Tidbits and Blessings Blog
by Jeanie Malone
I’d love for you to join the conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments section under each entry.
Distractions are powerful and sometimes play a major role in our lives.
What is a distraction?
Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a distraction as “the act of distracting or state of being distracted: especially mental confusion” and “something that distracts, especially amusement.” (emphasis added)
Since the definition of distraction relies heavily on the meaning of distract, we see that distract means:
How do we become distracted?
To have our attention diverted or pulled away, it must have been on something else prior. Whether you feel that you consciously exert effort to place your focus on something in particular or you go through life attending to fires that grab your attention, you can only become distracted if you are already focused on something and have your attention taken off it.
We all lose focus on a regular basis. It’s a daily part of life, but how long we are distracted is essential to our success, productivity, and peace within. Christopher Columbus said, “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”
Determining Necessary and Unnecessary Distractions
Distractions are a part of life, but they don’t have to become our downfall. Sometimes situations need our attention, and sometimes we should ignore them and carry on. Wisdom allows us to determine which distractions to attend and which to ignore. We need to give ourselves grace and understand that sometimes our attention and energy must go in a new direction.
I spoke with someone this week who didn’t work her garden this year as she had planned because after preparing the soil and setting seeds, her sister contracted COVID and suddenly passed away. This woman’s attention turned from her garden to preparing to share her home with her sister’s four children. God suddenly started a new chapter in her life cultivating young people instead of plants. Perhaps she and the children will soon be able to enjoy gardening together as a way of therapy while mourning the loss of their mother and sister. Regardless, this woman turned her attention to care for her nieces and nephews in an act of compassion that needed to happen for the sake of this family.
Sometimes things beyond our immediate control vie for our attention. Things such as injuries, illnesses, major life changes, and loss affect us all at some time. A lot of us find it difficult to stay focused because of health problems. We struggle to see how we can positively impact others when we feel that we have lost control of our own lives.
Sometimes our attention drifts to unimportant and even dangerous things because we aren’t as focused as we should be. We get distracted by our strengths and weaknesses, our passions and desires, and our fears.
We waste time with strangers on social media in heated political or religious debates, and then still in defense mode, we argue with our spouse over bills or dinner plans. We may not intend to neglect our 8 year old needing help with math or basketball, but we do so because we are determined to have our personal workout hour every day after we leave the office. Only after our children stop telling us about school at the dinner table, they quit the team, or get a D in math do we wonder where we went wrong.
The Danger of Distractions
Satan tries to use all distractions—necessary and unnecessary—against us. American Writer Bruce Sterling said, “One of the points about distractions is that everything that they do is destabilizing.” In the moment we let our guard down, we are affected by satan’s attacks. Whether we are on cloud nine because of good things or we are emotionally exhausted from trials we have been facing, satan attacks the unguarded areas in our lives.
Distraction Leads to Discouragement
Satan uses distractions to discourage us from completing a God-given task. He hopes to divert our attention to people who are gossiping behind the scenes, to numbers and statistics showing a lack of engagement, or to other things we could be doing instead, and the list goes on.
The fact is that if God gives you something to do, do it, no matter what. Don’t get distracted or discouraged. Distractions will always be there. Keep your heart fixed on God. Psalm 57:7 says, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” The repetition here seems to show the psalmist is encouraging his own focus and determination.
When satan uses other people to distract and discourage you, remember to “cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved…Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days” (Psalm 55:22-23).
Safe from the Storm of Distraction
We are safe from satan’s attacks when we are praising God. He inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) Focusing on God, we don’t focus on the enemy, the battle or winning. We just focus on our High Commander in Heaven who also lives in our hearts guiding and strengthening us to win the war.
King David was a man of many sorrows. He had to flee and hide for his very life more than once. He remained focused on God instead of the many distractions before him. He earnestly and honestly petitioned God for His help. Psalm 56:9-13 is an example of his honest praise and petition. Notice that praise is where there is power to ignore life-threatening distractions.
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back:
This I know; for God is for me.
