Communicate, We Must Give Up Three Things:

I. Give up our assumptions. We get into trouble when we start assuming we understand the meaning of what people say to us. The truth is everything you hear goes through filters. Your filters are determined by your past experiences, your unique personality and your temperament. You may not be hearing what they are actually saying. Therefore, it is smart (and safe!) to ask for clarification. There are six possible messages every time you speak:

A. What you meant to say versus what you actually said

B. What they heard versus what they think they heard

C. What they say about something versus what you think they said about it. Proverbs 18:13 says, “It’s foolish to answer before listening.”

II. Give up our accusations. You will never get your point across by being cross! Anger and sarcasm only make people defensive… and that destroys communication. Here are four most common forms of accusation:

A. Exaggerating: making sweeping generalities. Statements like “You always” and “You never” are always untrue, and never helpful.

B. Labeling: derogatory name calling. Labeling, even when it’s true, never changes anyone. It only reinforces a negative behavior.

C. Playing Historian: bringing up past failures, mistakes, and broken promises.

D. Asking Negative Loaded Questions: ones that can’t really be answered, like, “Can’t you do anything right?” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Use only helpful words, the kind that build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

III. Give up our apprehensions. Fear prevents honest communication. It causes us to conceal our true feelings, and fail to confront the real issues. The two most common apprehensions are: the fear of failure and of rejection. But when you face your fear and risk being honest — real communication can happen. Freedom is the result of openness. No matter what price we pay for relational freedom, it is worth the price. Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Rethinking Your Job

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Uncategorized, Work
Tags: ,

Chances are you have used or at the very least heard someone use the phrase, “Thank God it’s Friday.”  In most cases the understood meaning behind this statement is, “Thank God it’s not Monday – Thursday.” On Friday, you are just one day away from the weekend when you are free from the prison you call your job!

82% of the people in a recently survey said they hated their job.  That’s unbelievable!  Another study done by the Princeton Research and Marketing Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey said that between fifty and eighty percent of all Americans are in the wrong career because it doesn’t match their gifts and abilities.

A major problem with this is that job frustration affects every other area of life. When you don’t like your work, it takes a toll on your family life.  It makes it very tempting to come home and snap at your family.

It is my opinion that God never intended it to be this way.  Ecclesiastes 5:18 “Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor.”  The Bible says it is good and proper to find satisfaction in your job. 

Let me just cut to the chase.  Is it possible to come to the end of the day and wonder where all the time went? Is it really possible to find “satisfaction” in your job?  Well, here’s a biblical plan to work on.

1. Reframe your thinking about who you really work for.

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord not for men.”  Circle “working for the Lord not for men.”  He’s saying that no matter where you work or what you do you can do it for the Lord.  Don’t think that the Lord’s work is only done on church property.  You can flip burgers for the Lord.  You can wash cars for the Lord.  Whatever you do it says don’t do it as if you’re doing it for your human boss, do it as if you’re doing it for the Lord. 

2. Re-pattern your work model.

You work with the same attitude as Jesus did.  Mark 10:45 “The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve.”  Jesus had a servant’s attitude. A servant attitude is becoming excited about making your boss successful.  It is about getting excited about making the people around you successful. 

You work like Jesus and you work for the God.  If you do those two things you can expect the third thing.

3.  Expect a reward from God.

A person working for the Lord and working like the Lord, no matter what he or she does, can expect to be rewarded by the Lord.  It is very frustrating to feel like your boss never notices. That’s not the issue.  The issue is does God notice and he’s taking notes.  Colossians 3:24 “Remember that the Lord will reward you [circle that] for Christ is the real master you serve.”

So as a Christian with the right attitude, I gain not only a paycheck but I gain eternal rewards.  I get paid twice in my work.  I get rewards physically — my paycheck.  But I also get the eternal nest egg, the ultimate pension plan, and treasure in heaven.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


4.  BE CAREFUL WHEN SELECTING YOUR FRIENDS

 This is very important.  Self image is heavily influenced by relationships so you need to select your relationships very carefully.  The company you keep has a dramatic effect on your self esteem and on your confidence. 

 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Bad company corrupts good character.” Parents tell their kids that all the time.  If you want to soar with the eagles, you can’t run with the turkeys.  You’ve got to select your friends wisely. They have a big influence on your life. 

