Three Kinds of People, and How to Tell Them Apart

Three Kinds of People, and How to Tell Them Apart

People can make or break you. One key relationship may decide whether you experience success or failure, happiness or misery. Get the “people” thing wrong, and nothing else in your life will go right.

But not everybody is your friend. And sometimes even your friends can be difficult. That’s why understanding the three primary kinds of people you will encounter during your life can make all other decisions much easier.

Here are those three kinds of people, and how you should relate to them:

1. People you can trust. These people are not perfect, but you know they’re on your side. They care about your best interests. They aren’t bent on hiding things from you, and when they cause pain they are willing to do the necessary work to repair things. They may criticize you, but it’s clear they do so only in order to help you become better.

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Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Advice-for-my-younger-selfI just had a birthday. At my age that’s both good news and bad news. I’m glad I’m still here. (As someone said, it sure beats the alternative!) But it does give an opportunity to look both backward and forward, and think about what I wish I had known when I was younger.

You can probably look back and see some things you wish you had known also. The purpose of looking back isn’t to be filled with regrets, but to let past experiences, mistakes, and pain become valuable for the future. In God’s economy nothing need be lost. Every problem, every missed opportunity, every negative experience, every bad choice can provide fuel to learn and grow. That’s just plain common sense, and it’s also the message of the gospel. In God’s hands all our problems can be transformed into character and beauty.

Here are some things I’d say to my younger self if I could:

  • Don’t worry about what other people think.
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Getting Over A Bad Attitude

Bad AttitudeA bad attitude isn’t all in your head. Sometimes it’s very much in your body as well.

A bad attitude certainly spills over into your spirit. And it certainly affects the people around you also.

Choosing your attitude may seem impossible at first, but it’s a skill you can develop. A good attitude doesn’t mean denying the negative things in your life, family, or world. But it means you actively choose how you will think and act in relation to them.

One of the most powerful positive attitudes is hope. The Bible says we are saved by hope! (Romans 8:24) Science has been able to demonstrate the powerful positive effects of hope. Believing and expecting that something good can happen can block physical pain. Even a little hope causes the brain to release endorphins and enkephalins that can eliminate pain and provide a sense of well-being.[i] Hope can change the function of portions of the brain and nervous system, vascular system, gastrointestinal system, and your response to stress.

Hope, specifically, does not mean ignoring reality. Hope means looking clearly at the challenges you face, moving beyond the fear, and focusing on what you CAN change.

For example, in the face of cancer hope does not mean denying the diagnosis. It does mean understanding all you can about your illness, and grabbing hold of every available treatment (medical help, nutrition, prayer, etc). And hope may not always mean a cure; it may mean getting the most out of every day you have left on this earth.

When challenges come some people naturally feel more hopeful than others. Emotions can change slowly. But you can choose to focus on things you do have control over, on whatever is positive around you, and on the differences you can make in your world. Those things may seem small, but choosing to focus on them will have a positive impact on your physical and your mental health. You’ll feel better, and so will those around you!

So what does a biblical, godly attitude look like? Check these points:

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Five Do’s and Don’ts for Singles

The Single LifeIt’s not easy being single. Loneliness can make you vulnerable. If you do want a relationship, your efforts to develop one can feel frustrating or hopeless.

Maybe you’re single because you saw or experienced pain in other marriages you knew (such as your parents), and haven’t wanted to even consider the idea. Maybe you’re single because you got sexually involved in multiple relationships in the past and struggle now with guilt and wondering if anyone would want you. Maybe you’re single because you got out of a bad marriage, and now you’re saddled with all the baggage – both good and bad.

Or maybe you’re single just because – you’re single.

And why does everyone keep asking your relationship status anyway? Isn’t it enough to just be you?!

Remember that a bad marriage is so much worse than being single. If you don’t believe that, take a poll of your married friends. There are plenty of unhappily married people who would be glad to trade problems with you!

But knowing that doesn’t ease the loneliness you may feel, or answer the “Why” questions. So, what to do?

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A Different Response To Victoria Osteen’s Comment

Following JesusCyperspace has recently been filled with reaction to a comment by Victoria Osteen: “When we obey God … we’re doing it for ourself.” Most of the reaction among the rest of the Christian community has been strongly negative. Facebook posts have lampooned her. Other YouTube videos have been created expressing disgust. Victoria and Joel Osteen are no strangers to controversy, but this recent barrage has been particularly nasty.

I have never been to Lakewood. I do not watch Joel Osteen on TV. My comments are strictly theological.  I am not defending Victoria. I disagree with several aspects of their ministry. But I would like to offer an alternative way to think about this controversy.

Jesus said, “Follow Me. Keep My commandments.” (Matt. 16:24, John 14:15) There’s no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

However, Jesus understood motivation. He certainly promised good things to His followers.

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.” Mark 10:28-30

So here’s the thought. The important thing is that we obey God and follow Jesus. Period.

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