IDENTIFYING FALSE PRIDE

If a delicate machine goes wrong , common sense suggests an inspection of the mechanism to find out where the fault lies. Common sense likewise suggests that the mechanism should be inspected by a man who knows all about it.

It is surprising how few people think of applying such common-sense methods to the delicate machinery of their own minds, ill-temper, sulkiness, indecision, morbidity, all these things and many more are signs of a temporary breakdown of the mental machinery.

In nine cases out of ten the trouble is an idea or a set of thoughts acting like grit in the wheels. It’s often very useful to have a look inside the mind. It frequently makes all the difference between gloom and happiness.

A little occasional self-analysis – but not too much – is an excellent thing.

False pride is frequently the dirt in the machinery- the false pride that will not allow you to own yourself in the wrong although you know well that the fault is yours.

The result is that you brood. Fancied worries begin to take on an air of reality. You soon begin to look at the world through black spectacles. And you make yourself and everyone else thoroughly miserable.

It is one of the infallible signs of the strong man that he is never afraid to confess he has made a mistake.

He has too much self-respect to indulge in self-deception, too much respect for others to allow misunderstandings to continue when a word can put matters right.

Next time things go wrong and the world begins to look black, see if the fault isn’t yours.

And be strong enough to “own up.”

NABEEL QURESHI – DEDICATED TO LOVE

As a convert to Jesus Christ, Nabeel Qureshi has written books to help his readers understand the people in the religion he left. His tone is respectful, and Qureshi always displays a heart of love for his people.

Qureshi dedicated one of his books to his sister, who has not yet put her faith in Jesus. The dedication is brief, but powerful. “I am begging God for the day that we can worship him together,” he wrote.

We get a sense of that kind of love as we read Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. “My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief,” he said, “for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed- cut off from Christ! – if that would save them” (ROMANS 9:2-3).

Paul loved the Jewish people so much that he would have chosen separation from God if only they would accept Christ. He understood that by rejecting Jesus, his people were rejecting the one true God. This motivated him to appeal to his readers to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.

Today, may we prayerfully dedicate ourselves to the love that aches for those close to us!

WE MUST LOVE THOSE FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED , AS WELL AS THOSE IN WHOM CHRIST LIVES.

THE NEW LIFE AFTER YOUR DEATH

One Christian author wrote: “One minute after you [die], you will either be enjoying a personal welcome from Christ or catching your first glimpse of gloom as you have never known it. Either way, your future will be [forever] unchangeable.”

Luke tells us about two men who were about to die and find out what their “forever” would be. When Jesus was being crucified, two criminals hung either side of Him. According to Mark, both men insulted Jesus even though they were about to die.

One of the thieves, however, changed his mind as he realised Jesus’ innocence, his own sin and that his life was slipping away. He told the other criminal to be quiet and then asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. These words showed he was really sorry and wanted to trust Jesus instead. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”. Salvation for the man came straightaway. He knew where he would be going once he died: Jesus’ home.

As soon as we trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be confident straightaway of where we will go when we die. There won’t be any surprises. Jesus welcomes home everyone who turns to Him.

TO BE READY FOR TOMORROW, TRUST JESUS TODAY.

THE DRILL SERGEANT WITHIN US!

A Drill Sergeant is a non-commissioned officer who trains soldiers in military parade exercises.

As a drill sergeant you are responsible for coaching, counselling, and mentoring of hundreds, if not thousands, of Soldiers as you transform them from a civilian to a combat-ready Soldier. A typical day as a drill sergeant starts before dawn and you are with your Soldiers until it is time for lights out.

THE REAL DRILL(TRAINING) WE FACE IN OUR DAILY LIFE.

Do we cry because we feel sad, or do we feel sad because we cry? Do we run away because we feel frightened, or are we frightened because we run away?

These are not such silly questions as they sound. A great deal depends upon whether the bodily action or the emotion comes first. The growing opinion of psychologists is that in a great many cases the bodily action come first. This can be easily proved. Kneel down, put your hands together, close your eyes – and you will quickly feel a religious feeling creeping over you. Your bodily attitude has called forth the appropriate emotion.

This leads to a very important conclusions. It means that, just as the mind can control and affect the body, so the body can have direct influence on the mind.

It follows that if you are feeling depressed the worst possible thing is to sit hunched up in a chair, holding your head in your hands. The physical attitude of depression only brings out the mental side more strongly.

The thing to do is to smile, to straighten your back, square your shoulders, and get busy with some cheerful occupation.

Humm a song, draw something, smile for no reason, go for a brisk walk. And whatever you do, do it with a will.

Do it with the corners of your mouth turned up. Do it without a wrinkle on your brow. Whistle about it. Sing about it.

Your mind will quickly follow your body and a cheerful emotion takes the place of your black mood. Now you know how mind and body can react on each other, use your knowledge.

Make your body act as a drill sergeant. When your mind is depressed make your body order it to be cheerful. It will readily obey.

LITTLE ACTS OF KINDNESS

The young guy looked nervous as he sat down for his flight. His eyes darted back and forth to the plane windows. Then he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm himself but it didn’t work. As the plane took off, he slowly rocked back and forth. An older woman across the aisle from him put her hand on his arm and gently talked to him, distracting him from his stress. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “We’re going to be okay” and “You’re doing well” were a few things she whispered. She could have been irritated with him or ignored him. But she chose a touch and a few words. Little things. When they landed three hours later, he said, “Thank you so much for helping me.”

Examples of real care and kindness can be hard to find. Kindness is not easy for many of us; we’re often too busy thinking about ourselves. But when Paul wrote, “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (EPH. 4:32), he was not saying it all depends on our ability to be nice. After we’ve been given a new life by trusting Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. Kindness is what God’s Spirit is doing, making us more like Jesus in our thoughts and attitude.

God is at work in us, making us more kind, patient and full of His love. No matter where we are on that journey, because we know Jesus for ourselves, we’re ready right now to share His kindness to those we meet today.

LOVE IS UNDERSTANDING THE TROUBLES OF OTHERS AND REACHING OUT TO THEM.

TAMING THE STRESS IN YOUR LIFE

Wayne Dyer , The Author of Your Sacred Self, once asked Abraham Maslow, “What do you mean by when you say self-actualization?” He said, “There are just two things to remember: one is to learn to become independent of the good opinion of other people, and the second is to master the art of being detached from the fruits of your labours.”

For example, you may experience some stress in your Job, or some problems in your life, which you don’t have any idea about. But you can learn how to remove yourself from the stress or problem and see that it’s just your body going through it.

When you become the observer, you detach yourself from the outcome. You get your ego and everything in the material world out of the picture, and you allow the highest part of you to observe the circumstance. You remove all that inner disturbance, anguish, fear and stress, and you then replace it with the calmness of a detached observer. The minute you sense that calmness, the solution is at hand. You’re not operating from adrenaline or fear or confusion.

When you face a crisis or deadline from the perspective that you only have so much time and “have to hurry,” you become one more person who brings stress and anxiety to the problem. It’s in the taming of the ego that you find the sacred in your life. You find greater strength when you can stop being so focused on you and your bottom line and start reaching out to others.

On this process , you realise that the highest stage in this journey is the stage of the Spirit. This is when you finally recognise that you are not an athlete, a warrior, or a soldier, that you are in this world, but not of this world. You recognise that you are not a human being having a spiritual experience, but you are a spiritual being having a human experience. In a sense, this life is all very temporary; this life is like a garage where we park our souls for a time, but our inner spirits are not so confined. The mystery of that is what we call unconditional love. When you are able to live this unconditional love you will have achieved this final state.

It can be difficult to understand that life is what happens while you are making other plans. Each and every instant of your life takes place in the present moment. Using your present moments to chase after future moments is an ego-based activity.

Your ego wants you to feel incomplete so that it can control your life. Your false self would keep you in perpetual motion chasing after more and more until your final breath, but Your higher self does not want you to be lazy or without purpose but to realise the power in knowing that this moment is your entire life. When you stop focusing on past or future moments, you release the stress and tension that accompany the striving lifestyle. With that release, you become more productive and peaceful than you are when you look behind or ahead of yourself and don’t allow your mind to rest in the still center or the present moment.

When you allow yourself to be still, you will understand the uselessness of constant striving and chasing after more.

THE MERITS OF PATIENCE

Sometimes delays are annoying, like when a friend promises to text back “right away”, but doesn’t. But sometimes delays are much more stressful, like waiting for the internet to come back on so you can check the current affairs , that promotion which your management promised! Whether big or small, delays get in the way. But as Christians, we can ask Jesus to help us deal with them.

Joseph in the Bible gives us a great example of patience during delays. He was sold to slave traders by his jealous brothers, framed by his boss’ wife and put in prison in Egypt. “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him”. Years later, when Joseph explained Pharaoh’s dreams, he was made second in command in Egypt.

The most amazing thing that came from Joseph’s patience happened several years later. His brothers came to Egypt to buy grain when they were running out of food. “I am your brother Joseph,” he told them, “the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you . So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God”.

In all our delays, short or long, may we, like Joseph, have patience and peace as we trust in God’s timing.

CONFIDENCE IN GOD LETS US LIVE PATIENTLY.

THE RELEASE OF FEAR

What do you do when you’re scared? Does blood pump in your ears? Is there a weight in your stomach? Does your heart pound? Do you become breathless? Our bodies respond to fear like this to stop us from being able to ignore our worries and stress.

Jesus’s friends felt all these things one night after He had fed more than five thousand people with just one packed lunch. Jesus had sent them ahead to Bethsaida so He could be alone to pray. During the night, they were rowing against the wind when suddenly they saw Him walking on the water. Thinking He was a ghost, they were terrified (MARK 6:49-50).

But Jesus told them not to be afraid and to be brave. As He got on the boat, the wind died down and they made it to the shore. I imagine that their feelings of dread calmed as they experienced the peace He brought with Him.

When we feel like we are drowning in stress or worry, we can rest and trust in Jesus’ power. Whether He calms our storms or strengthens us to face them, He will give us the gift of His peace that “transcends all understanding” (PHIL. 4:7). And as He answers our fears with His presence, we can know calm, even in the middle of storms.

JESUS FREES US FROM FEAR.

ERADICATING THAT “TIRED FEELING”!

Everyone who works with his mind or muscle gets tired after a time. The human machine will only do a certain amount without protesting.

Mental fatigue is, in reality, the same as physical fatigue. So far as we know, the mind is tireless, but it cannot work efficiently in a tired body. Fatigue may be local or general. Manual labour that exercises one particular set of muscles will, in the end, exhaust those muscles. In such a case a change of occupation is as effective as a complete rest.

General fatigue is a more serious matter; a change of occupation in that case would only increase the fatigue.

“That tired feeling” is due to a definite poisoning of the system. The blood gets charged with waste products more quickly than it can carry them away. In such a case nothing is any good but rest to enable the system to clear itself again. There is no cure for fatigue but rest. Drugs, stimulants, are not only useless but dangerous.

It is true that for a short time they may spur one on to greater efforts, but their effects wears off rapidly and leaves the jaded muscles and nerves far more fatigued than they were before.

The easiest way is to prevent the onset of fatigue. Work hard while you are working, and intersperse your work with rest-pauses. And when you rest – if it is only for a few moments – do it thoroughly. Relax both body and mind. Give the machine a real chance to recover.

An hour’s hard work followed by five minutes’ rest, then another hour’s work and another five minutes’ rest, is a good plan. It is wonderful what a recovery a tired body or mind can make in five minutes.

Hard work with well-arranged “rest-pauses” is the way to avoid “that tired feeling.”