In God will I praise His word:
In the Lord will I praise His word.
In God have I put my trust:
I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Thy vows are upon me, O God:
I will render praises unto thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death:
Wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God in the light of the living?
The Power of Disengagement
In traditional warfare, one strategy to win the battle is to not engage with distractions. Certainly there are distractions that demand our attention, but continuing to focus on the initiative, we will minimize unnecessary engagement with distractions. Remember that distractions are part of a strategy by the enemy to expose or create a weak spot to attack.
So even when you should divert your attention to something else, don’t forget your initiative. Our initiative should be to seek God’s leading and praise Him no matter our circumstances. By doing this, you destroy the enemy’s opportunity to turn a distraction into your disaster. James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.”
*For more on distractions, please read blog post for May 21, Dealing with Distractions.
In light of the current condition of our nation and our world, it’s easy for one to question if God has given up on us and left us to our follies and pitfalls.
God didn’t give up on the Israelites. They did suffer the consequences of their choices, but God never gave up on them. His relentless love was committed beyond their present rebellion and idolatry.
God doesn’t give up on us, either, individuals or nations. We suffer the consequences of our choices, but God never gives up on us.
Sometimes we feel alone and think that God must have given up and forgotten about us. It’s important to remember that feelings often don’t reflect reality. Feelings can confuse us and distort our perspective. This is one of satan’s most powerful tools.
God is the God of perpetual chances. He never disinvites us from a close relationship with Him. When we feel as though God left us, the reality is that we left Him.
Our past is not a deterrent to God’s invitation to us. Look at Jesus’ interactions with folks everywhere He went. He invited them to leave their old choices and live a better life in Him. He didn’t first consider if their past mistakes made them worthy. We are all unworthy. Even on the cross, Jesus forgave his accusers, his murderers, and the thief next to Him.
It takes more than Jesus’ forgiveness of our past and His invitation for us to live the abundant life in Him as He designed and desires. It takes our positive response—our trust and willingness to go His way and not our own. Though Jesus forgave those who spat on Him, beat Him, tore His clothes, and cast lots for them, His forgiveness didn’t give them a better life. They would have to choose that. God gives us the freedom of choice. We can live in Him or apart from Him.
From the examples in the Old Testament of God blessing those who chose Him and the examples in the New Testament of the blessing to those who chose Jesus, we know that we have the option to choose God and be blessed, or we can choose ourselves and suffer the consequences. We can love God because He first loved us. He loved every person before he or she was born, and He beckons each person to a close relationship with Him (John 3:16, 1 John 3:16-21, 1 John 4:19).
We can choose to love God or walk away. We can accept or reject (deny) the truth. All three chapters of 2 Thessalonians speak of the consequences to those who choose to walk away. 2 Thessalonians 2:10b-11 says of those that perish that they perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
We see the same warnings in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)
According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word paradidomi, used in verse 24 to say that God “gave them up” means “to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon shows the uses of this word to mean “to give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use: to deliver to one something; to commit, to commend; to deliver verbally; to permit, allow.” God hands over or lets folks go toward their own desires after they continually refuse to turn to Him.
Some people say that God abandons us or gives up on us. He will give us up to our own desires, but He never gives up on us. It’s all about our freedom to choose God or something else. God never forces Himself on anyone, but He patiently extends an invitation to us all to know Him better. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
By nature, humans love to run. We try to run our own way. God puts a better option in our path. Sometimes we are so bent on our own desires that we ignore God’s beckoning and the better option He provides. The more we run from God, the easier running becomes. The farther away from God we run, the less distinctly we hear His still small voice leading us to the best life in Him.
If I were a cartoonist, I would sketch it in this way: God’s mighty hand holding back a man by the back of his pants while the googly-eyed man drooled and scrambled to reach a desire in front of him. God tries to prevent our calamity. He holds us back while showing us a better way—His way. But when we choose to focus on our own desires, we lose focus on Him, making it harder to know the choice He presents for us to walk away from our sinful desires.
When we continue to pull away from God so hard for so long to reach our own desires, He eventually lets us have what we want and what comes with it—negative consequences.
