Boy, once you start getting honest with yourself, there’s just no end to it. LOL It seems that there are a whole bunch of people that live life with unmet needs and just like in the other categories of life, folks just aren’t being honest with themselves. I’ve heard people reduce need down to the most basic aspects of life. In other words, all you need is food, water and shelter. People in prison have food, water and shelter! So it must be more than that, right? Then there’s also other people that want to define your need for you. Interestingly, what you need is always a little less than what they have… And, I don’t even want to get into that whole religious mind-set that convinces you everything is greed! Note to self ~ when you have the thought that you are being greedy, you probably aren’t! Greedy people never give greed a second thought. God never said money was evil, by the way. It’s the LOVE of money that is the root system of all evil. Someone on Facebook said recently, “money is evil, so you should always make sure you don’t have too much of it!” LOL really? Here’s a NEWSFLASH people, money is our means of exchange nowadays! Things you need cost money and if you don’t have enough you live with unmet needs. I really believe that God wants us to have an abundance in every category of life, including money. Now hear me out before you accuse me of being Creflo Dollar! Haha Why is it that Christian folk always want to sputter when the discussion of money comes up? And conversely, why do Christian folk go with unmet needs being a child of the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills? If God really is a God of abundance and promises us abundance, why do we work so hard to limit that definition? You see, you can’t really believe God for the abundance He promised until you get that “God wants me poor (suffering, downtrodden, humble)” logic out of your head! Quit the double-talk where you justify not having enough of what you need by saying stuff like, “Well, at least I woke up today!” LOL second NEWSFLASH ~ waking up is normal, not waking up is unusual! Add to that statements like, “Well, abundance isn’t always material things!” Not it’s obviously not always material things, but that’s not a sufficient justification for not having your needs met. See, just not being honest with yourself….
This isn’t a criticism for not having your needs met, however! I too am human and I too have unmet needs! What I’m gettin’ at is, number one, being honest about what your needs are and, two, getting serious about getting those needs met! Look, I’m a parent and if my kids really need something and I have the resources, I buy it! I’ve paid $125 bucks because someone “needed” some Jordans! LOL I didn’t even bother to spend the time and energy to convince them that all they really “needed” was the Chucks (cool slang term for canvas Converse)! So, if I have that kind of love and generosity (yes, generosity because Jordans aren’t in the parent guide), then what about God who has unlimited resources? You’ve got to cleanse your brain of that beggar logic, folks! Here’s a supposition: If God is all-powerful and unlimited in His ability, and if God is my Father and I am His son, and if God loves and cares for His children at least as well as earthly parents do (sarcasm applied on purpose) ~ then what can’t I ask Him for (ask in the sense of believing)? If we are going to apply logic to God (what a thought!) (and, even the word for “The Word” is logos ~ logic) then we need to be honest and carry it all the way through! For example, if I need a car, and believing equals receiving, and I’m responsible for what I believe for, why on earth would I believe to get some old clunker that barely runs and is broken every other day? Because that’s all I can afford? Unmet need appears! Do you get it? Does God want me to drive the clunker that I cannot rely on? Is there a limit to what He can do? Maybe a car won’t appear by the mailbox (“The Secret” slam number 87!) but maybe, just maybe God could work in me to get the money I need to buy the car! The $500 dollar clunker? Noooooooooooooooooo! The one I really need! Say what you want; call me covetous and greedy, but the honest truth is that what “I” need is what “I” need and I am the only one that defines that! Don’t make the mistake of allowing other folks to define that for you!
Being honest with yourself and getting your needs met means that you identify what you need in life and then going out believing that you can and will get it! God is on your side on this one folks! Having your needs unmet is not a normal part of life. You owe it to yourself and the One that promised to supply all of your need, to believe to get your needs met and you have the glorious privilege to decide what those needs are! Old “Job” in the Bible had a lot of stuff as a testimony to what God will do for a man or woman when they believe Him without reservations:
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. Job 1:1-3
Damn Job was greedy, right? LOL I think not! Did old Job really “need” 7000 sheep? Haha probably not, but I bet he had enough resources to not only take care of his life, but to help many other people as well! You see, God wants you to have in abundance so that you can give, not of out of your need, but out of your abundance! It’s not noble to help other people and starve in the process. Have to give!! (Emphasis on that you first have!)
