Here we go with the next 5 things from the list of 45 Things to Live well. It is often a great reminder as we think about some very practical things that authentic faith is walked out in real life. This "real" entails the body, soul and spirit. It is also good to remember that when we speak of a human being that we are talking about a whole human that is body, soul and spirit - to take away one of these aspects or to separate them from each other will almost always lead to unhealthy faith. Healthy faith will always make us whole, never break us into parts. This is important because often, people see their physical bodies as bad - this is not an anesthetics issue - but many think of the body is bad, the natural is a poor reflection of the spiritual. Sad to say this thinking has more in common with Greek thinking than it does with Christian thought. Healthy faith will make us more human (the way humans were created to be as image bearers of God), whole physical human beings because it roots us in reality - where life happens. Sooooo.... with this in mind, here are some practical suggestions for living more deeply, more human in your everyday life!
- Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. The Golden Rule! Did you know that the Golden Rule exists in almost every major religion in the world? This universal principle is a great "plumb-line" to help us make decisions, help guide our actions and our relationships with other people. It makes sense, especially when you add it to Jesus' words love others as you love yourself! I will suggest here that Jesus raises the bar on this towards the end of His life when He encouraged His friend to love each other as He had loved them.
- My Bad! Apologize when you should. The reality is none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, so there is really no point in pretending we don't. If you make a mistake, own it. Apologize, do what you can to rectify the situation, learn from it and move on. Yes, it may sting as we accept the consequences but its better than carrying the guilt and shame buried inside. Like a beach ball in the pool - it takes a lot of energy to keep it below the surface! Sooner or later it will breach the waters surface and usually dramatically and at an inconvenient times!
- Write things down. Whether in your smart phone, day timer or somewhere you will see it, some things need to be recorded so you can keep track of it. Let's face it, many of us are very busy - work, school, social engagements etc. - life is very busy and sometimes things can fall through the cracks. No system is perfect but by writing things down you go a long way to reducing the lost-in-the-cracks frustrations! I also like to keep a journal - this is helpful for me to remember different aspects of my life, challenges, victories, insights, feeling - the journey of life. It will be a real treat to be able to look back over your the story of life and see the big picture emerge. You will be amazed as to this can also provide insight for the choices you make in the present!
- Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Or, another way to say this is don't be afraid to fail! The fear of failure is one of the single most potent life stealers in the whole, wide world! It is a fear that if we fail we will be rejected, ridiculed or worse! The truth is failing is not fatal all that often. Many people fail honestly and live to tell about! I have a friend who is a very successful contractor and he said the best thing that ever happened to him was when he failed and went bankrupt. HUH? He said he learned at an early age that he tried, he failed and it wasn't fatal - he got through, learned some things and started again. This time he was armed with new wisdom and a higher tolerance for risk which has paid off time and time again!
- Explore new ideas and opportunities often. This is part and parcel with number 4. When we realize that failure is not the end of the world, we then can relax and be open to new ideas - more so, as we explore these new idea we can then become more creative and innovative because we have taken a few steps of the fear box! Don't be afraid to learn new things and explore new opportunities - these are often keys to unlock the gifts and talents that have laid dormant in your life hidden by the shadow of fear!