Posts Tagged bitterness

Take No Bitterness into the New Year

Many people regard New Year’s Resolutions with the same disdain they attribute to the much maligned fruitcake. I am a proponent of both. For several years now I have made the same New Year’s resolution and I do my best to keep it. I will take no bitterness into the New Year. Whatever has happened during the past twelve months that tends to sour my disposition, cause me pain and create separation, I resolve to let go. Whatever offenses I have suffered will not be dragged into the New Year. As the years pile up, keeping my resolution doesn’t get any easier.

Forgiveness is not as easy as it might sound. Partly it requires developing a thicker skin and realizing that I take far too many things personally. I need to lighten up. This is one of the concepts my friend, Dr. Monty Knight, discusses in his book, Balanced Living; Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weaknesses. Continuing with Monty’s philosophy, I don’t have to go to every fight to which I am invited. That is a major concept. Let it go. Tom Newboult, a minister of religious education, once told me that sin is giving more importance to the moment than it is worth. In other words, don’t dwell in the negative. I think Tom hit the nail on the head. What a great concept!

Turning a negative into a positive is another methodology for dealing with difficult situations. Since I administered a not-for-profit agency for most of my career, I am often attacked with, “Well, Mitch, you are just an idealist.” My reply is, “Thank you. I hope so.” The main thing about forgiveness for those of us who are Christian to remember is that we are able to forgive because we have been forgiven.

Susan Sparks in her book, Laugh Your Way to Grace, suggests that we rediscover the power of humor. She maintains that we take ourselves far too seriously. We need to repackage some of the comments that cause us pain.

Bitterness is a terrible task master. It will ruin your life and suck all the goodness you receive into a dark hole. I recommend a proactive approach. Go on an active campaign to make those around you glad that you are there. Build them up by helping them feel good about themselves. Say something nice. Compliment her or him in a real genuine way. Call the person by name. Offer a specific compliment about a real accomplishment. On the other hand when you receive a compliment acknowledge it graciously with a simple “thank you.” In my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, I discuss the power of words, but I am by no means the first to come to that conclusion. The psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, oh God, my strength and my redeemer.”

Dr. Arthur Caliandro gets right to the heart of the matter with a three word solution. “Life is now.” That statement is stunning in its simplicity. Live in the present. Don’t drag past hurts into today. I was part of a vivid demonstration of this principle. We were planning one of the annual John Hamrick Lectures while Dr. John was still living. A potential speaker was being considered. I called the speaker to extend an invitation. He told me that because he and Dr. Hamrick had been involved on opposite sides of a controversy, he would only come if Dr. Hamrick approved. When I told Dr. Hamrick of my conversation he didn’t hesitate. “That was then. This is now.” Wow!

I make no claim that getting rid of bitterness is an easy task. You and I have experienced great hurts. Unfortunately we have also inflicted great hurts. I know that I am in the process of becoming and that God is not finished with me. Practicing my resolution of taking no bitterness into the New Year has helped me live a more productive, less stressful life. I believe you will experience the same happy results if you give it a try. It will not be easy, but it is worth the effort.

Tags: , , ,

A New Adventure Dawns

A new year is dawning and a new president will soon be sworn in to fill the most important job in the world. The rest of us are wondering what the New Year holds and what is our place in it.  I am filled with gratitude for the friendships, adventures and surprises that came my way in the year about to close. I am excited and a little anxious about the year ahead.

I know that there will be good things in the year ahead. How do I know that? I know because there have been good things in every one of the past years for me. Yes, there have been tragedies from which I thought I could never recover even if I wanted to. There were some so deep that I was not sure that I wanted to survive, but survive I did.

I know that I face some overwhelming challenges in the year ahead, but I am just as certain that the good will outweigh the bad. I have a loving family, good friends, and a caring support system. Most of all I know that even though I am still working out my salvation I am confident that the grace that has sustained me through these many years is still there surrounding me, upholding me, and beckoning me to take another step into faith. One step at a time is all that I can muster and I know that it is enough.

I have had an unbelievable life. No one could have dreamed it other than God and my mother. For some my life seems ordinary and dull, but to awaken every morning with joy, thanksgiving and a sense of awe is all the assurance I need to sustain me.

Tags: , , ,

Take No Bitterness into the New Year

 