Our stubborn pride is our downfall. Throughout history, recorded in the Bible and otherwise, we see pride comes before the fall of any person or group of people. And now we live in a culture that celebrates pride. Lipstick on the pig doesn’t change it to something beautiful. It is what it is, and pride is a sin.
God’s Word is thick with promises of rewards to those who seek God with their whole heart and of punishments to those who chase their own desires. Seeking God earnestly, knowing that you need Him, is all it takes for Him to be closer to you.
Words drive our emotions. They drive us toward love and anger, to embrace or reject others. We judge others by their words and the actions behind them. We are formed by our own words and the actions that follow.
The only times I fought as a kid were when a bully was picking on me or others. It happened twice both ways—twice a new girl, bigger than all peers once, and bigger than most peers once, bullied a group of girls. Both times I attempted to end the verbal harassment by physical assault. Once I ended up in the hospital with a concussion after being kicked repeatedly almost the length of the gym. My only other two near fights were when I was being picked on by a boy for my size and annoyingly high-pitched voice. Not surprisingly, I never fought anyone my own size. Most small—bodied kids were smart enough not to fight, especially opponents much larger and stronger. In that way, I was a very slow learner.
I learned a valuable lesson years ago, that my interactions with others are more about my relationship with God than with that person. Yesterday after hanging up the phone from filling my mom in on my current car repair saga, that lesson evolved, causing a heaviness of guilt after I called someone a bad name. No matter how worthy I rationalize a person to be of that title, my name-calling shows my need for more self-control.
Admittedly, self-control has always been an issue when I feel an injustice has been done. It’s a vice that I consciously must walk away from. Injustice lit my fire as a feisty kid, and it still does. But I’m no longer an 8 year-old whose actions can be excused as spunky and plausible.
While right is right and wrong is wrong, it applies to the whole picture, including the unseen—our relationship with our Savior. We represent Him in all we do, good and bad.
Calling one person a bad name to one other person is a sin. When I called the person a derogatory title, I let those words leave my mouth and enter the ear and mind of the listener. We have no control over how our words affect those who hear them. Satan is crafty to drop little weed seeds like my derogatory comment to negatively affect a person’s connection with God and compassion for others.
Empowered by the wisdom gained years ago through Stephen R. Covey’s training--The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I still have to make a conscious effort to be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek to understand, then to be understood, empathically listen, and seek creative cooperation. I learned these principles in an in-depth 8 week training course and realized though not explicitly, they all have the wisdom of scripture to back them up.
While vengeance is God’s business, rebuke is part of being a wise, compassionate Christian. Proverbs 27:5-7 shows the benefit of speaking the truth in love for rebuke, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”
Prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul confronted sin. Confronting sin is not wrong. However, who we speak to and how are as important as about what and why we speak. God’s Word teaches us to speak wisely, informed, full of compassion, with civility.
I love Shakespeare’s words in All’s Well That Ends Well: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” These words echo Biblical advice in how to conduct our behavior and speech.
The instructions for Christian living in Ephesians 4:17-32 include the command to “be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil,” (verses 26-27). This applies to our thoughts, actions, and speech—our entire life.
Words and how they are used are powerful tools. Proverbs contains much advice regarding prudent speech:
Proverbs 11:9, “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor: But through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”
Proverbs 12:18, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: But the tongue of the wise is health.”
Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: But the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
Proverbs 15:14, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: But the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.”
Proverbs 16:29, “A violent man enticeth his neighbor, And leadeth him into the way that is not good.”
Proverbs 18:7-8, “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Proverbs 21:23, ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”
Proverbs 23:12, “Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.”
Proverbs 25:18, “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
These are only snippets of wisdom. The full chapters in Proverbs from which these verses are gleaned contain much more about the power of our words.
As I recognize that a problem with the tongue is a problem with self-control, I feel Proverbs 25:28 is also fitting, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Psalm 19:14 should be more than a verse we memorize as kids in Sunday school; it should be more than a hopeful mantra; it should be our sturdy determination with each choice we make with our words and actions: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. This in mind, the God who created us knows the battle we face trying to rule our tongue.
