Tag Archives: loneliness

dull day

Essential Ingredients for Life

Do you find that you have too many lacklustre days?

Ones where nothing seems to happen; that are just filled with the mundane. Is it that you’re just getting older and life isn’t as exciting as it used to be? Is it time to change jobs, find a new partner, take up an extreme sport or splash out on a fast car?

Well you could, but I’m guessing that in a short while the mundane days will return and then it will be time to make another change.

So, what are the essential ingredients required for a fulfilled and happy life? Is it the right job, the right partner, the right pastime. Is it the chasing after your dreams, ambitions or next exciting purchase?

Whilst all of these things have the potential to bring happiness, all will ultimately disappoint. I believe that there’s something else that has the potential to transform the mundane or stressful days regardless of our position.

Ingredient 1: Understanding Your Purpose

First and foremost, it’s vital to know that you were created on purpose and designed with purpose. God decided to create you. It wasn’t simply the decision of your parents. Nor was it just the lack of use of the appropriate method of contraception. No. God decided that he wanted a ‘insert your name here’ in the world so he created you. And why did he want one of you? Because he desired to have a friend to share creation with, someone to share his love with, someone to be in his family.

It is written in Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Ingredient 2: Take Your Eyes Off You

A focusing on our own situation is a sure and certain way to find unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life. Why? Because we’ll always be constantly aware of how very inadequate we truly are. This leads to only one conclusion, that the problem cannot be me but must be the people and things around me. I can’t possibly be at fault!

If we’re going to get a true perspective in life we must take our eyes off ourselves and look first to Christ, our perfect saviour. We first must see that Christ is the answer to our inadequacy. We are only truly complete in Him.

Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Colossians 2:10 says, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ.

Ingredient 3: Find Your Function

Tools work best when they are doing what there was designed to do, not something else. Have you ever tried doing a piece of DIY with the wrong tools? It’s hard work and usually ends in a botched job or a poor result. We need to the use the right tools for the right job. And that goes for people as much as it does for tools. We’re each created with a set of distinct abilities, gifts and talents. God had a purpose in mind when he created us. Why? Because he so values us he wants for us to share in his work. Therefore it’s essential that we find out what job has given us and start operating according to the maker’s instructions. Operating in any other way is going to make a botched job of both your life and others.

1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for creating me; for choose to make me as you designed. I praise you for wanting me, for loving me.

Forgive me when I’ve not acknowledge you, when I’ve focused on my own needs and desires, and have not operated according to your plan.

Help me Lord, to live my life out in your service; that I might help fulfil your great mission. Give me your spirit and increase my faith so I can accomplish all that you have set out for me. May I be a blessing to all that I meet today.

Amen

Try Praying

Have you ever tried praying?

Life can be tough, but is it tough enough to seek help?

I think each one of us has a certain level of determination to be self-sufficient, a need not to rely on others. Some have tremendous levels of drive and are fiercely independent, seemingly able to operate in total isolation without any support. Some appear weak and feel the need to tell everyone their troubles as they desperately look for someone to share their burdens, secretly wishing they were stronger and more readily able to withstand the pressures of life.

For us Brits it’s often a sense that we don’t want to be a burden on others; that somehow we will be inconveniencing people if we ask for their help and if we are too much of a burden they will no longer offer their friendship. Or we think they will see us as pretty pathetic and we’ll feel even worse about ourselves. So we continue to aspire to be like the many people around us, that are doing the exact same as us – being independent and standing on their own two feet.

So here’s the thing. Most, if not all, are not doing very well at this self-sufficiency thing. It might appear as if they have it all together by themselves but it’s all a front. Unseen by others they are in one of two camps or somewhere in-between.

Camp one: not doing very well. In camp one people spend a lot of time and energy planning, covering up, distracting themselves, being busy and avoid problem. People here are either tremendously busy doing seemingly nothing of real value (by that I mean stuff that needs doing but that virtually no-one will remember) or they are trying to cheers themselves up. They are always talking about the next thing they are going to do or buy, and tend to focus on themselves more than most.

Camp two: they have a secret supply of help. In this camp people have friends that they talk to and share their problems with. They are actually sharing their weakness and failings with others and are getting help. These people have a sense of security and confidence that is not found in camp one. They are not as independent and strong as they appear. Their secret power supply is coming from others.

So where are you? Are you in camp one desperately trying to get to camp two? Or spending some time in camp two but more often than not you’re visiting camp one?

It’s typically only when things get so bad that we can no longer cope that we reach out for help. And what do we find? We find that people do not judge, they don’t drop us and run, they are pleased to have been asked.

The good news is that there is hope. Sometimes finding friends to confide in can be a tricky business. There is, however, another option – Prayer. There is one who already knows all of our weaknesses and failures but loves us despite them. A person that is ready to listen night or day will never by shocked when they hear what we’ve got to say. God really is good.

So why not try praying today. If you’re not sure where to start then take a look at this great booklet called ‘Try Praying’. You can download a free copy here: http://www.trypraying.co.uk

Great Expectations

When something unexpected happens does our mind run away with us thinking that the worst has happened? It can be quite difficult to stop and think that this may not be the case. In just a moment our day has gone from great to terrible and we don’t even know what might have happened.The truth is that if we choose to think positively then most of the time we will more likely be closer to the truth. We will save ourselves untold anguish. For example, our best friend has failed to turn up for our lunch together. We’re don’t understand why they didn’t remember that it was today. We told them in our text message where and when to meet. Why aren’t they here! Don’t they know that I was really looking forward to seeing them. I can’t afford to be late as I have other things to do today. Well, possibly there is a very good reason they are late.