 Charlie Brown is the world’s greatest loser.  It is very clear why he’s such a loser.  Lucy!  Lucy is always telling Charlie Brown what is wrong with him, why his idea is dumb.  In one cartoon she said, “You, Charlie Brown, are a foul ball in the line drive of life.  You stand in the shadow of your own goal post.  You are a miscue.  You are three putts on the eighteenth green.  You are a seven-ten split in the tenth frame. You’re a missed free throw, a called third strike.  You are a dropped rod and reel in the lake of life.  Do you understand me, Charlie Brown?  Have I made myself clear?”  With friends like Lucy, who needs enemies?

The Lucys in your life will damage your self- image with their insults and their put downs. This may sound negative but it would seem there are some people who see as their mission in life to put you down.  You can’t insulate yourself from these people but you can limit your exposure to them.  Choose the right friends.

5.  HAVE A PROPER FOCUS

If you want to be confident, you need to find a cause greater than being self-centered.  A worthy goal will give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Make something of your life.

Matthew 16:25-26 “For anyone who keeps his life for himself shall lose it.  And anyone who loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be if a person gains the whole world, yet forfeits his own soul?”  Jesus is talking.  He’s saying we discover ourselves when we give ourselves away. 

Self confidence is definitely not self-centeredness.  There’s a difference.  Self centeredness leads to insecurity.  You need to be self confident without being self centered.  How do you do that?  You give your life away to a great cause, a great purpose.   

Invest your life.  Don’t waste it, don’t spend it.  Invest your life in a cause that is greater than yourself. 

6.  DEVELOP A DEEP TRUST IN GOD

 Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confdence.  He is like a tree planted along a river bank with roots reaching deep into the water, not bothered by the heat, nor worried by long months of drought it stays green and goes on producing fruit.” 

Life is difficult.  It’s tough.  This passage happens to mention two kinds of difficulties.  Heat and drought.  Heat, I think, are the sudden crises of life.  Heat comes on suddenly.  The accident.  The cancer.  The death.  Somebody walks out of your life.  The earthquake.  How do you handle it when the heat is on in your life?

Then there is drought.  Long periods of time when you must go without something you feel you need.  You’re out of work.  You’re out of income.  You’re out of energy.  You’re doing without.  How do you handle those kinds of things?   

Notice three words:  trust, hope, confidence.  He says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence.”  He’s talking about a relationship with God.  When you trust in God, you’re having a relationship to God.  The result is you won’t be bothered by these things.

 This guy is like a tree and he keeps on blooming even in the middle of heat and in the middle of drought and the reason he is not bothered is that his roots go down into the Lord.  He has faith in God. 

 What is the source of your confidence?  Perhaps you are trusting in your career.  You’ve got it made, you’re on the fast track, things are going great.  When you’re hot, you’re hot!  But when you’re not, you’re not. 

To have unshakable confidence, you must put your confidence in something that can never, ever be taken from you.  And there’s only one thing that can never be taken from you, your relationship sith God through Jesus.  It can never be taken.

That’s how you grow in confidence.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


A third way you can create a significant life is…

3. Look for eternal significance in all you do.
Three brick-workers were asked what they were doing. One said, “I’m laying bricks.” Another said, “I’m making $17.50 an hour.” The third said, “I’m building a cathedral for the glory of God.” All three were doing the same job, yet all three had a different perspective about it.

The key to significance–to living a satisfying life without regrets–is in recognizing the eternal value of the little things you do.

Steve May, a pastor to whom I give much credit to for this series, punctuated this truth. He said a young widow told him “It was about a year after her husband, Tim, had passed away. She and her family were having Thanksgiving Dinner and everyone was saying what they were thankful for. Her 8-year-old son said ‘I’m thankful for the days that Dad went outside and played catch with me.’ The woman said, ‘Tim’s office was at the house. Whenever a client missed an appointment, he would take Michael outside to play catch. He did it to defuse his anger over the client missing a session; he had no idea he was creating a memory that would last a lifetime.’ Then she said, ‘If he had realized how significant it was, I’m sure he would have done it more often.'”

Every day matters, even the mundane, are filled with eternal significance. It may seem to us that we’re just killing time, but we could be strengthening the bond of a relationship. It may appear just small talk to us, but we could be saying something that will change someone’s life forever. We may think we’re just laying bricks, but we could be building a cathedral for the glory of God. Look for meaning in the little things.

We see this principle in the life of Christ again and again. He would be having a meal with a friend and turn it into a life-changing experience. He would be walking along the road with his disciples and see a tree, and teach his disciples a lesson in faith.

