Last week I presented some practical advice for good wholesome Christian living. I would like to continue with this down-to-earth advice for healthy living. The parts in parentheses are my own comments.
1.Don’t judge people by their relatives. (This one is a little tricky. God has created each of us with our personal gifts and abilities. We can reject these gifts or use them for the common good. We also picked up many good and maybe not so good habits and characteristics from our parents and those people who helped raise us. We do not have to be “just like our father,” or “just like our mother.” However, all of us have some good and bad traits from our parents. What we do with them is important. We can change. It takes a deep commitment to change and grow. We can be different from our relatives.)
2.Talk slowly but think quickly. (Maybe we should add that it is important that we listen to the other with our hearts. We should not just think about what we are going to say next.)
3.When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?” (Boundaries are important. We are entitled to our own private lives. If someone asks us something that they have no right to ask, we can turn the question around or refuse the answer. Often, by refusing to answer, we might seem “guilty” or we are trying to hide something. Go on the offensive and ask them why they want to know.)
4.Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. (Jesus loved to challenge us: Go the extra mile; share what you have. Let go of material things for a higher life. John Eldredge once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”)
5.Say “God bless you” when you hear someone sneeze. (This is good manners.)
6.When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. (We learn and retain what we discovered through trial and error. Our culture emphases “winning at all cost.” However, we need to learn from our failures and also our successes. Don’t be afraid to lose.)
7.Remember the three R’s: Respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for all your actions. (We should treat others the way we want to be treated. We should be as polite to a janitor as we are to a CEO. As people, they are both children of God and deserve the same amount of respect. The word responsibility comes from two words: response and ability, or the ability to respond. How do we respond to our own genuine needs, the needs of others, our actions?)
8.Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
9.When you realize you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. (Many people try to cover up their mistakes by lying. The more we lie, the more we have to lie. Admit we have made a mistake and correct it right away.)
10.Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice. (We communicate verbally and nonverbally. The tone of our voice says a lot.)
11.Spend some time alone. (This is difficult for many people. However, this is essential for a happy life. The ancient Greek philosophers said, “An un-reflected life is not worth living.” Maybe this is why so many people are on drugs and alcohol. We need to spend time with ourselves and our God. We need to look constantly at the direction of our lives.)