So now is the time to wake up out of that lethargic, limited mind-set and go out and be a winner! Achieve, succeed, be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem! JZ said, “I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them!” Life isn’t about the “haves” and the have-nots!” Life is about learning who God really is and how He really wants you to live! Abundance in everything!
Be the head and not the tail!!!
Just some good thoughts…
Do you remember when we were all enamored with”The Secret?” Don’t get me wrong, I loved the principles that were revealed. I mean really, how many people connect what they believe and expect with anything that happens in their life? Not many I suppose. Most people seem to think that achievement happens because some external something makes something happen and often that something comes along quite unexpectedly. Well, it’s safe to say that’s not true. But, what I really didn’t like was that message that appealed to our “inner-lazy” by saying we could mentally expect money and somehow money would start showing up in the mailbox. Life, real life doesn’t work like that. Even God who isn’t limited by anything brings us our hearts desires as we believe Him and does so in the context of how life works. In other words, He’s not a weird, mysterious genie sitting in the clouds waiting to freak our minds out! LOL So in keeping with our theme, “Be honest with yourself,” how do we achieve our goals? How do we get the things in life that we say we so earnestly want? Do things really happen by happenstance or serendipity? Is it luck? (How can someone not believe in God but believe in luck? ~ I digress…)
Today I had an epiphany or an Oprah “ah-ha” moment! It happened as I was reading through some older life goals. By older I mean this year and the year before and the year before. Interestingly, my 2010, 2011 and 2012 goals were the same (I’m consistent I guess…). Apparently, I’m very clear about what I want (smile). But here’s where it gets very telling. Of all of the grand goals of success that I had planned, only one was accomplished; getting an MBA. Oh yeah baby, that one is in the books! But why did I achieve that one and not the others? Oh you could make the argument (if you weren’t being honest for my sake) that you can only pursue one thing at a time. But in reality, I got my MBA in 18 months and my goals go back to 2010 (I’ll wait while you do the math!) In fact, now that I’m being honest, most of those major goals I had back in 2007. So, why did I achieve one and not the others? Why do many people not get what they want out of life? Because there is a major difference between believing and just plain old wishing. Believing, expecting, whatever you want to call it, always has some element of action in it. For example, if at this very moment you believed the roof would cave in, my guess is that you would be well on your way out of the living room. But, if you simply wished it would cave in (come on go with me here…maybe you want to claim your insurance or would like it fall on your spouse 🙂 ) chances are you would still be sitting in that exact spot watching the Kardashians! You starting to get the picture? Wishing is passive and leads to nothing! I’ll say it again, wishing is passive and leads to nothing; nada; zip! People who wish for things spend a lot of time wishing and a lot of time watching TV. Year after year, same hopes, same dreams, same wishes… I got my MBA because I took action! I finally got off my butt (or but 😉 ) and started it! It was self-paced, but not really because every semester costs money. Since I don’t have unlimited funds yet…I was motivated to work on it. I studied when I wanted to drink Cabernet. I studied on the weekend when fun stuff surrounded me. I studied at night when I was tired (because after-all I work full-time…poor me). I set a plan, mostly stuck to that plan (mostly) and chipped away at it. Every week I had a telephone call with my student mentor (the sweetest mentor a man could ask for). Unbeknownst to me at the time, that weekly call held me accountable. It wasn’t that I dreaded being berated by my mentor (see previous comment regarding sweetest…), it was that I didn’t want to get on the phone with her and tell her that I didn’t do anything…(being honest with myself).
So how do you accomplish your goals and get to what you really do want and stop just existing in your own life? You have to set a plan and work your plan (emphasis on work). Sure you should still pray about it! Sure you should still expect God to give you the desires of your heart, like He promised! But just try to imagine how God is going to bring you to that thing while you are STILL watching the Kardashians. The genie maybe, but not God! I met a lady who got that same MBA in 4 months and 10 days. When she told me, I consoled myself by thinking she obviously didn’t work full-time like me (more poor me…) until she said she also worked full-time! Dang it. Note to self ~ you can get your MBA in 4 months and 10 days! She probably didn’t have time for anything else, but now 4 months and 10 days later she has lots of time!
If you are serious about accomplishing your goals (short sacrifices for long results), you have to get serious about working on them. Life is short (says the 51-year-old)! Whatever price you have to pay in the here and now is wayyyyyyyy (Utah expression used for emphasis) worth it when compared to the remainder of your life! If I told you, you could have 5 million dollars if you dug 1000 feet deep in a certain spot, my guess is that you would find a way to dig down 1000 feet! Even if you had to sell your house to fund the expedition (and you knew beyond all doubt that the money was there) – one more house would be listed on the MLS… That is “real life” believing!
