I have become very fond of Thursdays. In the past I have always been a Friday girl, but ever since the introduction to tbth# I have loved seeing the pictures and reflections from the past! From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter…..it is so much fun and makes me smile when viewing all the photos. I love it!
Reflecting is a powerful thing….being able to revisit good times, or bad, can instantly bring back strong emotions and powerful feelings. I, along with probably everyone else, would like to forget the bad…the ugly and the painful……and all the emotions that go along with past negative experiences. In fact, I am reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s most recent book, “Never Go Back.” It is a very powerful book that emphasizes 10 things you’ll never do again because of lessons learned from the past.
I have discovered in the last seven years or so it is best for me to pick books to read based on authors I like. I love Henry Cloud, not only does he have a Ph.D. in phycology but he is Christian. I am pretty sure I have read every book he has ever written. I love his style, his expertise and advice. I loved reading his personal testimony. He shared in one book how he invited Jesus into his heart when he was in college at SMU and shared his struggles while playing college golf. Much of his story is so encouraging. He does a great job of identifying how God weaves and orchestrates a surrendered life to Christ. I highly recommend his advice and his books.
In his most recent book, he makes so many meaningful points. One point he focuses on is seeking and discovering God’s will for your life. He discusses how choosing to follow God means we might not please everyone. Luke 6: 26a, “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you.” When we seek to please everyone, the probability that we include pleasing the wrong people too goes way up. God’s will is sovereign for our lives and we are making a big mistake when we don’t put blinders on and focus on Christ and His will for our lives.
Being a golfer’s mom (multiple times) has taught me that golfers, when making shots, have to make a decision based on their convictions and live with the results of their shot. They learn very quickly that some will take offense at your not doing what they like or want; but that’s the time you need to stand firm, knowing that you can’t please everyone. The saying is so true for golfers, “Every shot makes somebody happy.”
Being successful in life and following God’s designed plan for you comes with the realization that some people aren’t going to be happy with you….it is just part of the deal of being successful. Coming to the realization that every decision can divide which is just part of making decisions with God at the helm and not man. God is specific in His Word about living to please God and not man…..man is fickle and doesn’t have the “sovereign view” for your life that God does.
Dr. Cloud points out that psychological research and experience from looking back (reflection) tells us that people pleasing is not a formula for happiness or success. Many times we have to make decisions on what is best, not what will make others happy. Research and the studying of countless lives demonstrate that happy, successful people do not compare themselves to others or overly concern themselves with another’s opinion of them. Learning to be directed by your inner life, values and personal convictions, based on a personal relationship with Christ, can bear much fruit. John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
There is a reality that Dr. Cloud points out which I have found to be so true in the Back 9 of life….a truth I would like to leave you with, “The people who are hardest to please are often the most self-centered and are only happy when you do what is good for them…………and that usually is not good for the whole.” Thus, seeking God and His will is the key to accomplishing much….realizing making decisions can and will divide…the side you want to land on is the one that lines up with Christ and His Word.