Proverbs Blog: What Are You Waiting For?

“One who becomes stiff-necked,
 after many reprimands 
will be shattered instantly—
beyond recovery.”~ Proverbs 29:1 (HSB)

Undecided

Undecided

A change is needed in your life.  You are aware of this but can’t seem to take action.  You feel the pressure, you are aware of the consequences, but still there is something holding you back.

What are you waiting for?

Perhaps you are feeling called of God to make some kind of commitment in your life to Him. You know it’s the right decision to make, but what will my friends and acquaintances think if I ‘”get religion?”  So you put the decision off.

What are you waiting for?

Maybe it’s that moral weakness that requires radical action on your part to eliminate from your life.  Serious consequences await if you don’t take action now.  Others will suffer. Yet you keep putting forth the same half-hearted efforts hoping it will resolve itself.

What are you waiting for?

Shattered

Shattered

Our Proverb outlines the terrifying consequence of refusing to change.  One day the opportunity for change will cease, the door will slam shut. Sudden consequences will occur that can completely shatter your life.

Years ago I was faced with such a momentous decision.  I wrestled with indecision but just couldn’t commit.  Then, one day,  I read an article that stirred me to action.  A positive action that I have never regretted. The title of the article?

“What Are You Waiting For”

Proverbs Blog – Your Tongue CAN Heal!

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life”~Proverbs 15:4

Two Tongues

Two Tongues

Yes, your tongue can heal.

Just like words can cause discouragement,  hurt, pain and yes sickness they can also promote healing.

Here are seven ways you can develop a healing tongue.

1. Speak to the Potential – I watched as our churches oldest Sunday School teacher talked to a young boy who came into class to find his mother.  She got down to his level on her 80+ year old legs and looked eye to eye with the boy. “What a fine young man you are.” Aren’t you a big strong boy.”  “Your parents must be very proud of you.” That child seemed to grow two inches as blessing after blessing poured into his ears.

2. Encourage – I’m not a speedster so stretching my single into a double during my at bat was a pretty chancy proposition.  But I did it!  The throw came in hard, the second baseman made the tag, but I was safe.  “Good hustle, you bum” said the opposing infielder. 30 years later I still smile when I remember this short one line of encouragement spoken by the opposing player.

3. Thankfulness – Yes, we have heard it before but do we practice it?  No matter what the drama or the difficulty at my job I have a coworker who always will say – “isn’t it wonderful to have a job?”.  It kind of takes the fun out of complaining!  Try it!

4. Quick to Greet – Ever notice when you walk into a room and two or more people are having conversation you feel left out?  But sometimes there is that special person in the small group who notices you come in, welcomes you and opens the group to you.  Strive to be that special person. Be quick to greet those you know and those you don’t know.

5. Always Be Positive- Negative words, thoughts, music or movies can produce tension, anxiety that can negatively affect our health. A positive approach removes this tension and helps prepare the way for positive action. Songwriter Woody Guthrie says:

“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.”

6. Speak the Blessing – Is the day of speaking a blessing past?    Years ago it was common to speak blessings when greeting and departing.  The Irish Blessing is an example:

Irish Countryside

Irish Country Lane

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Most of us are not poets but surely we can do better than “Have a nice day.”

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge – Jesus ends the parable of the Good Samaritan with a question to the lawyer who had attempted to trap him. “Which of these three do you think was a friend to the man who fell into the hand of the robbers” said Jesus. The expert in the law replies, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him “go and do likewise.”  Yes encourage others to take action on their ideas, dreams and plans.

Here are seven ways in which your tongue can heal.  Do you have more?  If so,  please share them.  I’d love to hear from you.

Proverbs Blog – Iron Sharpens Iron!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” ~ Proverbs 27:17

A true friend is a hard friend.

He is willing to call you out, get in your face, criticize you and push you to your limits.  A friend who always agrees, always compliments and always approves may be more comfortable to be around – but can you call him a true friend?

 

Iron to Sharpen Iron

You Need Iron to Sharpen Iron

The first “iron” referred to in the Proverb is the sword or knife edge.  The second is the “sharpening iron.”  So a friend is willing to push a friend to achieve, to grow to stay sharp.

This is not a new concept. At age 21 Benjamin Franklin formed the Junta, a mutual improvement society among his fellow business owners and neighbors in Philadelphia.

A modern version that has gained popularity is called a Master Mind Group.  This version finds it origin in Napoleon Hill’s Master Mind Alliance.  Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich advocated the formation of Master Mind Alliances composed of two or more people “who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.

Mastermind Groups today offer accountability, peer review, and education in small groups to sharpen skills and push one another to reach and achieve pre-determined business and personal goals.

Whether you are challenged with personal, business or spiritual goals, consider joining, forming or visiting a Mastermind Group.  At least find a trusted friend who can act as an accountability partner help you sharpen your skills and abilities.  Remember Jim Rohn’s “average of five” rule:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Go now and find a hard friend!