A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip of the Week
Tip: Shake off discouragement and offenses!
I was playing with my Yorkie the other day, scratching her and giving her a rub down. Since she only weighs 4 pounds I can cover all the territory fairly quickly! When I put her down she must have wanted to “regroup” because she did her little “shake off” routine. She shook so hard that she almost knocked herself down. You have probably seen other dogs do that at times. Well, I am of the opinion that we humans should “shake off” a few things, too.
Probably two of the most difficult issues that everyone deals with on a daily basis are discouragement and offenses. It is so easy to be discouraged when things do not go the way you want them to or the way that you had originally planned. The truth is that hardly anything goes the way you want it to or like you had hoped that it would. Life is more of a journey than it is a destination. If you aren’t careful, discouragement will trip you up and keep you from getting to your desired destination or becoming the person you were designed to be.
A story was told that the devil had a sale one day to sell all of his tools. There were lies, deception, and a whole host of other items he was selling. But, over in a corner was one item that was priced higher than any other. Someone asked why that particular tool was more expensive than any other one…especially since it looked so worn. The devil replied, “That’s my favorite tool because it works almost every time. The reason it is so worn is because I have used it more than any other tool that I possess. It is called discouragement.” Now, I don’t if that story is true or not, but it certainly carries with it a great deal of insight. We have to be careful of the devil’s tool of discouragement.
In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey was thinking about taking his life. One cold, snowy night, he was ready to jump off of a bridge into the icy river below. Two angels in heaven were talking and one asked, “What’s the matter with George? Is he sick?” The other angel replied, “No, it’s worse than that. He is discouraged!” We all get discouraged from time to time and we must learn to shake it off and not let it capture us in its strong, powerful grip.
The other thing we must be careful to shake off is offense. Hardly a day goes by without an opportunity to be offended. I have discovered that if you walk around with a chip on your shoulder, it will not be long before someone bumps into you and knocks it off.
I once heard an illustration that has helped me a great deal in this regard. Someone said that you can take a cup of coffee and fill it to the brim. In fact, you can fill it until the coffee rises just slightly above the rim of the cup. The only problem is that you cannot pick up the cup without spilling it. If someone bumps a full, hot cup of coffee, do you know what will spill out? That’s right…hot coffee! Whatever is on the inside of that cup will come out.
If we are full of offense and someone does or says something to “bump” us, offense is what will spill out, just as that full cup of coffee in our illustration. It doesn’t take much to make us ready to fight! After all, we can’t let anyone take advantage of us or change their plans with us. That would just be unthinkable!
However, what if we are filled with something sweet like love, gentleness and kindness? Then if we are bumped, what gets spilled is “sweetness”. I have actually seen people respond with grace when someone has offended them. They feel no need to be offensive in return, but are able to let love, gentleness and kindness flow from their cup.
This is not easy stuff that I am talking about! I see people every day, especially in traffic, who just do not let anybody get away with anything. They are ready for offenses to come so they can react in a way that lets other people know that they won’t tolerate being treated that way!
What about you? When you get bumped, what comes out of you? It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall and observe your responses to various situations for a week. Would there be hot, scalding responses served with a bad attitude and smart aleck remarks? If so, then you must be full of offense. None of us likes to think that we are that way, but the truth of the matter is, we often are. The only way that we can truly change is to be aware of our reactions and choose to respond in gentleness and love instead.
There you have it – two of the most difficult issues that you will face today, this week, this month, and this year…discouragement and offenses. Someone once wisely said that you cannot BEware of something until first you are Aware of something. Oh, wait a minute…I think I was the one who said that! Now you have two things of which you can beware and respond with a whole new attitude. Learn to shake off discouragement and offenses in order to succeed and prosper in everything that you do!
Tip: Shake off discouragement and offenses!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm