Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23,2011 The 12 T's of LIFE


In life, it is not possible to always dot all our I’s and cross all our T’s; however there are at least a dozen primary ‘T’’s that we certainly need to ‘cross’ –( to be very careful about) for lasting success and happiness in life.

What are those 12 VITAL Life changing T’s?
1)   Time: 
If there is one thing every person on this earth has been bestowed with in equality and without partiality, it is the Gift of Time. It is up to each one of us to seize the 86,400 seconds in a day and make the most of them
 Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day.  Rich people can't buy more hours.  Scientists can't invent new minutes.  And you can't save time to spend it on another day.  Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving.  No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”-Denis Waitely
2)   Thoughts :

Thoughts are what can either make or break us .We must never make any room for negative thoughts as they rob us of our joy,strength,peace and effectiveness in life.In my previous post I spoke about how THOUGHT CONDITIONERS  help us to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
The Bible is full of Scriptures about being careful about what we speak. There is a Greek proverb, ‘A tongue has no bones, but it can break bones.’ In James 3:3-12 we see a whole passage about the need for Taming Our Tongue. Even though the tongue is a very small member, it has been likened to the spark that causes the forest fire. “Your words are Containers for Power”-Joyce Meyer. We must be very careful with our confessions.  The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov 18:21.
How can we sanctify our Tongue? When we fill our mouth with the Word of God and give praise and thanks to God, evil will flee as it cannot come from the same source.
Psalms 34:1: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Isaiah 50:4: “The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary…”
Psalms 35:28:“My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praise all day long.”
Proverbs 8:6: “Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.”

A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.
-Author Unknown

4) Truth:
Psalms 34:12, 13 says “whoever loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future. In God’s eyes, there is no half /full truth, just as there are no white /black or big /small lies. “The Lord detests a lying tongue” (Prov 6:17.)Jesus says in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”. Whenever we lie, we disobey God and thus create a foothold for Satan. Acc to John 8:44 Satan is called the Father of All Lies. It is said that once we tell a lie, we will have to tell another lie to cover it up and thus begins a vicious circle. Sir Walter Scott has put it very nicely when he said “Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.”Lying fills our life with guilt, remorse and above all, we lose our peace of mind. So it is always best to speak the honest truth no matter what the consequence. TRUTH ALONE TRIUMPHS.

5) Tact:
I’ve learnt over the years that it is not only what you say but how and when you present it that also matters. As opposed to what many of us believe, being tactful is not being crafty/sly/untruthful. In fact when Jesus said that you must be as wise as serpents, I think what he intended was for us to be tactful in life situations. Hence I looked up the word in the Dictionary and was surprised with what I came up with. Tact is defined as (1) the ability to avoid giving offense : skill in situations in which other people's feelings have to be considered/ (2)discretion : an intuitive sense of what is right or appropriate.
According to this definition, being tactful is actually being considerate of other’s feelings and thus rather than hurt a person by being blunt; it is a virtue if we can say the same thing in a kinder way and at a proper time. It is like rearranging your words to suit the listener to get the desired result. “Tact is the ability to make a person see the lightning without letting him feel the bolt.”

6) Tone:
Tone is the way somebody says something which is actually an indicator of what the person is feeling/thinking. There are different tones like: excited/sarcastic/judgmental/ threatening/encouraging/friendly etc. The same words can be spoken in different tones to mean different things. I think it is best explained in the poem below.

7) Talents:
All of us are made in God’s image-unique & special with very different capacities and capabilities. Just like the five fingers on our hand are different in shape and size, but all are equally needed for us to use our hand properly, same is the case with all of us. Well, you may say I don’t have much- I can’t sing or speak or run or draw or write. That’s okay, God made you & He knows what you can and cannot do. He only expects you to use what you have.
We should be like the little boy in the Bible who placed his lunch box of 5 loaves and two fish into Jesus hands who blessed it and used it to feed the hungry multitude. What if the boy thought “what I have is too little” and ate it himself? Will the miracle have taken place?
What is it that is in your hand? We don’t have to be good at everything to be used by God rather we have to learn to operate from our strengths. Firstly you have to find out what it is that you are good at and enjoy doing, that’s your strength(your natural talent)use that which He has placed in your hands. Don’t bury or let it rust, pray for opportunities to use your talents faithfully, He will bless them and cause them to multiply just like the Master did  in the Parable of Talents in the Bible (Mathew 25:14-30).Never underestimate what God can do with a willing and obedient spirit. Can we say with Erma Bombeck?  “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." 

8) Temper:
All of us have lost our temper sometime or other in our life. Bible teaches us in James 1:19 that “we should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”This does not mean that we should be spineless doormats who say yes to everything and everyone. Anger in itself is not wrong; it is just like joy/surprise/excitement or any other emotion. In fact the Perfect Jesus Himself got angry on one occasion (Mathew 21:12, 13) where we see a righteous indignation, a Divine Anger. Thus we can see that it is how we deal with this emotion that really matters. Bible says in Eph 4:26 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” This means that we should learn how to manage Anger. Suppression of anger is not a healthy solution as it will lead to bottling up of pent up emotions which will ultimately lead to bitterness, rage & hatred.
One of the best ways to deal with anger is to be open and confront the matter quickly; definitely when both parties are calm, relaxed and ready to.
It may sometimes be hurt/fatigue/hunger/misunderstanding that comes out as anger. So when you find yourself getting angry, it is better to leave the scene for some time to calm yourself ;maybe go for a walk /take a shower/grab a bite/even take a small nap if possible. Always pray about the matter, think /journal what exactly was the trigger. We seldom think clearly or speak wisely when we are angry. Hence it is best to always avoid making decisions when you have just lost your temper.
 Prov 16:32: “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Prov 19:11 “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Eccl 7:9 “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools”

9) Trials:

 I have read somewhere that we should pick our battles wisely or else we will find all of life is a battlefield. We can start by learning to distinguish between trifles (minor irritations) and trials. There is also a saying “do not make mountains out of mole hills”. When we realize our authority in Christ we understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he said in Acts 20:24:None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” We will then understand how to accept whatever comes to us in life in the full assurance that “He will not let us be tested beyond the point that we can endure.”1 Corin 10:13

10) Team:
Do you know the full form of the acronym TEAM? Together Everyone Achieves More. Just like In any game (Football/Cricket/Basketball), all of the team members have different roles and it is only when they forego their self and play for the team collectively that the team can win. It is their collective effort, cooperation and team spirit which cause the unity in the diversity to become their strength and lead them to success. There are many advantages of working in a team. Some being:
1) Better ideas and quicker solutions as many heads work.
2) Speedier actions and results as many hands work.
11) Thanks:
 There is a quote by Seneca that “there is nothing more honorable than a grateful heart.”We will be happiest when we learn to count our blessings and be grateful for the smallest of blessings. You may refer to my previous post Attitude of Gratitude for some more inputs.
12) Testimony:
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If all Christians acted like Christ, the whole world would be Christian.” There is a lesson to be learnt there. Our testimony must not be in the words we say but we should be able to reflect the love of God by the way we live. Today, people are tired of hearing Christian messages, what they need today is to see Christ in us. The most effective form of evangelization today is to live as Christ reflecting the fruits of the Spirit and when others see that we are different, they will come to us out of curiosity and we will get our chance to powerfully witness about Christ.

Thus in conclusion, let us strive to cross the above 12 Vital T’s in our life as they definitely will take us a long way in achieving happiness and success!

Take Care, God Bless,
Sparky Laurie
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