Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life Is Hard

by Donna L. Watkins

Does that thought run through your mind? Do you hear yourself thinking and saying these words? For most of us who were raised in a home with a Protestant work ethic, this is a belief system. Without knowing it, our lives are designed and orchestrated around it.

Some of the thoughts that go along with this foundational belief system are:

Life is full of sorrow.

Suffering is worthy.

Pain is a virtue.

This life is unpleasant.

There's no hope for lasting pleasure on earth.

Life will never give me enough.

Pleasure is indulgence.

Wealth is wrong.

It's immoral to have when others have not.

Life is about working and producing.

From these beliefs, we make life choices that are based on continuous hard work with little pleasure.

As Christians, we can really buy into all of this since sacrifice and "sharing in Christ's sufferings" seem so spiritual and holy. The more you suffer, the better you become (in some way).

This causes a lot of judgment of of others, who don't "spin" 24/7, and who appear to be self-indulgent, shallow and strictly fun-loving if they take time for leisure and play. Yet, Christ told us we have to become as children to understand the Kingdom and to see our loving Heavenly Father as He truly is. If we don't play and enjoy life, we get bitter at others doing it. How much more loving could you be if life was fun? How would your influence on others change if you saw life as being good?

Do you remember more of life's difficulties than you do life's pleasures and blessings? Do you focus on the blessings of your days or all that went wrong. Life will be full of challenges for all ... but God doesn't shoot a machine gun full of troubles your way to get glory. He's a loving Papa. The devil's job is to mess up your life and if you're listening to his lies and believing them, you're only helping him.

One dear subscriber sent me a few articles after my last mailing and it reminded me to focus on thankfulness and gratitude and seeking God's face above all else. It's so easy to get wrapped up in your own troubles.

I've been wrapped up in this dis-ease that appears to be taking over my body ... but in reality my thoughts create a lot of what's going on. Have you ever noticed what you were thinking before an "attack" of whatever health issue you deal with? I sure have and I see clearly how much thoughts are involved in whether I am well or sick for the day. Give it a try! It takes awhile since our thoughts are automatic ... we don't even notice them, so to begin to notice them it takes patience and insight and determination.

Have you heard the saying, "Change Your Mind and Change Your World?" That says it all. We tend to create the environment around us that will justify our belief systems.

So ... if we think "Life is Hard" ... we will create enough chaos to make it so. Difficulties will be recited, rehearsed and remembered, while blessings are just a "bit of luck" in a bad day.

As if the present isn't bad enough ... we waste time projecting the past upon the future, expecting more hardship, suffering or poverty.

What if we filled our days and nights with good thoughts. Like when you're dieting and all thoughts turn to food. Why not fill our minds with thoughts like:

I can make life as happy as I want it.

I am worthy of having pleasure.

I am receptive to life's pleasures.

I am kind to myself.

I love myself.

The Golden Rule is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." And remember what Christ said the second greatest commandment was (after loving God with all your heart)? It was to "love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31)

Maybe the reason we're so busy judging everybody and everything around us is because that's all we do to ourselves. If we don't love our own flesh, we will not be able to love others.

We see what we believe. If we believe life is hard ... we will be seeing all the "hardness" in life and miss all the good. God is good and wants good for us. Allow Him to show you His love each and every day in the blessings He gives you daily.

Life is Good!

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