So, take some time to revisit those goals you wrote down once. Ask yourself, is it worth it? Would the life you would be living then be that much better than the life you are living today? If the answer is yes, then make your plan! Even the worst salesman on earth will be successful if he makes enough calls! Make the calls folks. Set your goal; break it down into months and weeks and days. Then, do what you said you were going to do today, then tomorrow, then tomorrow, then tomorrow. In no time at all you will be living what was once just an idle wish. There is really no other way to do it!
That’s the secret!
I often hear people blame their difficulties on their parents and how they were treated when they grew up. You know the story, right? My daddy didn’t love me! My parents didn’t give me the love or encouragement I needed, therefore the troubles I’m going through today aren’t really my fault, right? Daddy didn’t treat me right, mommy didn’t treat me right, and I was so young and impressionable! Well, my wife and I were on this topic today (and a blog was born!). How many folks in the world do you suppose really grew up in a totally loving, encouraging, God-inspired environment? Really, how many? Less than 5%, 2%? I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of people grew up with parents that were less than perfect as becomes obvious when you have the privilege (or responsibility) to be a parent yourself. I believe parents often say and do things that hurt their kids because they aren’t thinking about their kids, they are thinking about themselves. Welcome to the human experience!
So, what does that have to do with the mental malady called, “I don’t measure up?” Well, quite a bit actually. Living in the world, we are all subject to messages; messages that are always trying to convince us of one big thing. That ‘thing’ is that we are not good enough. Not good enough to have good things happen in our lives; not good enough for God’s love and protection; not good enough to be and do the things we dream of being and doing. If I was the adversary, that great opponent of mankind, and I knew that people’s lives were lived in direct proportion to what they believed (expected) in their hearts, then it would make perfect sense for me to focus my energy on getting those same people to focus on themselves and what was wrong with themselves. Convince them to spend their days and nights rehearsing and cataloging all the things that weren’t so good about them and how they failed to measure up! Then, as the ultimate dagger, convince them that they are not good enough for God’s love and blessing in their lives. And, as a consequence to that, watch their believing diminish to beggar levels. And while they are experiencing a good case of the ‘not worthys’ they are sitting ducks for similar insane doctrines like, “God wants you to be poor to keep you humble” and, “money is evil and it’s better not to have any or at least not have much!” Hmmm…
So, we are left with the question, are we good enough? Do we deserve the best things in life? The answer surprisingly is not so simple. The answer is yes and no. (Cumon man I was looking for solutions!) God, who dreamed up the idea of people, knows that the basic cry of the heart of man is to be righteous before God; to be worthy of His love and goodness. It’s in man’s heart. Even the person who denies the existence of God still has to ‘make himself’ right in order to feel worthy or deserving of good things. You can hear it in the things people say. “I try to live a good life!” “I give to the poor!” “I always try to give back!” Feeling worthy of good things has a huge impact on what people believe they can achieve and receive. Yet the problem is how can we become worthy? After all, if we are besieged daily with the message that we are not worthy or that we don’t measure up, how can we become worthy? What can we do to measure up? Here’s the yes and no part. No you cannot measure up to become worthy on your own. You cannot! Do you hear me? Cannot! You cannot make yourself good enough. Oh you can make yourself feel better or you can make yourself feel righteous by doing righteous acts, but in that pursuit you are going to find out the hard way that, that course has no end-point. Today’s righteousness won’t be good enough for tomorrow’s righteous requirements and so on and so on… This is the hamster wheel called religion. Give up this; say no to that; more discipline; more sweat; more sacrifice; soon God (or substitute Dad/Mom) will love me, right? It’s a lost cause folks. God, being all-knowing, knew that man in his fallen state could never live up to what it would take to make himself righteous before Him, so he did something spectacular. He made man worthy by something that He (God) did and not by what man did/does. He gave His perfect son, the worthy (and only guy that ever lived up to it) for the unworthy. He did it and He did it by His grace. So, yes…He made us deserving; He made us worthy! That’s why He is God! He is cool like that!
