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Posts Tagged ‘Psalms’

11523-Eeyore

Goodbye Eeyore, Hello Pollyanna

Though I’m naturally an optimistic person, sometimes I react in negative ways to someone who wants to bring change into my life. Instead of embracing the excitement of doing something new or in a different way than what I may be used to, I jump right to “but what if?” It’s like a splash of icy water in someone’s face when I respond negatively to their anticipation.

In the spirit of trying new things, I’m going to let go of negativity. It won’t be easy. I don’t always realize what I sound like. But I can usually tell by the expression on the face of the person I just spewed on.

I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna (refer to old Disney movie of same name). She always looked for the silver lining in any situation, loved everyone no matter what class of person they were, and her unconditional love transformed a grumpy aunt into a loving, giving woman. Now there is the power of love! (Huey Lewis song reference) I guess I’d rather be a Pollyanna than an Eeyore (refer to A.A. Milne’s donkey of Winnie-the-Pooh fame). As beloved as Eeyore is, he has serious depression issues. Only Winnie’s love-him-at-all-costs attitude brings Eeyore any semblance of normalcy. You see, we all need our Pollyannas and Winnie-the-Poohs. Winnie and Polly light up their worlds with their positive view of life.

I think the opposite of being negative in every response and reaction isn’t being positive. I think the antithesis of negativity is joy! The Psalmist said, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalms 51:12).

There are some days I can’t seem to choose joy. Those days when life is hard, love seems far away, news is tough to hear…those days I can only pray for the joy of the Lord to fill me. I have to decide to react with love and joy but I can’t give out what I don’t have inside me to give. So I pray daily for the joy of the Lord to fill me and the love of Christ to shine through me. (Psalm 4:6-7 – “Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’ Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.”)

If I’ve spewed on you in the past, please forgive me. If I’ve responded to your new ideas or good news with harsh words or negative emotions, please forgive me.  Today I will choose to give up my negativity and embrace joy!

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Day 11 – Asking for help and advice makes me stronger

Maybe you can’t see this issue as one of “giving up” anything. But I choose to think of it as giving up my need to control and decide on my own. I’m not giving over my life to anyone but acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, someone else may have insights and wisdom which would benefit me. I’m a big believer in the wisdom of wisdom. Solomon fills the pages of the book of Proverbs with sayings about obtaining wisdom, choosing wisdom, listening to wisdom. For instance, Proverbs 19:20 says “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

Thankfully I do have wise people around me who I listen to and learn from. My husband is my best friend and one of the wisest men I know. He is my confidante, my go-to guy when I need to vent (sorry about that), and when I need counsel. And he’s not afraid to tell me what he thinks. Most of the time. I do think I can be scary sometimes.

We’ve also got two young men who have learned the same principle. Asking for help and advice isn’t a weakness. Both have people in their lives, including their parents, who they trust to give wisdom, not just spout platitudes. For that we are very grateful.

But maybe you think, “I don’t need anyone – I know what I need to do – I’ve got enough common sense to take care of this on my own.” If that works for you every time, go for it. But I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. At one time or another, you probably have made a decision or chosen a path you wished someone had warned you about. In fact, that wise guy Solomon says “The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)

Advice from friends is okay but sometimes listening to the wisdom of men can get you into a bind. See 1 Kings 12 where Solomon’s son Rehoboam gets into some serious trouble. Verse 13 says “Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men…”  This doesn’t work out well for him and only results in the splitting of Israel into two separate kingdoms. Not everyone is capable of giving out wisdom. But I know Someone who knows all, sees all and wants to see you succeed.

Jehoshaphat (godly king) tells the evil king of Israel (in 1 Kings 22:5) to seek the counsel of the Lord before heading into battle. The Psalmist says “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1) Your greatest source of wisdom will always be in the counsel of the Lord. So when you need help – ask for it. Find godly advisers, mentors and friends who you trust will give you sound counsel but in the end, trust in the wisdom which only comes from God.

Eph. 1:16-17 – I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.

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