We have encouragement in James 3 to realize how unruly the tongue is and how helpless we are to change it without our first being changed by Christ’s love and our relationship with Him as our Savior.
This chapter discusses how the tongue is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (verse 8) but ends with how we can use our tongue for good with pure, peacable wisdom from above that is “gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (verse 17).
I hang my head in sorrow for my vileness as I surrender to God’s goodness and invitation to me: “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (verse 18).
Following is admonition from the New Testament to be careful of our words:
Matthew 12:36-37, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Romans 14:12, “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
Ephesians 4:22, “Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Titus 3:2, “Speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
A remarkable real-life story of how one man tamed his temper and became a life-saving pediatric neurosurgeon and great humanitarian is Ben Carson’s story, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. In it, Mr. Carson, says, “I came to realize that if people could make me angry they could control me. Why should I give someone else such power over my life?”
Often we lash out in frustration or disappointment because we feel we have lost control of a situation. As we lash out, our health pays the price. “‘There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,’ says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health” (Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It, hopkinsmedicine.org).
Swartz suggests the following steps can help one develop a more forgiving attitude:
Reflect and remember. The events, how you felt and reacted, and how the anger and hurt have since affected you.
Empathize with the other person. They may have past trauma that causes their current response.
Forgive deeply. This comes in part by understanding that no one is perfect. It also occurs whether the person deserves or asks for your forgiveness.
Let go of expectations. Don’t expect your forgiveness or your apology to elicit such from the other person. Also don’t expect it to improve your relationship.
Decide to forgive. A deliberate choice sealed with the action of doing so.
Forgive yourself. Realize that you aren’t responsible for the actions of another.
Though I have come a long way since taking upon myself the elementary school title of Justice Jeanie, I must determine to remain cool when thinking about the injustice, when interacting with the person who exacted the injustice, and if, when, and how I relate it to others.
Gossip is a sin. Always evaluate the purpose and possible outcomes of your sharing a personal experience or interaction. If the purpose and outcome aren’t purely edification, just don’t talk about it. This way, you’ll avoid gossip and the nasty harvest it brings.
It’s impossible to keep our cool when we focus primarily on the injustice. When we view the injustice in light of our relationship with God as a privilege and responsibility to show another person God’s way of not only love, but honesty, and doing what is right, we are blessed with peace as we plant a seed in the other person of what is right in God’s eyes. Remember, perspective dictates perception and purpose. Don’t view yourself as a victim but as an ambassador of God. You’ll be empowered to bring the light to the darkness.
We all have goals and desire success. How we construct and pursue our goals and what we view as success determines how we choose to live each day. It’s important for us to have a correct perspective and to build on a sure foundation.
Correctly define success. It’s important that we align our definition of success to God. Zig Ziglar said, “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty.” Stephen R. Covey said, “If you carefully consider what you wanted to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success.” We all want to hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” but are we living each day aligned with God to bring Him honor and glory in our calling? Are you truly living to one day have Jesus say those words to you, or are you living for a pat on the back from someone else?
Submit to God. He works in the present, regardless of our past. Look at some of the major players in God’s Word—Moses, King David, and Paul. They all committed murder, yet as they sought God and turned away from themselves, God used them in mighty ways. Psalm 37:4-5 advises us all to “delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
Set goals. Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” God’s Word instructs us to seek Him, plan wisely, and work diligently, having our confidence in Him and not ourselves. Planning in the Lord is a must for success. Luke 14:28 asks, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
Understand your timeline. What’s it based on? Is it set in stone or flexible? Remember that God’s timeline may not match our expectations for reaching our goal. God reminds us in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
Enjoy what you do. God’s work is not drudgery. There’s a joy and peace in knowing that you are doing what God calls you to. Charles Stanley shares in the foreword to his book God Has a Plan for Your Life, “It all begins with faith in an all-powerful, loving Savior who has your very best in mind—always. Once you place your faith in Him, nothing can hold you back from gaining the peace and contentment that He has for you.” Is your work drudgery or workplay? Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Hard work is enjoyable when you have peace and joy in your heart. That doesn’t remove difficulty, but it does take away drudgery.