So, what is our response? Stop trying to measure up! Stop trying to earn anyone’s love! Love cannot be earned. Take the time to learn who God made you to be and walk out on what He said. Come on man, you’ve already spent a hundred years listening to the wrong source (even if it came via Daddy). You have already accepted that foul message that said you didn’t deserve to have or be anything in life. Don’t fight that fire with more fire, pour a little truth on it and watch the flames flicker out. You show me an unsuccessful person (side-note: money aint the only measure of success) and I will show you a person who doesn’t see any value in themselves. You see, none of us have much value in just ourselves. Our value comes from God. If God says you are righteous and holy, then by God you are righteous and you are holy, if the world never agrees with you!
Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of the “measure-up” malady for another second. Take a look at the folks you see enjoying success and ask yourself, how righteous of their own works are they? Haha All of us are about one misstep away from behaving badly, so don’t be so hard on yourself. In fact, get your mind off yourself and on to what God has done for you in Christ Jesus. Shift your focus away from the impossible (becoming worthy/deserving) to the possible (God has made me worthy/deserving)!
And finally, don’t be sad because Daddy didn’t say he loved you; God is the best Daddy ever and He is telling you He loves you right now! 😉
You are worth it…
Just some good thoughts…
You know there’s a whole lot more to being honest with yourself than simply getting rid of fear, though that is a massive subject of its own. Since we are on the thought, how about those other categories of our lives? You know what I mean, right? Those pesky little “hold-backs” that put roadblocks and obstacles in our path, need a little further illumination. Here’s a simple, yet enlightening example. For about the last 10-15 years I have been obsessing over losing weight. I’m older now (haha) and have carried an unfriendly companion with me for almost all of those years. You see, that gut and those love handles have been taunting me from the mirror for over a decade. Sure, there has always been something I could do about it, but somehow I didn’t. Like the now famous book said, I have been battling not with 50 pounds or even 30 pounds, but a measly little 15 pounds. How long does it take or how much discipline is required to lose 15 pounds? Not much, I imagine. So how can a man spend over a decade being unhappy with his own image in the mirror? Well, that thought is the subject of Part Two.
Why would we ever contemplate putting up with something for 15 years? Why does anyone live with the things they detest? Because we aren’t being honest with ourselves, that’s why. The reality of being overweight is that we consume more calories than we burn (simple physics, but not so simple when the human mind gets involved). Sure our “older” bodies burn calories at the speed of rats struggling in a sea of molasses, but still…15 pounds? Okay so we want to lose the gut, but we want to savor the flavor of the food (or drink) more. Honest! Chances are if you are overweight, you like to eat and eating (desire) overrides discipline. Simple. We can say no. We can always say no! Truth is we don’t want to say no! We like to eat. Blaming thyroids, medications, genetics etc. etc. is just not being honest with ourselves. That’s not being mean, that’s being honest. 🙂 (smile supplied to offset angry feelings) I’m not condemning folks that are overweight by any stretch. My message isn’t get thin, be sexy. My message is get honest, do you! If you are okay heavier, then be heavier. But for goodness sakes, don’t play the chase your tail game for another minute. Up down, round and round, distracted, unhappy, yanked around.
You can track this ‘not so nice pattern’ through many areas of your own life. It’s simple, what don’t you like that you CAN do something about? I’m not talking about your brother, LOL, he is who he is. I’m talking about those perennial life suckers. Those “I wish” things. Maybe you hate your job, the boss, the company and all of your co-workers. Yet you stay there year after year. It’s the economy right? Good jobs are hard to find, right? Well, I mean it is comfortable right? Ding, ding, ding, see it? Lying to yourself. Truth is, you just don’t want to deal with the effort (or perceived effort) required to change it. That’s honest, unpleasant perhaps, but honest. Maybe you have always dreamed of being a ________________ (fill in the blank). Well, considering your estimated time allotment on terra firma, you don’t have that much time left. You dream of starting a business, but continue working that job. You remember, the one that you loathe! You dream of writing a book, yet you can always start that next year. Why? Because as long as it is still future you don’t have to deal with it right now. See, lying to yourself is really easy. You don’t like your house because it is too small, too old, to confining. Hmmm… so make some moves toward getting a different one. Wait, I can’t. (ewwww I hate that word) The economy is bad, housing is down, it’s too risky. Here’s a thought. You are going to pay to live anywhere aren’t you? Even welfare housing has a payment. Well, what if you can’t afford the payment? Well, what if the sun crashes into the earth and everyone dies? What if aliens attack and happen to feed on mortgages? You see, we are lying to ourselves!
