A true disciple is a lifelong learner. That’s because there’s always something new to know about following Jesus or some spiritual discipline that we can become more proficient in pursuing. At no point does our need to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus become more evident than in the matter of giving.
Everyone is aware of his or her limitations. Part of the maturation process involves facing the painful truth that we are not capable of doing everything our heart desires. Coming to terms with such a discovery means learning not to put ourselves in places or situations where our weaknesses get exposed.
One of the earliest lessons most of us learned was to be careful about the company we kept. At the time, that lesson may have not have hit home as well as it should have, but along life’s way it became more and more apparent that because we get so many of our cues in life from others, we’re always wise to make sure we have people in our lives who can show us right from wrong.
As we all know, names are more than ways to identify one another. Names either express our gratitude for special people to us or point to the hopes and dreams we have for those under our care. It’s always been the case from the beginning that our names say as much about us and our background as anything we might say or do.
All of us are familiar with the “blame game.” It is, quite frankly, a game at which all of us excel. Projecting the responsibility for our wrongdoing is an ability with which we seem to be hard-wired, simply because it comes so very easily for us. Owing up to our part in what is sideways in our lives is indeed one of life’s greatest struggles.
You’ve heard the expression, “The more the merrier?” That saying points to how when we come across something good, more of it is even better. When we come across something good, it always seems like we never can get enough.
What was it Shakespeare said? “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII). The speech addresses the seven stages of life, with our entrance coming in infancy. But as we all know, life is actually marked by many entrances – entrances into adolescence and young adulthood and senior adulthood – so that every exit becomes an entrance into something else.
Sacrifice is a word that has attained taboo status today. No one relishes the idea of giving up anything. All around us are voices telling us that to be happy and whole we have to be adding stuff on a continual basis. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to fill the holes in our souls with things we find such consumption to be an exercise in futility.
Every book on attaining effectiveness I’ve ever seen emphasizes the establishment of priorities. If everything is important, then nothing is. Or even worse, if everything is urgent, then we never find the time to get around to what is important. That’s why experts in the field of personal effectiveness insist on making lists that reflect what we believe to be of utmost significance.
You may have seen the picture that went viral of Bubba Watson, the PGA golfer, who played in the NBA Celebrity All-Star game, held in Los Angeles last week. The picture was of Bubba donned in his celebrity basketball gear putting up a jump shot with another celebrity, Tracy McGrady, a former NBA player, swatting Bubba’s jumper out of bounds. In basketball parlance, that’s called a “rejection,” and for all of us who know the term we couldn’t help but commiserate with Bubba for the embarrassment such an experience must have caused him.