I’d like to disclose one of my strong personal preferences that actually drives a certain set of behaviors in my life: I will not go to a restaurant that has poor service. Let me clarify that…I will goonce to that restaurant but I will not go back again. If I will be spending money to eat out then I not only expect the food to be to my personal liking but I also emphasize that the people who work there at least pretend to be glad I have come. Call it snobbery, call it presumption or call it reasonable if you choose. In the end, it’s my choice and this personal preference determines my actions…
For us to live on mission with God and allow Him to do His work through us means that we must be attentive to how 'we see life.' It will help if we can see the whole of life in the context of sowing and reaping... understanding the importance and implications of this Biblical principle in the context of everyday relationships.
How different it is for us to exercise the mind of Christ! Walking by sight as we do, we think that to humble ourselves means to lose; yet the Word teaches that the only way up is down. Christ had the submissive mind, and God highly exalted Him. Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus had the submissive mind, and they were honored for their sacrifice and service. The best way to get the victory over people and pride is through the submissive mind: the mind of Christ.
Circumstances may cause us to lose our joy, but people can also bring trials that rob us of joy. How many times do we lose our peace and joy because of what people say or do. The best remedy for these trials is the submissive mind, the humble mind that seeks only to honor Christ. Pride is the cause of much unrest and contention (read James 4), but humility brings peace and joy. We could try to learn this the hard way by experience, or we could choose to learn the easy way’ - from the example of others.
I’ve learned that a dream is only as valuable as the plan for accomplishing it. And I’ve learned that the dream of healthy, deepening relationships with my God, my wife, and my children is of far greater importance. I’ve learned that, even as the odds were stacked against me, God was shaping me and my ministry style. And I’ve learned that the end result of this chapter of my life does not invalidate who I have become and what I have come to value as a leader and pastor.
I was recently watching a TV show and saw a character, a grown man, who was talking about his list of "mortal enemies." The comical part was the reasons the man had that led them to get on his list. One "enemy" was a TV character he idolized who failed to make a scheduled appearance the man had attended as a child. Another was "on the list" for opening the package of a collectible toy that apparently was valuable. The reasons this guy had "enemies" was not because they committed some atrocious act against him; in many cases the reason had practically nothing to do with things the "enemy" had done but was instead about his reaction and his pettiness.