Daily Devotions

Finding Wisdom Through Others

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But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

In previous generations, the young and old interacted more frequently. Grandparents often lived in the same neighborhood, the next farm over, or even in the same home. Now, families are more spread out and even fractured. The unintended consequence is children are missing much-needed wisdom. Too often, children are learning from sporting coaches who have specific goals and winning is primary. Both older adults and children suffer by not sharing and experiencing generational wisdom and love.

Niklas Goke, in his article, “Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life” affirms, “If you make happiness the meaning of life, every time you’re not happy, you’ll feel like a failure.” Happiness can only be a secondary reaction to other, more meaningful commitments. Learning these commitments is the role of the family wisdom-bearers.

For Goke, these rules help us create a strong sense of personhood. I do not have space to share all twelve, but I want you to consider at least some of these moments of wisdom. Here are some of his recommendations for a good life. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.” We are God’s children and God gives us the ability to face each day with courage and confidence. It is about taking responsibility for your life.

Goke continues, “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” So often we pick on the things others do, because they are the things we hate about ourselves. When we get our emotional and spiritual house in order, our attitudes toward others becomes more merciful and loving. When our acceptance increases, we can begin to see the wisdom in others. “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” This gets us back to older people and younger people. We have so much to offer one another. Ask God to open your life to the blessings of people younger and older. Ask God to give you the creativity to find the wisdom in others.

Overcoming a Bad Day

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

We are all susceptible to the occasional bad day. The question is how we respond. Will we get over it quickly, or will it ruin our day, or even our week? God has called us to model a Christ-like life, and why would anyone desire Christ in their life if it is perceived to be miserable? Now, we cannot expect to live blissfully every minute of the day, but we should have the ability to respond to situations knowing the Spirit is our guide.

Barry Davret, in his article, “How to Recover From A Bad Day In 5 Minutes,” helps us get a better perspective. He reminds us that we choose how we will respond to our day. We still retain control of our responses, even when control of situations may be taken from us. Davret continues his argument by sharing a quote by Victor Frankl. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Our choices define us and our level of trust and faith.

Davret then calls us to remember “Life as an Aggregate Instead of Isolated Events.” One setback and then another and soon we are telling ourselves that “we are cursed.” These lies we tell ourselves block out the truth the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us. Davret calls us to look at life with “The Twenty-Five-Year Lens.” That is why life experience is important. We have the arc of life to look back on when considering any moment in time. When we recognize God’s support in previous moments, it helps us better understand how God will assist us in this moment in time.

When we can stop long enough to think through our present emotion, we can regain control of our lives. When we respond thoughtfully, we take back control of our emotions and our lives. Doing this thoughtful process not only improves our wellbeing, but also helps others see that the Holy Spirit can make a positive difference in our lives.

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