I joined Optimist in Lebanon and learned their creed. Can you imagine the world if we all reached toward living it
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
I enjoy the new growth in spring, not only the colorful flowers but the green conifer trees. The buds on the end of the branches swell with expanding life before the tender new shoots burst forth. The fresh needles are fair in color, contrasting the rest of the tree, and lack the strength of the established limbs. While they are soft and pretty at this stage, they are also vulnerable to damage. Lower limbs and especially succulent tops of small trees are favorite snacks for deer. Farther up the tree the new growth can be broken by wind or birds looking for a place to rest.
As the delicate growth absorbs nutrition from the tree it becomes stronger. In time, the once sagging little twig turns into a firm limb able to withstand dangers. Its color deepens until it blends with the other needles, no longer standing out as “new.”
I watched the new growth this year and thought of the new believers I have seen become part of God’s faithful family. Like the little twig, the new believer needs wisdom and guidance from older followers to help form their foundation. They are at risk of being damaged by friends, relatives and habits from their old life. They do not need judged for being delicate; they need support for solid growth. When they are nurtured and fed they become firm and can stand on their own trust in God when calamity strikes.
All believers grow strong when fed positive food that enriches the soul. Ephesians 4:29 reminds us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Build up others with your words and actions.
Do you judge someone’s behavior with criticism or do you nurture them because of their sagging faith?
When I am feeling worthless Isaiah 43 is a good chapter for me to read and restore my vision of who God wants me to be. Of course, I revise it to the first person to get a personal lesson from it.
The chapter begins by assuring me that because He created and formed me, I have no reason to fear. He didn’t use a person-mold to create yet another human. He took the time to form and shape me into who I was meant to be. And He didn’t turn me loose on my own; He is with me in all my troubles and woes.
Verse 3 explains why He stays with me; “For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.” Wow, He is the one true God and in verse 4 He says that I am “precious and honored in His sight, because He loves me.” How can I be down on myself when God says I am precious and honored? Or when the one true God loves me?
Not only did He create and form me but He also chose me. (vs. 10) He picked me out and said, “I want that one.” He wants me to be a witness and servant for Him. And what do I get? I will know, believe and understand that He is the God of creation. He formed me that I may proclaim His praise. (vs. 21)
When I know and believe, He “blots out my transgressions…and remembers my sin no more.” (vs. 25) Does He do it because I am good? No. He does it so I will give Him the praise and honor that He deserves.
The God of the Universe made me to worship Him. I can’t do that when I am moaning about myself. When I do what I was designed to do – worship God—I feel better about myself and everything around me.
What scripture do you go to when you are feeling down?