- Don’t write and send letters or emails when angry. You may say words you will forever regret. You are not rational and wise when in anger. You need time to reflect on your thoughts. Sleeping over it helps you cool down. James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak (write/type) and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
- A good reputation is better than fame and money. Proverbs 20:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (NIV) It is better to be poor and be a person of integrity and character, than to be a wealthy fool.
3. Refresh yourself. Don’t run on fumes. Our society thrives of busyness. We need to set aside time to slow down to refresh and recharge ourselves. We need to spend quality time with our loved ones. Gifts and money do not replace the human touch and fellowship.
- Accountability and mentoring. We all need people who speak into our lives. We need someone to bounce ideas off of. We need people who will tell us, not what we WANT to hear, but what we NEED to hear. Who is your mentor? Who is watching your back?
- Plan for tomorrow. We never know what tomorrow holds. The best time to save is today. Work on cutting down and eliminating your debt. Live within your means. Do you really need that many pairs of shoes? Jeans?
- Encourage others. Be an encouraging machine. Many people we meet everyday are hurting. Your encouragement may be all they need today. Go ahead encourage someone.
- Think before you speak. It is amazing how many times we hurt others through careless words because we did not think before we spoke. Do you often suffer from the “foot in mouth disease”? Do you often regret what you say? Remember words can hurt and destroy people for life. Gossip and slander destroy community. Proverbs 18: says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”
- Negativity is contagious and poisons community. One bad apple can spoil the whole fruit basket. Sometimes it takes one negative person to affect the mood of a group, stealing everyone’s joy, and causing unnecessary sadness. Read Psalms. Hang around positive people. Inject life by trying new foods, travel, or pick up a new hobby. Philippians 4: says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
- Gratitude is the best attitude. Ingratitude is a sign of immaturity. Entitlement. A simple thank you goes a long way. It amazes me when I see people receive something and never utter a word. They just grab it and go, like the world owes them something. Don’t be that person. Start expressing gratitude to everyone who has done something for you. Say “thank you” always. People often feel like you have taken them for granted, if you do not show gratitude. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- My friend, Andy Van Gerpen used to say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” We do good, but that does not mean we people will do good to us. Jesus did good all the time, yet they killed Him. Many good people suffer. Many suffer because they are good. Do good anyway.
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001