One of the Easiest Ways to Impact Children’s Lives

One of the easiest ways for adults to have a greater impact on a child’s sense of self value:Speak up with your affirmation even if others already have.
Just because another adult praises a child for their accomplishment or expresses delight in a child’s effort doesn’t mean the role has been filled. The child wants and needs affirmation from EACH influential adult in their lives.

Words Don’t Always Mean What We Think They Mean

Pop culture wields amazing power. Words often take on new meanings due to popular use, and their meanings evolve over generations to match the current mindset of the people. We think we know what we’re saying, but do we really?

It’s important to call attention to assumptions, though, because we build entire thought processes and philosophies upon the supposed meanings of words. Your entire life is shaped by the decisions you make based on what you believe words to mean.

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Are You Avoiding Conflict or Honoring Your Time?

In the course of pursuing the destiny for which you were created, you have no doubt already experienced a conflict you chosen not to engage. Some will accuse you of being inflexible or refusing to be challenged. And it might be true.

At the same time, it may be patently false. How easy to misconstrue the responses of others!

How much self-examination is too much?

At some point, you can’t continue to question everything. Questioning is a different mode than building, and if you never start building, you end up with nothing to show for your life. So at what point do you draw a line and say “No more questioning. I’m moving on”?

There is a time to tear down. And a time to build up. Wisdom is discerning when you’ve done enough demolition and examination and then choosing to transition to building and development.

Perhaps in projects that last generations, a person might devote their entire life to one mode: to tear down a sacred calf of the mind or to build a supporting structure for a much greater project for the generations who follow. But for many, if not most, parts of life, we have a duty to contribute something. To create something. To do so, one must abandon constant scrutiny and self-examination at some point. Otherwise the work never gets started.

There are times I’ve had little patience for people whose only contributions to my life incite conflict. Not because I fear or shun conflict, but because conflict is all they ever bring to the table. The first conflict or two are fine. They are coincidental. But when a pattern emerges, a choice must be made.

Do I spend my energy and time on this person who only seems to contribute when they disagree with me? Are they open to debate? Is our relationship built upon give and take? Or is it based on imbalance?

A person whose only contribution to a relationship is conflict has not earned the time to have their ideas continually considered and discussed. Time is one of our most finite resources and we must each determine how to spend it.

Healthy relationships top the list of priorities.


Don’t Let Other People Tell You Who You Are

I share my stories with you in case you’ve experienced something like it. You’re not alone. And we CAN get through this.

A few months after I gave my life to Jesus, people started prophesying over me at various church gatherings. Then after I completed the church membership classes, a few leaders in the church prophesied over me. 

I started collecting these statements and promises, but really had no clue what to do with them. In some ways those words made my life worse. They tortured me. I was destined for something great, and yet I was a cowardly, insecure young man with no sense of direction for my life.

Looking back, it hurts to consider that possibly some of the words received were just plain wrong. Maybe they were for someone else. Maybe they were misinterpreted. But what if the confusion I’ve felt paralyzed by for so long is the result of giving these prophecies the power to shape my life?

What if most of the prophetic words spoken over me were flesh or just in error?What if my life feels so out of sync because I let other people tell me who I am. Instead of telling the world who I am. Or asking Father who he says I am.
What if some of these crucial prophetic words from two decades ago mean nothing because they never confirmed much about my current or past life and therefore should be judged much more critically?

One of the best personal philosophies I have I got from nonbelieving entrepreneurs. And that philosophy is that I don’t have to wait for life to choose me. I can choose life and make it happen. And I really didn’t know that for most of my life.

It’s possible to feel an obligation to seek out, wait for, or work really hard to make prophecies come true. But when there’s a heart disconnect, allowing yourself to be limited by the parameters of a personal prophesy seems destructive. You are who God made you far more than you are what Joe Blow has the maturity and clarity to hear from God about you. 

If the prophecy is in error, it has the potential to weigh us down just as much as other people’s opinions or curses. Trying to live up to the wrong ideal is soul crushing.

I’m tired of confusion and error. I’m tired of floating through life. I’m ready to swim.