Want to make a difference? Want to be happy? Think about Y-O-U for a change! Let each letter in the word Y-O-U represent something to do and…well, see what you think.
Facial recognition. Fingerprints. Voice inflection. We’re unique, even when it comes to our God-given skill sets. When Paul compared us to individual body parts contributing to the overall function of a body, he said, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Cor. 12:18). God has made us who we are.
He gave Bezalel and Aholiab skills to craft parts of the tabernacle (Ex. 31:1-6). He gave Jeremiah the skill set to be a prophet (Jer. 1:5) and Paul the skill set to be a preacher (Gal. 1:15-16)…both, before they were even born.
Two questions could open your eyes to the skills / talents God has given you. First, “What do I really like to do?” Second, “What do you do I really do well?” Combine the answer to these questions and become who God made you to be. Be yourself for him.
The optimist sees opportunities and says, “Why not?!” The pessimist sees obstacles and says, “Why?!” We are what we think or, as Solomon said, “As [a man] thinks…so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV).
Joshua and Caleb optimistically believed they could take the land of Canaan with God’s blessings (Num. 14:1-9). Forty years later, Caleb still believed (Josh. 14:1-12). Both would have loved the man who said, “I can do all things through Christ” (Phil. 4:13).
Two simple suggestions could help you think the same positive way. First, don’t be “critical” (Phil. 2:14-15). Second, be “helpful” / encouraging (1 Thes. 5:11). Be optimistic and remember, success comes in “cans”…not “can’ts.”
My bigger-than-life friend, Carl Ross, was an award winning educator with Nashville Metro Schools. He taught his kindergarteners a motto that could serve us all: “Be nice to all of the people all of the time.” He knew “[t]hat which maketh a man to be desired is his kindness” (Prov. 19:22, ASV).
Think of the kindness Joseph extended to his brothers (Gen. 50:15-21) or David to Saul in the “Wilderness of En Gedi” (1 Samuel 24:1-15). What did Paul do to the jailor that locked him in the stocks of an “inner prison”? He taught him the gospel and baptized him. (Now that’s what I’m talking about!)
Two challenging steps, if taken, could generate more acts of kindness on your part. First, help those that hurt (Mt. 25:35-40). Second, help those that hurt you (Rom. 12:19-21). Kindness is the warm flame of a single candle surrounded by a cold, dark world. Be understanding of others and let your light shine.