Living Backward

By:  Staci Stallings

So much of the struggles in life are because we get things backward.  We want X, and we feel like there is no reason we shouldn’t have it RIGHT NOW.  So we buy the thing, put the cost of it on the credit card.  Yes, we will pay for it, but we want it NOW.

Then the bill comes due in a month or two, and since we’re already behind from those other six things we bought that we just had to have RIGHT NOW, we’re now drowning in debt.

I think too many of us have never been taught that life lived in order brings with it much more peace than a life lived backward.

What does life lived backward look like?

Well, it could be a mountain of debt that we racked up thinking we could pay for it later.

Or it could be thinking that when we get something, or achieve something, or win something, THEN we’ll have a good attitude.

Or it could be thinking that we will love someone when they love us first.

Or it could be thinking that we should be a success first and then we’ll work hard.

Or give me the promotion, and then I’ll really show you what I’m capable of.

In every one of these circumstances, we think our level of commitment and care will change once something out there does.

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t work that way.

To change anything out there, what’s “in here” in your heart and your spirit has to change first.

Do you want to get out of debt?  Change your heart from wanting things out there to being content in here.  When you change that, the things out there won’t look so enticing.

Want to have lots of friends who love you?  Be someone others want to be around.  Learn to be welcoming and happy.  Learn to have a good attitude when things are good and when things stink.  Be the same person whether you are in church, at work, at home, or shopping at Wal-Mart.

When you go to work, work.  Be creative.  Go the extra mile.  Give more than expected and do it with a smile.  Encourage others on your work-force.  Smile at management and help them to attain their goals.  Be a team player.  Give credit where its due to your co-workers.

In a relationship, let things go.  Don’t make a federal case out of simple humanness.  None of us are perfect.  Cut people some slack.  Love them with all your heart–whether they deserve it or not (they don’t… love them anyway).  Seek to be a peacemaker and to extend mercy and grace.  Learn how to forgive and do so often.  Be generous with your time and talents in helping others out (and with your money if that’s possible).  Give more than you take.

Resolve to change your “in here,” and though it make take some time, your out there will start to change as well.  Most of all, ask God for help to stop living backward.  Learn to be patient, to wait and save for those things you want to buy, to budget and make priorities.  Learn to love others.  Learn to put in the hard work.

Mostly learning to live forward is called growing up, maturing, becoming wise.  When you do that, the struggles will become less of a factor and more of a “wow, remember when I thought THAT was a good idea?  What was I thinking?!”

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