Two Ways to Experience Joy in Tough TimesJun 18, 2020
Two Powerful Actions to Improve Your Life Right Now!
Here are two actions to take. First, assess how you spend your time but in a new way I will explain. Second, learn how to respond during contentious or even volatile interactions with people you love but who disagree with how to talk about controversial issues. My wife showed me in a beautiful way how, and it is so easy.
#1 - Reassess Your Time in a New Way
If you take a quick look at your life and how you spend your days, you may have noticed an absence of some of the busyness that used to occupy you before COVID-19. The new action needed is praying in the morning to recognize busyness and useless activities in your day. Also, ask during the day, “Will what I am about to do add anything meaningful to my life or the life of others? Will it glorify God? Is the news on my phone going to provide any information that will change anything?”
I guarantee that you will harvest time that you can use in a much more meaningful way. Then pray about where in your life you can act in a way that increases your abidance in God’s will in the basic areas of your life. Think of ways to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength plus love your neighbors as yourselves. If you are one of our Life Coaching clients, go back to your Christian Life Balance Tool and select the areas that have the most growth potential.
#2 – Way to Respond in Heated or Contentious Interactions
Susan, a close non-Christian friend of ours, is really upset with what is going on in our country right now, especially the racial issues. Nancy, my wife, and I join her, but there are many ways to talk and think about it. Susan is still adjusting to me having surrendered my life to Christ 12 years ago and how the “New Charlie” responds to trials and tribulations differently.
As Susan was continuing her rant, she did not get the inflamed response from us she expected. Alternatively, Nancy responded in a loving way and talked about where we start when addressing events. She explained that our world view starts with Christ teaching us to love all people and even forgive our enemies.
Without Nancy mentioning our service to others, Susan recalled how she had seen us act in ways that reflected Christ’s love for the poor and marginalized. Nancy told her about our love for Christ and how he motivates our actions. In all the back and forth, Nancy was able to love Susan with Christ-like responses and reflective listening. Over time, Susan calmed down, said she understood our perspective, apologized, and the three of us continue to speak and listen respectfully and lovingly with each other. But there is more…
Actions should follow our words. So, I would like to challenge myself and you to pray about whether we have helped the widows, the orphans, and the poor as much as we could. Do we approach people as individuals or members of a group? Do we reach out to all kinds of brothers and sisters around the world and around the block knowing that we have the greatest common love one can have – the love for Christ? Do we see the person before us as a someone uniquely, perfectly, and beautifully made by our Father? Do we engage in conversation to appreciate what that person has to offer or needs? Do we really appreciate how much a gentle smile and wave can do?
I have failed many times at these challenges, and I hope you will join me in acting. James 4:17 tells us, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” The Lord has commanded us to follow the greatest commandment and the second being close to it--love God and love our neighbors. Tiny steps forward will lead to larger steps over time.
I promise that following these two life coaching recommendations will bring joy and understanding to your life. Though, you may be facing difficulties right now like losing your job. However, you can still help your neighbor with something or say a kind word to the grocery store clerk. Pray for the right words and actions to say and use in the opportunities that the Lord puts before us.
Many Christians are frustrated in their jobs, struggling with choosing the right college major, or know life could mean more. At Unstatus Your Quo®, we provide Career + Life Assessments and Coaching to help Christians discover and work in their most fulfilling career plus live a more meaningful life.