Telling TheTruth is Tough

There are occassions where it is difficult for me to give an honest answer.

When my wife asks me if a dress makes her look fat.

When a relative buys me a gift and no one in the room knows what it is.

When an honest answer is going to immediately escalate into a public conflict. 

On these occassions I may be trying to spare someone’s feelings or to avoid a messy confrontation.

But the times I am most reluctant to tell the truth is when it implicates me in wrongdoing. 

I make lots of mistakes.  Some of them are intentional acts that hurt others,  including myself.

This is how Cain must have felt. Cain had killed his brother.  He knew where Abel was but answered God evasively,  “Am I my brothers keeper?”

Cain could have said:

It was just a practical joke that went to far.

He’s in a better place.

He wouldn’t stay on his side of the car.

Don’t look at me, I just got here.

Brother, can you hear me now? 

A fresh coat of paint and he will be good as new.

The Butler did it. 

Its not really funny until someone gets hurt.

All of these statements are just as ridiculous as his actual response.

But I  have my own set of rationalizations to fall back on when I fail and want to cover it up.

No one has to know.  This is just between,  me,  my conscious and God. 

Everyone else is doing it. 

If people knew what I was really like they would lose confidence in me and ultimately God. 

My rationalizations sound just as silly as Cain’s.

This is why I need to surround myself with people who will speak the truth in love to me. 
 
Thank God for honest friends who will tell me when I stink.

The Wrong Questions

If you know all the answers, you are probably asking the wrong questions.

You are also possibly bored and growing stagnant in your career or vocation.

You may need to shake things up and make a change.

But the change doesn’t have to be a new job.

The change could be a renewed focus on passing the knowledge onto someone else.

The change could, and should, be a renewed willingness to listen and learn new skills from the younger generation.

Humility and a willingness to never stop learning are skills that never go out of style.

Monday Scattershooting

Whenever I hear the phrase, “a chain of unforseen circumstances”, I know it’s  Monday and it’s going to cost me money.

It’s Monday, and I’m not sure if life is passing me by or running me over.

I got the license plate of the truck that ran me over.  It was “Monday”.

I got my duct tape and bubble wrap. Monday can now begin.

If I was a Trophy Husband I wouldn’t have to get out of bed on a Monday.

I have a higher percentage of bad decisions on Monday than any other day of the week.

smile

Most people assume I am happy because I am smiling. Most of the time that is true. But not always.

I smile when I don’t understand what my family means or wants. I smile a lot.

I smile when I realize the person I am talking to has something stuck in their teeth.

I smile when I remember that God loves me unconditionally and listens to my prayers.

I smile when God let’s me be his hands and feet to accomplish his redemptive plan for others.

I smile often, especially when things go wrong. It encourage others and it confuses and frustrates my enemies.

Doubt and Faith

My favorite book of the Bible is the Psalms.

In the Psalms of Lament, I love how King David expresses his anger at God for allowing difficult circumstances to come into his life. For questioning why God had not immediately intervened the way that David wanted.

I can relate to David’s anger and doubt. There are times I want to shout at God and ask why he allows evil to exist. Why does He allow me to struggle with a particular sin?

In those seasons of doubt, I am grateful to be at a church where I can be authentic in my faith journey.

I have been in places where honest questions were discouraged. I didn’t stay there very long.

I am reminded that despite all his doubt, anger and sin, David was a man after God’s own heart.

I find myself modeling David’s laments to God.

I complain. I cry out to God to intervene. I candidly express my anger and my doubt.

Then, like David, I recall how gracious God has been to me. I remind myself of His unfailing love toward me.

I ask His forgiveness for my temporary doubt and anger and he restores me to a right relationship with Him.

I discover again that an examined faith can withstand doubt and adversity.

Remind Me Again

I live in constant fear that I am going to forget something important.

I have tried a variety of methods to try and remember things.

I have used an old fashioned alarm clock or timer to remind myself of a deadline. But it didn’t work for me because I forget why I set the alarm in the first place. 

My loving wife has a habit of listing things for me to remind her of, especially when I am driving,  and with limited success.

Now i use apps on my smart phones. I’ve used Google Now, Anydo, and Wunderlist. I have never met a productivity app that I would not try. 

I’ve set reminders to buy toilet paper, milk,  and bread. I’ve set calendar reminders on my phone for doctor’s appointments.

But what do I really need to be reminded of on a daily basis?

1. To laugh at myself.
2. To love someone who is unloved.
3. To thank someone for their service or friendship.
4. To pray to recognize God’s divine appointments.

Perspective

image

The picture above is from a beach area in Cozemel, Mexico. At this station a women waits to wash your hands after you use the bathroom. There is no running The picture above is from a beach area in Cozemel, Mexico. At this station a women waits to wash your hands after you use the bathroom. She works on tips. Their is no running water and no electricity. water and no electricity at this location.She stands there in the heat of the day working on tips for the service she provides.

This photo reminds me of how easy a life I really have.

When I have a rough day at work  I’m going took at this photo.

When I have to travel across town in heavy traffic to get to work I will remember that this lady probably walked to this location.

When I return to my office on Tuesday  I will be grateful for the size of my cubicle, a place to sit and a climate controlled  environment.

I really have it good.