Do you want to create a life without regrets? Remember this: There are no throw-away moments. Every day matters. Look for the eternal significance in your work, your words, your relationships, and your actions.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


We are all going to end up there eventually if we live long enough.  We are all going to come to a place where we look back at the life we’ve lived and have one of two reactions: satisfaction or regret.  I am writing this week about how to avoid the latter of the two reactions.  Today we look at the second action we should take:

2. Focus on being a contributor rather than just a consumer.
Goal setting books and seminars nearly always encourage people to make a wish-list of things they want. They say things like “State it in the positive like you have already received it.” Such as, “I earn $100,000 a year; I own a new Mercedes; I live in a 5000 square foot home.”

The main problem with this kind of goal setting (aside from the fact that it is ridiculous) is that you are focusing on you and the things you want. There is a big difference between having things and living a life of significance.

Try a different approach. Instead of setting a goal for how much money you will get, set a goal for how much money you will give. Or, instead of setting a goal for a certain promotion, set a goal for what you could do to make yourself more valuable as an employee. The difference is more than just a matter of semantics; it’s a matter of focus.

There are people who spend their entire lives working jobs they despise because it offers security–it enables them to gather a stockpile of stuff. Take my word for it: stuff isn’t worth it. Things don’t make your life significant. The significance you have in life is determined by what you do…what you give…not what you get. The Bible says… “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 11:4)

What is Solomon saying? He’s reminding us that what you do is more important than what you have. Significance comes not from your acquisitions but your accomplishments. Think about what you want to accomplish–what you want to do with your life. Choose to do something you love.

The Beatles had a song back in the old day (my youth) that had as its hook line, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.”   Listen, there are a lot of things that money can’t buy; a life of significance being one of them.  Therefore, instead of pursuing money, pursue a career that you love. Loving your job is far more important than being able to afford a bigger house or a nicer car.

The principle here is simple: To live a life of significance, do what you love. Success, rewards, money, promotions–they may or not happen. Do what you love and your life will have impact.

I believe with all my heart that if you are committed to doing God’s will in your life, God will give you a dream of what you can accomplish, and he will give you the ability to do it–if your focus is on accomplishing something good, rather than accumulating things. The Bible says… “The desire of the righteous ends only in good.” (Proverbs 11:23)

If you’re committed to doing God’s will, he will give you a dream of what you can accomplish in life.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


I ended yesterday’s blog writing that I would pick up today with a look at the causes of a mid-life crisis.  As I began thinking about the causes I realized that it could be summed up in one word: EMPTINESS;  Or at least a sense of emptiness.  It is that gnawing feeling that there is something out there better than what I have experienced to this point in my life. 

Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon, who, despite his reputation for being the wisest man to ever live, had what seems to be a mid-life crisis; see if Solomon’s pattern doesn’t sound familiar. Like most people, Solomon wanted certain things out of life: happiness, love, success, and meaning. And like many young adults, his search for truth and meaning directed his attention to the study of philosophy.

He read the great writers of the day and contemplated the great historical ideologies. He pitted one world view against the other and dissected them all. He studied the prevailing explanations for the purpose of life, and when he had thoroughly examined all the textbooks and theories and arguments of the day, he concluded…  “So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.” Eccle. 2:17

He’s not saying that philosophy has no value, but the wisest man in the world (which is how the Bible describes Solomon) took philosophy as far as it can be taken and concluded that he will never find ultimate soul satisfaction in the pages of a book or in another man’s opinion of the meaning of life. “It’s like chasing the wind,” he says.

He crossed philosophy off his list and turned his attention to self-indulgence and self-gratification. Ecclesiastes 2 reveals how Solomon pulled all the stops in pleasure seeking. He drank only the best wine, he built gardens and parks and ponds in order to surround himself with beauty and splendor; he hired the best musicians in the world to perform for him at his request; he assembled harems of beautiful young women so that he could live out his sexual fantasies. He sums it up by saying… “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure…yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 2:10

He tried philosophy, he tried pleasure, and next, he tried possessions. He built mansions for himself–one took 13 years to build that had precious stones in the foundation walls. He accumulated large herds and planted the forests and vineyards. He collected art and treasures from all over the world. In spite of all he was able to accumulate, he came to the conclusion that it is all meaningless.

Next, he poured himself into his work. It wasn’t long before he realized that this too was meaningless. He said, So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?  Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 (NLT)

For the next ten chapters of this book, Solomon discusses his search of happiness, love, success, and meaning–yet that gnawing sense of something missing would not go away.

