In case you don’t know, those are two horrible traps.
Man, I tell you, one of the best habits I’ve ever started is my daily (morning) devotional time; 10, 15, 20 minutes, or whatever I feel necessary on a given day to spend in contemplation of the day and life ahead.
You see, and it’s hard to admit this every time I do it, I’m severely prone to negative thinking, especially in the face of adversity. That tendency leads to unhealthy thoughts, which produces harmful, counterproductive inaction, and leads away from the right direction. It has caused many of the failures I’ve experienced in my life.
Filling my mind with positive, encouraging TRUTHS (not simple, meaningless self-talk) has enabled me to make the turn toward my goals and aspirations. I simply cannot say enough about the practice of daily devotions.
Words to Live By
The latest addition to my routine is my “Words to Live By.” I finished my list, quite literally, yesterday. These Words to Live By are Biblically-based statements that I want to incorporate into my
life, improve upon, and use to provide the encouragement I need (see below for a great place to find your own). They address areas of weakness, strength, and things I want to master in my life.
This morning, one of them unexpectedly struck me as important today: “I will never insult God with small thinking and safe living.”
Packed! That sentence is packed, my friends.
We’ve All Done It; We’ve All Been Wrong
I’m no preacher. Far from it, in fact. I can, however, spot a power-packed phrase.
“Small thinking” and “Safe living” are a big part of what keeps us from being the men we want to be and should be.
Volunteering – Nah. I don’t have time.
Learning a new skill/taking up a hobby – What’s the use? I have enough on my plate.
Acting on a new idea – People will think I’m foolish.
Mission trip? – Too dangerous. I have a family.
Lose weight/get in shape – Again, no time.
Encouraging a friend in need – Who am I to think I can help. He/she hasn’t asked for help.
Starting a new business – It’ll fail. Someone’s already doing it.
Writing a book – People will think I’m stupid. They’ll talk about me.
Starting a men’s group – No one will come. It’ll be a burden.
I’ve done it. You’ve done it. The actions may be different, but the thoughts the same.
What did we accomplish? Not a single positive, life-changing, world-changing thing. We did, however, succeed in leaving an empty spot in our mind/heart/soul. We did leave ourselves dissatisfied with our life, a little more disheartened, feeling a little less manly than we were before.
It’s a battle, and we’re in it, whether or not we want to be. A fight for our very lives. We were created for greatness and called to greatness. Yet, we sabotage ourselves and our calling.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We were not intended to go through life without having lived and arrive safely at death.
If you would like to find some words you can live by, visit this article at Life.church. There’s a ton of ideas there. I adopted some as they were written and developed a few from the ideas I saw. It’s worth your time.