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« Tertiary Politics | Main | The Basics of Balance »

Life 101

Wake up on your own.  “I myself will awake early.” Psalm 108:2.  It’s a familiar scene: you oversleep and miss an important appointment. You stayed up too late the night before, morning light has not yet seeped through the window, and the soft, warm bed is just too cozy. Suddenly, the realization that you are going to be late rudely interrupts your glorious rest. Unfortunate sleepyhead that you are, you then bolt upright, rush around furiously brushing teeth, combing hair, ransacking drawers for socks or belts, and venting frustration at other people in the house for letting it happen.

“Why did you let me sleep?” you charge. “You knew I had to get up at six!” It’s hard for the rest of the household not to feel guilty when the barrage starts.

“I don’t know, dear. I thought you knew…I thought you were up…I got busy watering the flowers…I’m sorry…”

Come on. The truth is that the responsibility to roll out of bed belongs to you alone. If help is needed, alarm clocks have been around for a long time, and they’re not that hard to operate. Failure to get up in the morning lies with one’s own laziness, lack of motivation and indolent attitude. But, rather than admit such character flaws, it’s much easier to blame everybody else. The slothful man only has himself to blame. “[As] the door turneth upon his hinges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed.” Proverbs. 26:14.

In the same vein, there are a number of other basic truths to life need to be mentioned as well. Some are practical, some are common sense, some are spiritual principles.  All of them are important.

Learn to talk. Quit growling, grunting and slurring. Speak up, say it right, say it kindly.

“Do people ask you to repeat yourself because they didn’t quite catch what you were saying? Every time you speak to a single person or a group of people, they need to hear clearly the words that you say. So often, we are tired, or it is the umpteenth time that you’ve repeated the same speech, or you never move your lips or jaw when you speak.”  Brenda Smith

Learn to Read. Not how to read, but the practice of reading. Know what’s going on in the world. The more you know, the more interesting you become. Learn new words. If you don’t use them, at least understand them.

What should you read?  Read the Bible, Christian books, documentaries, historical novels, self-improvement books, informational books and articles.  Keep a dictionary handy or use the internet to look up definitions.  The reason people do not read is because they think they don’t like to do it.  The way to overcome that is just to start.

Get a job and keep it. “And that ye…do your own business, and to work with your own hands.” 1Thessalonians 4:11 . “…If any would not work, neither should he eat.” II Thessalonians 3:10.  St. Francis of Assisi is credited with the saying, “Preach the gospel always; if necessary, use words.”  Let me adapt this to getting a job.  “Work always.  If possible, do it for pay.”

Would you work for nothing?  Sure.  That’s what volunteering is all about.  Students go to school for nothing.  In fact, they pay to go.  Isn’t that the equivalent of paying to go to work?  When you work, you usually learn something.  Even if you don’t, you are keeping yourself occupied and out of trouble.

Use manners. “Manners are of more importance than laws…Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.” Edmund Burke. “Please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” still work. Respect and courtesy still work. Consider the feelings of others.

Be on time. When you are consistently late, you are stealing from the other person’s time. It is selfish, rude, insensitive, and usually unnecessary. 

Don’t expect special privileges. “For I say…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3  Earn your keep. Only God gives us grace.

Keep your word. You will never be taken seriously unless you keep your word. “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12

Tell the truth. “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17 “Walk honestly toward them that are without.” 1Thessalonians 4:12  Some people are confused about telling the truth.  It does not mean that you tell everything you know.  It means that you refuse to deceive anyone.   

Take care of your name.  Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.  Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Your name is you.  When your name is mentioned, the response people give is a referendum on their opinion of you.  Don’t do anything to cast suspicion on your name.  If your name comes under attack, take the necessary steps to clear it up.  No one else will be as protective of your name as you are. 

Pay your bills. You are the only one who is responsible for your debts. If you cannot control your credit cards, tear them up. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8. This means denying yourself luxuries you can’t afford. You live a lie when you pamper yourself with things you can’t pay for. For momentary pleasure, you ruin your peace of mind. If you can’t pay the bills you have, you can’t afford a cell phone, a membership to the spa or a vacation to Florida.

Don’t freeload. Moocher, beggar, bum, bummer, drone, freeloader, gate-crasher, hobo, idle , loafer, lounge lizard, mendicant order, nonworker, goof-off, panhandler, parasite, scrounger, sponger, tramp, drifter.

Human parasites cost somebody money. Don’t force someone to throw you out on your ear, and then complain that they are so mean.

Stop wasting time. Too many people spend inordinate amounts of time watching TV, DVD’s, reading trashy magazines and books.  These worthless activities waste time as well as cause moral and spiritual harm. Stop other non-productive activities such as excessive day-dreaming, addiction to games and general laziness. Idleness is condemned in 1 Timothy 5:13  “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”

Why do people waste time?  They are afraid of the task before them; they lack motivation; they lack a vision for their lives.

Plan your day.

  1. Something Spiritual
  2. Something Productive
  3. Something Familial
  4. Something Physical
  5. Something Playful
  6. Something Financial
  7. Something Educational

Do not be afraid of commitment.

  • You do your best work when you make a commitment.
  • Others are more confident in you when they know you are committed.
  • The stronger the commitment the greater the power to focus.

Love truth.

  • “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32
  • Knowing the facts about God and the Bible is not the same as knowing truth.
  • Truth in context, in depth of field, gives it texture, character, personal meaning.
  • This is what it means to love the truth.

You Alone Are Responsible for Yourself

What’s the bottom line? Stop counting on others to wake you up, prop you up, pick you up or pump you up. Do the basic tasks that life requires. As long as you continue to manufacture truckloads of excuses to cover your faults and failures instead of addressing the real problem, you will never win. God’s word places the responsibility for yourself on your own shoulders. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” II Corinthians 13:5


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Reader Comments (1)

Really nice :)

September 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy Manuel

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