So I haven’t blogged in a while, but luckily there’s no law about blogging and I live by grace – graced and free to blog when I want!
I’ve finished “9 things you simply must do” by Henry Cloud. I’ve also been able to apply the 9 things to many areas of my life as they have proved very insightful.
The 5th principle is Act Like an Ant. This was one of the most helpful chapters. I often feel overwhelmed by tasks and put them off until last minute because of that: essays, planning an event, writing letters/applications etc. Henry Cloud talks about how ants move one tiny grain of sand at a time and then within no time they have built an entire ant farm. This is such a simple principle – “little grains of sand soon built kingdoms”. I may be overwhelmed by a task but I can always make a phone call, write 100 words, arrange a meeting. Grains of sand aren’t scary. I decided to organise my last assignment at uni into grains of sand and had it done in no time at all – this principle REALLY WORKS and is just so simple. I think our generation are so impatient and want everything immediately that we’re very “all or nothing”, which is why so many of us fail – it took Noah years to build the ark. Patience is a virtue. One step at a time, one day at a time, one grain of sand at a time, a city is built!
The next principle was Hate Well, it spoke about hating the sin and love the sinner. I had heard this before but the way it was put across was different to how I had considered it previously. I have always felt that I’ve tried to love people graciously when they have disclosed sin to me and supported them through it. However, I’d never really considered hating the sin, loving the sinner when it came to those who sinned against me. I always take things personally and really need God to change my heart and love those who sin against me. The ironic thing is that often I will go and complain to other people about the person who sinned against me which causes me to sin. Loving those who sin against you gives you the opportunity to create good out of sin. It kind of linked in the the following principle which was “Don’t Play Fair”. Fair is doing to others what they have done to you. If someones nice to you, you’re nice back, if someone hurts you, you hurt them back. God wants us to rebel against culture and love those who hurt us.
The 8th principle is Be Humble. Humility isn’t about being meek and mild and denying any compliments given to you, it’s about being aware of your own weaknesses. I had never looked at it this way. I started to think about my own weaknesses. I have done the strength finder course and know all about my strengths but weaknesses are often overlooked. I have hundreds of weaknesses – I’m a sinner, we all do. Humility is being aware of both your strengths and weaknesses. God knows us better than we know ourselves so it’s good for us to pray to him asking him to reveal more weaknesses in our character and pray for the opportunities for us to alter them and make our weaknesses more Christ like.
The final principle was one I struggled with most: “Upset the Right People.” I am a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict, I like to be liked and I enjoy making people happy. As Joyce Meyer puts it – I am an approval addict. This principle was therefore completely alien to me – it was Ok to upset people? I’d always thought that loving people was making them happy, giving them what they wanted. God used this chapter to introduce the idea of tough love as well as tender love. I’m Ok at the tender love but tough love, I hate being brutally honest with people and saying “No” to people.
I’m back at university now and finding that I get lots of opportunity to put all these newly learned principles into action. My next book is “Fight Like a Girl” by Lisa Bevere so watch this space for thoughts on Biblical Femininity.