          Many people regard New Year’s Resolutions with the same disdain they attribute to the much maligned fruitcake. I am a proponent of both. For several years now I have made the same New Year’s resolution and I ask God to help me to keep it.  I will take no bitterness into the New Year. Whatever has happened during the past twelve months that tends to sour my disposition, cause me pain and create separation, I resolve to let go. Whatever offenses I have suffered will not be dragged into the New Year. Forgiveness is not as easy as it might sound. Partly it requires developing a thicker skin and realizing that I take far too many things personally. I need to lighten up. This is one of the concepts my friend, Dr. Monty Knight, discusses in his book, Balanced Living; Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weakness. Continuing with Monty’s philosophy, I don’t have to go to every fight to which I am invited. That is a major concept. Let it go. Tom Newboult, a minister of religious education, once told me that sin is giving more importance to the moment than it is worth. In other words, don’t dwell in the negative. I think Tom hit the nail on the head. What a great concept! Turning a negative into a positive is another methodology for dealing with difficult situations. Since I administered a not-for-profit agency for most of my career, I would often be attacked with, “Well, Mitch, you are just an idealist.” My reply became, “Thank you. I hope so.” The main thing about forgiveness for those of us who are Christian to remember is that we are able to forgive because we have been forgiven. Susan Sparks in her book, Laugh Your Way to Grace, suggests that we rediscover the power of humor. She maintains that we take ourselves far too seriously. We need to repackage some of the comments that cause us pain. Bitterness is a terrible task master. It will ruin your life and suck all the goodness you receive into a dark hole. I recommend a proactive approach. Go on an active campaign to make those around you glad that you are there. Build them up by helping them feel good about themselves. Say something nice. Compliment him or her in a real genuine way. Call the person by name. Offer a specific compliment about a real accomplishment. On the other hand when you receive a compliment acknowledge it graciously with a simple “thank you.” In my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, I discuss the power of words, but I am by no means the first to come to that conclusion. The psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, oh God, my strength and my redeemer.” Dr. Arthur Caliandro gets right to the heart of the matter with a three word solution. “Life is now.” That statement is stunning in its simplicity. Live in the present. Don’t drag past hurts into today. I was part of a vivid demonstration of this principle. We were planning one of the annual John Hamrick Lectures while Dr. John was still living. A potential speaker was being considered. I called the speaker to extend an invitation. He told me that because he and Dr. Hamrick had been involved on opposite sides of a controversy, he would only come if Dr. Hamrick approved. When I told Dr. Hamrick of my conversation he didn’t hesitate. “That was then. This is now.” Wow!

            I make no claim that getting rid of bitterness is an easy task. You and I have experienced great hurts. Unfortunately we have also inflicted great hurts. I know that I am in the process of becoming and that God is not finished with me. Practicing my resolution of taking no bitterness into the New Year has helped me live a more productive, less stressful life. I believe you will experience the same happy results if you give it a try.

Tags: , , , ,

This Resolution Can Reduce Your Stress Next Year

Mitch Carnell

Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2011 6:43 am @www.ethicsdaily.comKnight

This Resolution Can Reduce Your Stress Next Year | Mitch Carnell, Bitterness, Forgiveness, Resolutions

Bitterness is a terrible taskmaster. It will ruin your life and suck all the goodness you receive into a dark hole, Carnell writes.

Many people regard New Year’s resolutions with the same disdain they attribute to the fruitcake. I am a proponent of both.

For several years now, I have made the same New Year’s resolution, and I ask God to help me to keep it: I will take no bitterness into the new year.

Whatever has happened during the past 12 months that tends to sour my disposition, cause me pain and create separation, I resolve to let go. Whatever offenses I have suffered will not be dragged into the new year.

Forgiveness is not as easy as it might sound. Partly it requires developing a thicker skin and realizing that I take far too many things personally. I need to lighten up.

This is one of the concepts my friend, Monty Knight, discusses in his book “Balanced Living: Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weakness.”

Continuing with Monty’s philosophy, I don’t have to go to every fight to which I am invited. That is a major concept: Let it go.

Tom Newboult, a minister of religious education, once told me that sin is giving more importance to the moment than it is worth. In other words, don’t dwell in the negative. I think Tom hit the nail on the head.

Turning a negative into a positive is another methodology for dealing with difficult situations.

Since I administered a not-for-profit agency for most of my career, I would often be attacked with, “Well, Mitch, you are just an idealist.”

My reply became, “Thank you. I hope so.”

The main thing Christians must remember about forgiveness is that we are able to forgive because we have been forgiven.

Susan Sparks in “Laugh Your Way to Grace” suggests that we rediscover the power of humor. She maintains that we take ourselves far too seriously. We need to repackage some of the comments that cause us pain.

Bitterness is a terrible taskmaster. It will ruin your life and suck all the goodness you receive into a dark hole.

I recommend a proactive approach. Go on an active campaign to make those around you glad that you are there. Build them up by helping them feel good about themselves. Say something nice. Compliment him or her in a genuine way. Call the person by name. Offer a specific compliment about a real accomplishment.

On the other hand, when you receive a compliment, acknowledge it graciously with a simple “thank you.”

In my book, “Christian Civility in an Uncivil World,” I discuss the power of words, but I am by no means the first to come to that conclusion.

The psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, oh God, my strength and my redeemer.”

Arthur Caliandro gets right to the heart of the matter with a three-word solution. “Life is now.” That statement is stunning in its simplicity. Live in the present. Don’t drag past hurts into today.

I was part of a vivid demonstration of this principle. We were planning one of the annual John Hamrick Lectures while Hamrick was still living. A potential speaker was being considered. I called the speaker to extend an invitation.

He told me that because he and Hamrick had been involved on opposite sides of a controversy, he would only come if Hamrick approved. When I told Hamrick of my conversation, he didn’t hesitate. “That was then. This is now.” Wow.

I make no claim that getting rid of bitterness is an easy task. You and I have experienced great hurts. Unfortunately we have also inflicted great hurts.

I know that I am in the process of becoming and that God is not finished with me. Practicing my resolution of taking no bitterness into the new year has helped me live a more productive, less stressful life.

I believe you will experience the same happy results if you give it a try.

Tags: , ,