  • They have overslept
  • They have forgotten because they are really tired
  • They have misplaced their car keys
  • They forgot to set their alarm
  • There has been a fire drill and are delayed
  • They missed their junction on the motorway
  • They are stuck in a traffic-jam
  • They forgot something and had to go back
  • There was a long queue in the shop
  • The car has broken down
  • There has been a power cut at the office and they have had to stay behind
  • Their previous appointment has overrun
  • They have forgotten to do something really important
  • An emergency has happened at work and they are needed to sort it out
  • The battery on their mobile has run out
  • They have been pulled over for speeding to meet you
  • They were distracted when agreeing our plans
  • They didn’t get my text message
  • They didn’t make a note of what we agreed
  • They lost track of the time because of an urgent deadline
  • They forgot they were meeting because of worrying about something
  • They are naturally quite forgetful
  • They are very disorganised
  • They have taken ill today
  • The car has run out of petrol
  • A family crisis has occurred
  • They have lost their job
  • They didn’t realise how I would feel by being late
  • They didn’t appreciate that I was depending on them
  • They didn’t know how much I wanted them to be there
  • They didn’t know that they were the only one invited

And if none of the above is true then perhaps they just made a mistake. They are only human after all. Have we never made a mistake? Why not review your level of expectation and cut others some slack. Instead of expecting that everyone will turn up on time, don’t be so surprised if quite often people are late and have good reasons. Don’t set people up to fail, instead set people up to succeed. If you plan a meeting and invite people to come at 10am, plan to start the actual meeting at 10:10am or as soon as everyone has arrived! Send everyone a reminder or let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them.

Prayer

DEAR GOD,

HELP ME TO ALWAYS THINK THE BEST OF OTHER PEOPLE AND NOT TO SET THEM UP TO FAIL. PLEASE HELP ME TO ORGANISE MYSELF AND NOT TO BELIEVE THAT I AM PERFECT. FORGIVE ME FOR NOT HAVING FAITH IN OTHERS, OR IN YOU TO LOOK AFTER ME IN MY SITUATION. THANK YOU THAT I CAN TRUST YOU FOR ALL MY WORRIES AND CONCERNS. ALL THE THINGS THAT I CANNOT CONTROL ARE SAFE IN YOUR HANDS.

AMEN

Love... always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always
perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7
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. Philippians 4:8
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

No-one Likes Me

Whether people like us or not is often determined by our behaviour and not who we actually are. It’s our behaviour that they don’t like and don’t want, and they are not necessarily rejecting us.

Just because we’re different doesn’t mean that we are not likeable. People may have difficulty in understanding who we are and be afraid of getting to know us because we’re different. If we’re going to make friends we’re going to need to let people get to know the real us.

It might be our views that others do not like because they do not agree with them. They may feel that their own views are threatened by our views because they are contrary to what they believe. This doesn’t mean that our views are not worth listening to. God accepts us just as we are, even if our views are offensive and hurtful to others.

Other can be prejudice against us, making judgements about are who we are without really getting to know us. View few people spend the time to get to know someone else properly; it’s even more difficult if we don’t let people get close to us for fear of being hurt.

Others don’t have a right to judge us, after all how can they possible know everything about us and why we are the way we are. In any case, who are they to judge? Are they not equally guilt of failings in their own lives? Don’t jump to the conclusion that we’re at fault just because someone else says so.

The other person may just be too busy to give us time and make friends. Or they may think that they are not liked and therefore push us away.

The truth is that you are likeable. Everyone is likeable and loveable. It’s up to us to believe that this is true for us.

God loves us despite all of our failings and all of our ugly behaviours and opinions.

Take Action

  • Concentrate on spending time to listen to other people’s points of view, only giving yours after you’ve listened and thought about what they’ve said. Don’t assume that other people’s opinions are right just because they don’t like yours.
  • Try to understand the other person’s point of view, ask them not just what they believe but why they believe it.
  • Think about your actions and seek to understand if you have made other people feel uncomfortable. If possible, ask the other person if there is something you’ve done to upset the them. If they are a good friend they will tell you.
  • Avoid getting into the trap of justifying your right to be liked by judging others as wrong. Only God has the right to judge us all. Instead seek to understand.
  • Don’t seek to attribute blame to yourself or others. Lay it all before God and trust him to guide you in what to do.

Prayer

Dear God,

I am lonely and upset. It seems as if no-one likes me and I don’t know how to make friends. Help me to be open and accepting of others and not run away at the first sight of trouble.

If there is any offensive way in me then make me aware of it. You alone have the right to judge me. I confess to you that I have not thought about the needs of others but have focused only on my own needs. Will you forgive me.

Thank you for loving me despite all my failings. You made me just the way I am and you take delight in me – your creation. I know that you are with me and will never leave me. You will carry out your purposes in my life as I trust in you.

Amen

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were
still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge… but love your neighbour 
as yourself" Leviticus 19:18
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with
 unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
"Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because 
I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in 
exchange for your life." Isaiah 43:4