Do it daily. Work diligently every day with your goal in mind. Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” To borrow from the beloved deceased American writer and motivational speaker, Napoleon Hill, “It’s not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts.” Zig Ziglar also said, “You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.” Consider the advice to the sluggard in Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” The ant gets it done, working day in and day out, for the present and the future.
Develop good habits. To begin working toward your goal, “Begin with the end in mind,” Stephen R. Covey teaches in his best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He defines a habit as “the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.” In order to develop good habits, it’s important to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), cast “down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2Corinthians 10:5), and think on things that are “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue and praise” (Philippians 4:8).
Don’t stop short. God calls us to work diligently in well doing and know that “in due season we will reap if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Proverbs 12:27 says, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.” Don’t waste what God has blessed. You must finish the job, persevering to the end, to enjoy the fruit of your labor.
You reap what you sow. Effort reaps results, not perfection. Do your part and trust God for the harvest. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the Lord says; He promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly.” If we sow peace in faithfulness to God, we will reap that peace. If we sow in folly, that will we also reap. You cannot plant green beans and expect to harvest tomatoes.
Know if you are content or complacent. Being content means knowing that you are diligently seeking God, and you are working as He leads. Complacency results from stagnating and becoming satisfied with your current success. John C. Maxwell states in his book, The Success Journey, “Complacency kills growth.”
Don’t live in the past. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul encourages believers to persevere: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t let fear freeze you. Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton said, “Fear causes people to draw back from situations; it brings on mediocrity; it dulls creativity; it sets one up to be a loser in life.” American Businessman David Joseph Schwartz said, “Do what you fear and fear disappears.” 1 Peter 5:7 encourages, “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Don’t be dissuaded by critics. Understand that others may not understand or support your goals. Regardless, God calls us to live peaceably as much as possible. Charles R. Swindoll says in A Life Well Lived, “Humility chooses a gentle response to the petty hostility of critics.” Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Rest assured that in doing God’s will, you will encounter opposition and criticism, often from surprising sources, but you can remain in God’s peace by not engaging in confrontation with your critics.
Carefully craft your circle. American Businessman David Joseph Schwartz said, “If you want to be the best, hang out with the best.” Colin Powell said, “A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” Proverbs 13:20 says, He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
Know that you set an example, no matter what you do. Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we always affect others with what we do, good or bad: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Pair success with leadership. According to Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “The basic task of leadership is to increase the standard of living and the quality of life for all stakeholders.” We should seek to improve our craft and share with others. Many writers who’ve “made it” with dozens of New York Times bestsellers continue to mentor younger writers. Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series, is just one example. “Those who continue along the path of a life well lived will not only gain the pleasure of spending their years in a worthy pursuit; they will also enjoy the crowning reward of finishing well.” (Charles R. Swindoll, A Life Well Lived).
So if you want to be successful, seek God, and the rest will surely follow, just as Jesus promises in Matthew 6:33.
Let me leave you with these wise words from Dr. Charles F. Stanley:
“The circumstances of your life are extremely important. Never ignore them because they are exactly what God uses to direct your life and to reveal His promise to you. When God is involved, it is never a matter of luck or good fortune. There is no such thing as luck in the life of a believer. It is the hand of God that opens and closes the doors you face each day. There is no chance encounter—just the divine moments when God moves to answer your prayers and accomplish His purposes.”
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey
The Book of Joshua in the Bible
The Success Journey: The Process of Living Your Dreams, John C. Maxwell
The One Year Daily Insights, Zig Ziglar
Developing the Qualities of Success: How to Stay Motivated, Zig Ziglar
Born to Win: Find Your Success, Zig Ziglar
A Life Well Lived, Charles R. Swindoll
God Has a Plan for Your Life, Charles F. Stanley
I'm tired of running from God and am trying to learn to run to Him instead.