I began by summing up the cause of mid-life crisis with one world, emptiness.  Let me end with a one word cure for mid-life crisis:  CONTENTMENT.  Take a little while each day to stop looking over in the neighbor’s yard at how much greener his or her grass is and enjoy your own.  Besides, the greenest spot in my yard is over the septic tank and drain field!  What does that tell you?

In the end, Solomon experienced the ultimate benefit of a mid-life quest. His search for “something more” took him down several dead end paths, and he finally realized what was missing. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 the wisest man in the world came to this conclusion: Fear God, keep his commandments; this is the whole duty of man.

The most important discovery you can make, at mid-life or any time of life, is that the meaning of life can be found in a relationship with God–fearing him and keeping his commandments.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Someone once said that communication is more than merely talking; it is combining the power of words with the power of the ear to create a soul connection.

 James the brother of Jesus gave us some very valuable teaching on how to communicate effectively. He said, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I am convinced that a sincere commitment on the part of two individuals to apply James’ teaching in any relationship will bring about a significant improvement.   Great communication is essential to a great relationship because when we are communicating well we feel close and intimate and when we are not communicating well we generally feel distant and cold. 

It has been my experience that couples who are experiencing a break down in the area of communication have this formula mixed up; they are quick to speak and slow to listen and as a result they are quick to become angry!

Some time back I made a “Listening Button” that I keep in my desk drawer for those times when I can’t keep one or both partners from interrupting the other.  The image I used here is what it looks like.  I cut it out and glued it to a frozen orange juice can top.  I let one partner hold the button and as long as they are holding that button they cannot speak – only listen.  Then we switch.  They usually are willing to listen if they know they are going to be given equal time to be heard. 

The goal of good communication is to understand each other better and to create an opportunity for your partner to be heard, understood and accepted.

Let me give you a few more tips on communication today.  Putting them into practice may seem awkward at first but so did walking and using eating utensils.  I work on these every day.  Start simple, pick one and look for ways to use it in your daily communication interactions.  Let me know how it goes.

1. Mirroring: Mirror back to your partner what you heard them say:

  •   “I heard you say….”
  •  “If I understood you correctly, you said…”
  •  “It sounds like you are saying….”

 After you mirror back to them, get some feedback. Ask, “Did I get that right?”

 Show an interest in wanting to understand the whole picture, ask, “Is there more you want to tell me?”

This is what they use at the drive up window of your favorite fast food place.  You give them the order and they repeat it back to you.  Occasionally they actually get it right!

2. Validating: Validating is seeing the world through your partner’s eyes.  It is giving them the right to their opinion no matter how far out in left field you feel they are.

 That’s how we show compassion, something everyone wants to experience from his or her partner. Validating is not agreeing, it is basically saying, “From your perspective, I can see why/how you would see it that way.”

Validating sounds like:

  • “I can see what you mean.”
  • “I can understand where you’re coming from”
  • “That makes sense to me because….”

 3. Empathizing: Empathizing is a really powerful way of developing intimacy and again really conveying compassion to your partner.

 Empathizing requires you to verbally capture the emotion behind what your partner is saying and express it to him or her. Empathizing is speaking with your heart.

 Empathy sounds something like:

  • “You must feel ……”
  • “That must make you feel…”
  • “I wonder if you feel…”

 

One major mistake that many couples make is fire hosing each other with too much information. Give bite size pieces of information. Don’t rehash the whole history and all the details. Use self-control and practice condensing what you want your partner to hear. Use only 3 – 5 medium size sentences at a time. If you have been talking for 1 minute it’s time to let your partner respond. Use an egg timer if necessary.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Yesterday I began a look at the 5 life principles that seem to guide the lives of successful, productive people based on John The Baptist’s teaching in Luke chapter 3.  Let’s continue with the next two today and wrap it up tomorrow.  I like to break my posts into smaller bite sized pieces because that is the way I personally digest material best.  It is slowly sinking in to me that others are like that also.  My Sunday sermons are getting shorter and shorter.  There is something to the old adage that the mind can only process what the behind can endure.  But I digress!

3) DON’T ABUSE YOUR AUTHORITY (Luke 3:14)

 If you truly want to be a successful parent, boss, worker, church leader, you have to learn how to handle authority. There is a fine line between arrogance and authority, but the end results of each are miles apart.

