Like, 100 times per day.
I am going to explain. But first, if you didn't catch this video from one of my first blog posts, you MUST watch it. It's hilarious, true, and very appropriate for this post:
Ok, so for 2012, my goal has been to be a more thoughtful, less critical, more loving, content, happy person. I have been daily reading Matthew chapter 5 (The Sermon on the Mount). Here is a link to the chapter in the ESV version: Matthew 5, and also Luke 6:27-36:
Love for Enemies27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
That's not easy.
My problem is this: I purpose myself to act a certain way, (Or NOT to act a certain way...), then guess what happens? Three minutes later, I am doing the very thing I was trying not to do!!
So I end up telling myself, "STOP IT!"
.....over, and over, and over........
Here are some of my STOP ITs, maybe you'll be able to relate....
Stop...... being passive aggressive. If something is important enough to be upset about, it's important enough to talk about honestly.
Stop..... being angry when life isn't fair. Really, if it WERE fair, none of us would be going to heaven.
Stop..... trying to manipulate the outcome of situations. Just do the next right thing, and live your daily life with integrity.
Stop..... dwelling on things people have said that make you feel hurt/sad/angry. Unless you enjoy feeling hurt/sad/angry, it's really purposeless.
Stop..... holding on to things people have done against you. Forgive them and move on. You don't need to keep score. That's not your job. It's God's. He doesn't need your help.
Stop..... wishing you had someone else's life. If you had their life, you'd be wishing for something else. Be content.
Stop..... applying the bible verses you read to everyone around you, and apply them to your own life.
Stop..... expecting to be happy after your "wish list" is checked off. Be happy now.
Stop..... taking about the things that annoy you about other people, and start praying for those people instead.
Stop..... using the excuse of "venting" to just slander other people to make yourself feel better.
Stop..... focusing on what other people do, and focus on what YOU do.
Stop..... hating people. Even the ones who deserve it.
Stop..... judging people who do things you don't understand. Pray instead, to understand, and if you can't understand, to love them anyhow.
Stop..... thinking you have an inexhaustible amount of time in which to be different. Life is short. Be different NOW.
Do you have your own list? Does it look anything like mine?
I have my work cut out for me. So I will take a deep breath, and do the next right thing.
Press on, friends.