Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Lessons on Life

As I look back over almost 40 years of my working life and ponder the lessons I have learnt, there are many things that I wish somebody had told me. Granted, I may not have been able to hear what they were saying, but if I had concentrated more on ‘being’ than just ‘doing’ who knows what else I may have been able to achieve! Here are seven helpful hints on how to be more:

1. Be loveable! Do you like yourself? If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, do something about changing it. The fact is your own poor self image has the capacity to limit your success, and if you don’t like yourself how do you expect your boss, colleagues and friends to like you? So, if you want a better future, start by adjusting your attitude to yourself.

2. Be loving! If you like yourself then you are in a position to like others! But you still have to choose to not be judgmental, to accept them as they are and not see them as tools to be manipulated. Being loving will involve offering kindness and being considerate of their circumstances.

3. Be positive! You might be naturally pessimistic, but you can learn to be optimistic because it is all in your mind. Choose to smile, and get enthusiastic about life and other people will want to work with you. Relationships always grow quicker in a positive environment.

4. Be forgiving! Unforgiveness, like acid will always eat away at the vessel in which it is stored, so get rid of it! The longer you harbour it the more it will stop you achieving your full potential.

5. Be responsible! You cannot blame anybody else for the mess you are in, so the sooner you take responsibility for your life, the quicker you can get to where you want to be. Openness and honesty about your own limitations and bad decisions in the past is the first step towards making a better future.

6. Be teachable! Always be ready to learn new things about yourself and those around you, new skills and new ways to look at things. None of us know it all, so the sooner you can admit it the better. Life is a continual learning experience.

7. Be at peace! You can BE all these IF you get your body, mind and spirit ‘in sync’. There are plenty of self help books out there telling you what you have to do, yet not many will give you the secret of inner peace, which comes from knowing why you were created and what God expects of you.

Don’t just drift through life, doing what everybody else is doing, seek to be more.

Chaplain Ian S Whitley