Applying Biblical Teachings
A True Story
on Mar 4, 2019
When Jesus was about to commence preaching and ministering to people, He was led by the spirit of God into the desert to be tempted by the devil. But before getting tempted, He went without food for forty days and forty nights till He was very hungry.
I am thinking that Jesus was starved for forty days and forty nights so that He would be very weak by the time the devil was tempting Him. From experience, I know the devil is more likely to succeed in tempting us when we are weak than when we are strong. For example, it is when we are bored, bitter or stressed that we are likely to overeat or indulge in filthy, immoral activities.
But you know what? Even though Jesus was at His weakest when the devil began tempting Him, He succeeded in overcoming the temptations. The story is in the Book of Matthew.
What I find enlightening about that story of the temptation of Jesus is how He quoted the Scriptures. Like when the devil asked Him to convert stones to bread so that He could satisfy His hunger pangs, Jesus replied, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Deuteronomy 8:3)
I have also decided to borrow a leaf from Jesus by quoting the Bible in the day-to-day temptations that the devil takes us through. Here's how I will be doing it:
If bitterness creeps into my soul when I think of how others have mistreated or spoken rudely to me, I will tell myself, "It is written: 'Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.'" (Ephesians 4:31-32)
If I fear to say 'no' to something I feel is not right or intended to take advantage of me, I will instil myself with courage by saying: "It is written: 'For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.'" (2nd Timothy 1:7)
If I happen to feel afraid of a person I find tough and loud-mouthed, I will infuse myself with valour by reminding myself, "It is written: 'Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the Earth...?'" (Isaiah 50:12-13)
If I begin to despair that things are not working out, I will say to myself, "It is written: 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)
If I start to fear that I may come to utter ruin, shame and poverty if my ventures fail, I will remind myself, "It is written: 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.'" (Deuteronomy 31:6)
If I begin to worry that I may lose loved ones through death, I will say to myself, "It is written: 'Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.'" (Proverbs 3:25)
If I start feeling guilty over some of the things I have done or said in the past, I will tell myself, "It is written: 'Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.'" (Isaiah 43:18)
If I feel like giving full vent to anger when someone provokes me, I will remind myself: "It is written: 'A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offence.'" (Proverbs 19:11)
If I start worrying about what I will eat and wear when my current supply runs out, I will say to myself: "It is written: 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear ... your heavenly Father knows that you need them.'" (Matthew 6:25-34)
If I become concerned with what others may be thinking of me, I will whisper to myself, ""It is written: 'It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.'" (Proverbs 29:25)
If I begin feeling envious and jealous of what others are achieving, I will tell myself, "It is written: 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.'" (1st Corinthians 13:4)
If I start worrying about anything, I will remind myself, "It is written: 'Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! ... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.'" (Philippians 4:4-7)
And finally, if I begin to fear my own death, I will say to myself: "It is written: 'So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterword when my life is through, I will return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!'" (Psalms 23:6).
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine of applying Biblical teachings, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Keys to Success in Business". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Actions To Take This Month
A True Story
on Mar 2, 2019
For the past two years, I have been having my hair-cut on the first day of the month - a habit I plan to continue with for the rest of my life in this grand and beautiful planet. And because yesterday was the first day of this new month of March, I visited a barbershop where I observed in the mirror that I am yet to cut my weight to my desired levels. I still look as fat as a pig.
That I am plump didn't come as a surprise to me because I started eating moderately and exercising daily only about a week ago. I estimate that it will take three more weeks to shed those extra stubborn kilos in my body if I continue eating moderately and exercising daily as I have been doing for the past eight days. And I will continue doing so, God willing.
In addition to those two measures I have taken with the aim of losing weight, I thought today morning of other actions I will take this month of March to make myself a wiser, better and happier person. Here's what I came up with:
- Thank God before every meal.
- Pray and meditate on the Word of God often.
- Let go of hate and guilt.
- Rejoice in hope always and be optimistic that things will work out.
- Practise gratitude. I will be counting my blessings often.
- Believe in God more, and think that He cares for me.
- Ask for what I need.
- Drink plenty of water, especially in between meals when hunger pangs strike.
- Smile at people.
- Do what I value and value what I do.
- Examine my demands on others and then give up on some of them.
- Forgive an old grudge.
- Be kind to myself. When guilt creeps into my being, I will say to myself, "Thuita, stop bullying yourself! Will you please not accept yourself as you are?"
- Listen to uplifting music regularly.
- Rejoice in the success of others.
- Tell the truth, but with kindness and tact. I will strive to ask myself before speaking, "Does the other person need to hear this?"
- Free myself of envy and malice.
- Offer hope and lift others up.
- Think things through.
- Lighten up. I will try to find the funny side of a situation.
- Be genuine.
- Walk tall and confidently.
- Cultivate cheerfulness.
- Allow someone a mistake.
- Allow myself a mistake.
- Laugh at an old joke.
- Let go of the urge to be critical of someone.
- Look people in the eye.
- Sing in the shower.
- Make new friends but cherish old ones.
- Keep secrets.
- Keep a tight rein on my temper.
- Use my wit to amuse, not abuse.
- Not make the same mistake twice.
- Appreciate good health. I will no longer take it for granted.
- Pray not only for things but also for wisdom and courage.
- Be original and neat.
- Become the most positive and enthusiastic person I know.
- Use less salt. (I came across this advice in Vijaya Kumar's How to Lose Weight Safely & Quickly, a delightful read.)
- Commit myself to constant self-improvement.
- Not spend time grieving over past mistakes. I will learn from them and move on.
- Seek out the good in people.
- Be modest. A lot was accomplished before I was born. (I came across this advice in H. Jackson Brown Jr.'s Life's Little Instructions Book, another delightful read.)
- Show my family members how much I appreciate them: in word, deed and thought.
- Avoid whining.
- Practise empathy. I will try to see things from other people's points of view.
- Learn to say 'no' politely and quickly.
- And lastly, I will see problems as opportunities for growth and self-mastery.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on the actions I will take this month, you might also enjoy another one on "31 Lessons Learnt as I Turn 31". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.