A leader who usurps his authority is a dictator. Dictators are followed out of fear or obligation. How well do you function under either of those? You know, I am sure you have worked for one of these kinds of people before. As a matter of fact, many churches are run by boards, a totally unbiblical concept, where the church dictates what the pastor does. Why is this so? Because many people have seen the abuse of power in a church and are unable to trust, or do not want to be hurt again.

A leader who exercises and respects his authority will sacrifice to do what is best for those under his or her care, even if it is unpopular. Jesus set the pattern for this by giving up his life for us.

Luke 22:25-26 (NLT)Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.

 If people only follow you because of your title or authority then you will never be very productive. When I feel I have to do something I am not nearly as productive as when I want to do something. You gain followers and supporters when you learn to serve those you lead.

To be productive you have to be willing to put others first. Why? Because a team is far more valuable than an individual. One man can only do so much, but two can do four times as much!

  • The most DIRECT way to the top is from the BOTTOM.

 4) JUST THE FACT, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS (Luke 3:14)

 Have you ever studied small towns? I love life in a small town! You know, that “Cheers” mentality – “where everybody knows your name”.

I have noticed that almost every town has a Main Street and a Church Street. Almost every small town has a Pizza Place. Not every small town has a paper mill like the one I grew up in but I have noticed that every small town has a rumor mill! Today’s “connected” world has got nothing on the small town rumor mill! Just tell the right person and everyone and their brother knows about it!

Nothing can be as devastating as a rumor mill! If someone wants to get even with someone, or if they want to hurt someone, all they have to do is get the right lie going through the rumor mill and it will be unbearable for the other person. And the first one to do it wins… or so they think.

Now, sometimes it’s not all that malicious. We simply relay what we hear from others without checking out the facts, or we get the facts confused about others. This is just as destructive – whether in the community, workplace or church.

Often we fail to realize what it does to OUR credibility to give false testimony about someone else.

 Proverbs 25:18 (NLT)Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

If I lie about someone I cut him or her down. If I tell the truth about someone I can build him or her up. I have the power with my words to hurt or to heal, to build up or tear down. If I am going to be productive I have to build up others.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Have you ever felt like you were getting nowhere in life? Have you ever thought, “If only I had a better boss, a better job, a better home, or a better life? Well, I have learned that it is not what life dishes up that makes the difference; it is how you digest it!

The main difference between productive people and unproductive people is NOT circumstances, nor is it environment – it is excellence in work ethic. If you want to be successful you have to recognize that you cannot rely upon titles or positions. To be successful you have to continually be working to improve and to grow. There is no place in the line of successes for slackers. Good intentions are just that – intentions. To be effective it takes work, it takes effort.

Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied.

When the crowds approached John the Baptist, they wanted to know how to be successful, and John told them what to do.

Luke 3:8-14 (NLT) – Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say, ‘We’re safe—we’re the descendants of Abraham.’ That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever your roots. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” 10 The crowd asked, “What should we do?” 11 John replied, “If you have two coats, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” 12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 “Show your honesty,” he replied. “Make sure you collect no more taxes than the Roman government requires you to.” 14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers. John replied, “Don’t extort money, and don’t accuse people of things you know they didn’t do. And be content with your pay.”

This is not an all-inclusive list, but if you build these five things into your life you will be much more productive with your life.

 

1) BE GENEROUS WITH ALL THAT YOU POSSESS (vs. 10)

 The first principle for being productive in life is to be generous. Give and give and then give some more. Why? Because:

  • Success is not measured by what we POSSESS; it is by what we INVEST in others.

 Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

 Proverbs 11:24 (NLT)It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything.

You can only be successful as you give generously to others.

 

2) BE HONEST IN ALL YOU DO (vs. 13)

 Proverbs 11:3 (NLT)Good people are guided by their honesty; treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty.

 It can take a lifetime to gain the trust of someone, but only moments to lose that trust. You cannot be successful if people do not trust you.

  • If you are in sales and someone does not trust you… (you are a used car salesman, right?) how successful will you be?
  • How successful would I be as a pastor if I lied to you and cheated? I would be a mockery and an excuse for people to avoid church.

 Luke 16:10-12 (NLT)“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?

Honesty is an integrity issue, and you cannot be productive without integrity. When you are honest with people then you gain their trust and their respect. When you are honest with God you gain His trust and blessing.

Proverbs 11:1 (NLT)The Lord hates cheating, but he delights in honesty.

You will not be productive if you are not honest.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine