Sunday, 19 February 2012

Are you strong-wil​led?

Were you the one in your family who always got into trouble about the things you felt like doing even if you knew it could bring you into trouble? Willing to take the risk of being punished instead of not doing it? Maybe you rebelled against the things that according to your parents you "should" have done. Or, you might know a person who is like this.

What is our first response when someone does something that according to us is "wrong"? We get upset with them and tell them "don't, you are wrong!" What do they do? Get angry at us. Most of the times they end up doing it anyway. Why?

They are strong-willed.Explorers. Did you know that a lot of the strong-willed people in life have the potential to reach great heights? The same will that makes them act out at times is what drives them to become their best.

So, what should we do then? Let them do as they please? Just leave them be? Not let them take responsibility for what they've done?

None of the above. Just approach them differently. When you talk to them act out of love and not anger. Rather find out why they did it instead of just telling them that they were wrong and are not allowed to do it. Then, when you have calmed down talk to him about how you feel and why.

The best thing you can do when you feel you are at the end of your rope is to pray and ask God to bless that person.

Easy for me to say right? I don't have kids. Only thing is, this does not apply to kids only. It involves anyone who crosses your path. Family, a friend, co-worker or  people in different walks of life.

Believe me it works. Of course it is an on-going process and doesn't just fix things overnight. You might have to do it over and over again, for a long period of time.  God always answers our prayers.

Because you are worth it!

Friday on my way to a friend’s house I saw a billboard saying "love yourself because you are worth it". To the ladies it might sound very familiar. It is aLoreal advertisement J.

Do we really love ourselves? Why is it necessary?

It is vital before we can even begin to understand how to love other people. God believes that. One of the things He commands us to do is "love your neighbour as you love yourself".

The phrase "......... starts at home" is used in various contexts. We can apply it here as well. To love others you have to start loving yourself. Begin at home. 

Sure we don't always like everything about ourselves. If it is something you can change, then do it. If not then start the process of accepting it.

We might think we are not perfect but God made each of us exactly the way He wanted us to be.

The Roundabout Way

We have so many destinations in life. God has it all mapped out for us. He has so many things He wants us to achieve.

We don't get a copy of the map to see where He is taking us. Or a gps to tell us to turn left here or right there.

Sometimes when we reach one of the destinations we think "why on earth was it necessary to take such a long and winding road? It could have been so much easier, quicker".

God has a way of preparing us for what we need to do in His kingdom. Moulding and shaping us into the best we can be.Little by little.

And no, He doesn't always take the easy routes.

Sometimes it seems like a roundabout way but He knows what He is doing. Al we need to do is trust Him.

Loosing The People You Love

Losing someone you love is never easy. Most of the time it is out of your control doesn't matter how the loss came about.

What do we do when this happens? How do we cope with it? How do we let go?

There is no easy answer to any of the above questions. Everybody deals with loss in their own way. Have their own coping mechanisms.

One of the best things you could do is to work through the process of accepting the loss. It doesn't mean the pain is going to just magically disappear but there is definitely truth in the saying" time heals all wounds".

God never shuts a door to one of His children unless He plans on opening a window to something better.

Influence - To What Extent?

When we are children our parents basically gets to decide what we should do and how we should live. A lot of the time under protest of course.

When does it become time for us to decide how we should live our lives? What our futures should be like.  Which goals we or other people set out for us to reach to go for and which ones to let go off?

I think a good time would be when you have to start living with the outcome of whatever decision you have to make. Especially if it is something that you have to live with on a long term basis. If you get two job offers and you need to decide which one to accept, who gets to decide? You do.  You have to work there every day. No one else lives with the consequences of your decisions except yourself.

There are some circumstances that we do not have control over but if there is one thing I have learned over time then it is that ultimately each one of us end up living our lives ourselves. So, be very careful what you let people around you decide on your behalf.

Like William Shakespeare said: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

Who's Responsibi​lity Is It?

Today’s “random thought” is a little lengthy.  Those words got wingsagainJ. Don’t really want to clip them when the words flow. So rather put it aside when you have a bit more time.

Over the last couple of weeks the subject on responsibility and what it entails popped up during a lot of conversations. It made me think about it in more detail and I decided to share some thoughts around it.

So many times we all have our own perception of what a specific word means. To avoid confusion on this one (although we all know what it means) I went to look up the definition via google. 

Definition responsibility:
·        The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.
·        The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

Why are we taught to take on responsibility ourselves? We are all responsible for things happening in our lives. No one else can take on the responsibility of making decisions on our behalf as they do not end up living with the consequences after the fact. We can ask for advice but ultimately we have to face the music.

When are we supposed to start taking on responsibility in our lives?
It all depends on what the responsibility is.  Let’s use kids for example.  We give them chores as they mature. After leaving school and starting work parents might let them pay for their own cars or even rent. It is a good thing as they eventually have to stand on their own two feet. But we shouldn’t let them take on too much too soon. Kids don’t get to be kids anymore like we used to be some time back (not going to give too much detail here and give away theage J). If we look at teenage suicides these days then we might want to reconsider how much pressure we let them take on. Not all kids are the same so this is where discernment comes in. I am not a parent myself but remember we were all kids once and can therefor speak from experience. Even now I still need advice from my mom sometimes, so parents the fact that you need to relieve some of the stress placed on your kids never changes and they need to know that you will always be there, no matter what.

Should we take on other people’s responsibilities?
This question is not always easy to answer.  Especially after making the above statement of always being there. There are however things that people need to deal with themselves. For them to be independent. They need to be accountable for their actions. Remember the Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is now where discernment comes in. We sometimes know when we need to intervene and help someone in need, but there are also times when people need to sort things out themselves. How else are they supposed to learn? 

Who am I responsible for in life?
We must always remember that our first responsibility in life is towards ourselves. If we don’t learn to prioritise and sort out our own things then how are we supposed to be capable of helping other people? Don’t try to carry other people’s burdens, take on a load that is too heavy and in the process prevent yourself from carrying your own.

Figure out what your responsibilities in life are and tackle them head on. Only then can you decide what other responsibilities you might have to help people with.

Diamonds In The Rough

This morning I listened to a song that said we are God’s diamonds. That we are beautiful and precious. A diamond is so lovely (don’t you agree ladies). But how does it get that way?  Through a tough process of shaping and cutting.

Wouldn’t it be nice if life could just be simple?  If everything could just work out the way we want it to? Like the Afrikaans saying goes “maanskyn en rose”. Can’t we all just be ready shaped diamonds from the word go? It doesn’t quite work that way now does it?

How will we be shaped into what we are and should be without the trials, the “rough” times? God never wants bad things to happen to us.  He has planned so many amazing things for our futures. Like Jeremiah 29:11  reads - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We all go through bad times like these and no one person’s troubles are greater than the others’. We all just experience things in different ways and need to work through it in which-ever manner works best for us. 

Right now you might feel like a diamond in the rough but rest assured knowing that God has so much in store for us. Just take it one day at a time, step by step. You will get there.  A precious diamond.