Being honest with yourself means looking yourself in the eye (not in the gut because you are working on that). Be 100% honest with yourself. Admit to yourself that you are afraid or lazy or whatever, but just say it like it is. Your old mind cannot function on negative realizations and has to justify itself. That’s why we lie. It’s hard to admit that I’m just too lazy to do something about something that has bothered me for 15 years. So, I make excuses, really, really, clever elaborate excuses. But alas, excuses nonetheless…
Get off the hamster wheel folks. Get off the lying track where delusion takes the place of reality and we go on living a life of semi-existence. As my great friend said recently, “quit being a spectator in your own life!” Talk truth to yourself. Take yourself by the mental bootstraps and pull! You really do “only live once” (yolo yolo yolo) and you really do only have one shot at this thing.
So, as I pour another glass of the Carmenere at my Mom’s house and think, “my God this wine is delicious” I remind myself to be honest. And in that honesty I say, yes Tony it is delicious, but you are out of points (WW) so sip it a little more slowly!
One of the great deceptions of the human race is that little thing called,” lying to yourself!” You know how it goes. You are afraid of something and then you make those bravado declarations like, “I’m not scared of anything!” Yet on the inside, you know it aint true. Now maybe you don’t want to broadcast that from the rooftops, but come on now, really? You know if you are afraid of something and the very least you could do is to be honest with yourself. You, my friends, are the only you, you got! You are the only person on earth that has to live in your head and you aint gonna get into someone else’s head. (No matter what anyone says to the contrary) So let’s just get honest, huh?
Maybe it will make more sense if I say it this way. Let’s pretend your mind is like a big old house. (Come on, go with me now!) You probably paid a whole lot of money or owe a whole lot of money for your house (it’s valuable). It’s your house! It’s where you live. It’s where you go (hopefully) to relax. You can be naked in your own house, if you know what I mean. You can sleep in your own house. You can talk out-loud, sing songs, bungle the words, dance a little…hey it’s your house! No-one is allowed in your house without your permission. You can share your house with others if you like them. You can decorate it how you want to and redecorate anytime you want. If it gets too hot, you turn on the AC. If it gets too cold, you turn off the AC (LOL well it is summer). It is your house, you feel me? Now let’s say you have a room in your house that terrifies you. That room just scares you to death. Every time you go in there you shudder and can’t wait to get out of there again. “Maybe I will just avoid that room and not go in there,” said no-one, ever! You would march your butt into that room; declare, “this is my house blankety blank swear words,” and take your room back in your house BECAUSE it is your house! Well, wouldn’t you? Maybe it’s not a scary room, but rather a scary creature that came in uninvited, like a wild dog or a hairy spider or a few million happy little ants. I’m guessing that no matter how much that wild beast scared you, you would do something to get it out of your house! Toss the dog some steak; smash a spider guts; or spray some ‘bona-fide’ ant killer fluid! Something, right? Okay now stay with me… Your mind is a house. It is very, very valuable! You own it outright! You can modify anything in it; you can change anything in it; you can control what goes in there and you can decide who gets to stay and who has to leave!
When you let things that scare you remain in your house and ignore them and talk around them and make excuses for them, you are lying to yourself! You are not being honest with yourself. You are putting on elaborate outfits when you would rather be naked! You are decorating on the top of dirty walls. You are locking the doors to scary rooms and refusing to go in them! Stopppppppppp Itttttttttttttt! You only have one mind (YOLO, YOLO) and you only have one life to live! Be honest; have a talk with Big Poppa and get those wild beasts out of your house once and for all. Make the decision to look them in the eye (a’la James and the Giant Peach) and take it/them on. See what God says about overcoming fear in the Bible (He may just know a thing or two…smile) Getting faded (slang used to show how cool I am) just prolongs your agony. Life is no joke folks and you have to take this stuff seriously. People spend their whole life scared of something and end up missing their whole life! Their whole life!
If you have the courage to take back your house and everything in it, you will make an earth shattering discovery. You will find that life is good (great name for a company). You will find that life is joyful and fun. You will begin to treasure your relationships and all those people in your life. You will appreciate the things God has blessed you with. You might even find yourself inspired to reach out and help somebody else (wink, wink). In short, you will begin to taste that life God had in mind when he came up with the whole idea.
It’s right there waiting for you folks, if you will just be honest with yourself!