August 06, 2010

Keep a Quiet Heart

Elisabeth Elliot is a Christian author and speaker who has had a fascinating life filled with all kinds of trials and experiences that many of us will never face. Below is an excerpt for her book Keep a Quiet Heart. Her wisdom is sound and concise. She puts a humorous spin on the way many of us end up feeling and acting sometimes. It can be from habit, when we don't even realize it or because we are going through a hard time. The important thing for Christians to remember though, is no matter what you are going through, it is nothing that Jesus has not felt himself. That said, here's a reminder that our actions and what we choose to focus on (our pain OR Christ's sovereignty in all situations) can have a big impact on the way everyday life plays out.

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable:

1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.

2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.

3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.

4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.

5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and wherethey're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.

6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matter. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what other expect of you.

7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.

8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.

9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it' at now.

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