Monday, October 29, 2012

The 7 Qualities of a Good Friend - Karol Ladd

After years of speaking to women’s groups on the topic of friendship, I have discovered a pattern of characteristics that women typically appreciate in other people. Here are the top seven relationship ingredients that have surfaced over the years. I encourage you to consider these qualities in light of your current friendships and, if you are married, in light of your relationship with your spouse. (They’re great building blocks for marriage.) These are qualities to internalize in your own life in order to become a better friend. You can also use them as a measure to consider (not judge) potential friendships in the future.

1. Take a genuine interest in others.
Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” As we listen to others and show an interest in what is important to them, we begin to truly love and understand them. Every person has an invisible sign around his or her neck that reads, “I want to feel important.” Everyone has something to offer this world. We need to search for it, find it, and bring it to the surface.

I’ve found that scheduling an “Others Hour” is a good way to make time to be attentive to others. What is an Others Hour? It’s a sixty minute period we reserve on our schedules each week in order to focus solely on our friends and their needs. I know for me, if something is not on the calendar, it typically doesn’t happen. An Others Hour is a time when we can write a note or make a call or deliver a gift or do a favor. It’s a time when we can pray for a certain friend in need. Try it. Who knows? You may find your Others Hour multiplies throughout the week!

Turn Life’s Disappointments Into Spiritual Opportunities

People will disappoint you in life, and they will disappoint you often. Yet each person who hurts you or causes you some sort of disillusionment is actually doing you a favor. They are providing you with opportunities to prove how unconditionally you can love and forgive your brothers and sisters under God. It is easy to love those who love you, but as Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:28, it is very difficult to ”bless those who curse you.” Jesus asks a lot of us with this statement, but you can benefit immensely if you can put it into practice.

All people are damaged. When they behave badly, it is often because of pain that has accumulated from their past. Sometimes, when someone we know well hurts us, we are able to see clearly what may have caused their behavior. But when dealing with strangers, business associates, or people we just don’t know that well, we have very little information about their personal history. We don’t know what has happened in those people’s lives to cause them pain. We don’t know about their childhood, and we don’t know what may have happened to them earlier in the day or just before you walked through their door! It is for this reason that I use the following affirmation:

People are doing the best they can with what they have.

This is almost always true. Whether it’s a snarky customer service rep on the telephone, your boss, or your spouse, people are trying to get by day to day with the coping skills that they possess. Show compassion, and repeat that affirmation when you begin to feel irritated. How many times have you hung up the phone or walked away from somebody’s office shaking your head and thinking, “Gosh, what got into him today?” Even the nicest people in the world have bad moments. Perhaps you just encountered someone at a bad time. It happens every day. I know that I would not want my character to be judged for a transgression I made when I was under pressure, exhausted, or upset about something.

I once had a complete meltdown in a bank, screaming so loud at the teller that security was called to escort me out of the building. Now, let me state for the record that I do not normally behave this way. However, this was the same day that the pediatric endocrinologist had told me that my little Shane would not live to see his second birthday. My nerves were shot. The bank teller, who probably still tells the story of the crazy screaming lady, had no idea what kind of emotional devastation I had lived through and had no way of knowing that I was reacting to other, potentially tragic circumstances in my life.

10 Scriptural Confessions – Bob Yandian

1.) Colossians 1:13 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.

Confession: I walk in your Godly Kingdom today, for Jesus has destroyed Satan’s kingdom in my life. Satan, I command you to stop your maneuvers in my life. I bind you and cast you out

2.) 2 Corinthians 2:14 -Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

Confession: I walk in total triumph in every situation, for Jesus has destroyed failure in my life. I am an overcomer and can do all things through Christ. I have the victory and the victory has me! I am a victor and a king! (Phil. 4:13; I John 5:4)

3.) Ephesians 2:6 – And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Confession: I reign from my heavenly throne-room position, for Jesus has destroyed an inferior position in my life. I rule and reign with Jesus today. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. Father, you are Lord of heaven and earth, and we go out and possess the land today. Satan’s doors are closed, and many doors are open for me to speak Your Word boldly. (I John 4:4; Luke 10:21; Josh. 1)

The Happiness Habit - Joel Osteen

Many people don’t realize that much of the manner in which we approach life — our attitudes, and our demeanour — is learned behaviour. These habits have formed by repetition throughout the years. If we've spent years focusing on what’s wrong rather than what’s right, then these negative patterns are going to keep us from enjoying our lives.

We acquired many of our habits from our parents or from the people who were around us as we grew up. Studies tell us that negative parents raise negative children. If your parents focused more on what was wrong, living stressed out, uptight, or discouraged, there’s a good possibility that you have developed some of those same negative mind-sets.

I often have people tell me, “Well, Joel, I’m just a worrier. I’m just uptight. I’m not a friendly sort of person.”

No, please understand, those are habits that you have developed. And the good news is you can “reprogram” your own “computer.” You can get rid of a negative mentality and develop a habit of happiness.

The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” One translation simply says, “Be happy all the time.” That means no matter what comes our way, we can have smiles on our faces. We should get up each morning excited about that day. Even if we are facing difficult or negative circumstances, we need to learn to keep a positive outlook. Many people are waiting for their circumstances to be worked out before they decide to be happy. “Joel, as soon as I get a better job; as soon as my child straightens up; as soon as my health improves.”

No, the bottom line is if you’re going to be happy, you need to make a decision to be happy right now.

Happiness does not depend on your circumstances; it depends on your will. It’s a choice that you make. I’ve seen people go through some of the most awful, unfortunate situations, yet at the time you would never know they were having a problem. They had a smile on their face and a good report on their lips. In spite of their dire dilemmas, they remained positive, upbeat, and energetic.

Happiness does not depend on your circumstances…It’s a choice that you make.

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