There are three types of sight: hindsight, eyesight, and insight. Each of them are important, but they give us different perspectives. Hindsight is past tense and gives us our history lessons. It helps us learn from both successes and failures. They say it is 20/20, but we don’t always see things as they were. We see them how we remember them, and many of us have poor memories. Hence, history tends to repeat itself till we learn the lesson.
Eyesight is present tense. It helps us see and evaluate what is currently going on around us. It helps us evaluate our lives and live fully in the moment. For those of us who have to wear corrective lenses to see properly, you can appreciate what it is like to see things clearly.
Insight is future tense. It gives us clarity, hope, and encouragement for the future. It helps us weather the storms and keep track of our true North. It is our compass, our light, and our hope.
It is debatable which one is the most important. Perhaps it depends on where you are in life. I think each has merit and can either help or hinder us. I used to think that seeing was believing, but I found out that a good magician can make you believe just about anything, so sometimes our eyesight is the enemy of our faith, and faith is what sustains and propels us forward to face and overcome our fears.
As we enter the new year, here is my word of encouragement: learn the lessons from the past, don’t miss the blessings of the present, and hold fast to your faith for the future. May God bless you and your family throughout the new year. I do believe it will be a year of great clarity for each of us.
Think back on some of the poor decisions you have made in life. Chances are, you made some important decisions when you were in the terrible toos. You were:
- Too tired
- Too hungry
- Too lonely
- Too broke
- Too discouraged
- Too angry
There are probably a lot more we could add, but you get the idea. If you are in one or more of the terrible toos you don’t have the capacity to think clearly. Your emotions are in charge and you are not considering long-term consequences, thus your outcomes will not be good.
If you find yourself in this situation, here is my advice:
- Never make a major financial or relational decision when you are in the toos.
- Remind yourself that this “too” shall pass.
- Realize that most (if not all) of the battles you are facing have a spiritual origin. The Bible says: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18
The devil is a liar and he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He will use whatever weakness you have against you to take you, your family, and your fiends out. Don’t give him a foothold. He will feed your fears if you allow him to. Let faith in God be your shield and memorize Scripture so when he comes against you, you can give him God’s promises and take HIM out. Remember that the end of the story is already written. Just trust God and obey His word. He will be your light, your protection, your guide, and your provision if you will allow Him to.
Surround yourself with positive people who know God’s Word and can speak life and encouragement into your situation. You may be facing a mountain in your mind, but take heart: The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. Psalm 97:5
Is it possible for two people of opposing views to both have positive outcomes? Well, yes and no.
Winning and losing is important to keep track of in sports, but in relationships it can be the beginning of the end if you are keeping score.
I found a simple correlation this week: Disagreements are mathematical! When I am tutoring kids in math, I try to get them to get and understand ALL the facts before they draw a conclusion. How can you get the right answer if you don’t have all the facts or you don’t understand them? It is impossible…just like it is in relationships. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous because it is like jumping off a cliff in the dark. You may be destroying a relationship if you proceed.
Our Principal gave a good analogy recently in a training session. He said when you have someone that is in disagreement with you, you bring either water or gasoline to the table. If you throw gasoline on the situation it becomes volatile and can spin out of control quickly. If you bring water (stay calm), you can extinguish the flame and seek to understand the other person.
If you want Win-Win outcomes, do the following things:
- Stay calm.
- Truly listen to the other person rather than forming your argument in your head while they are still speaking.
- Make sure you have ALL the facts and UNDERSTAND them.
- Don’t assume you know someone’s motives. Ask them and seek to understand.
- Avoid the words “Always” and “Never” when describing someone’s behavior. Most of the time it is simply untrue and used to drive a point rather than be truthful.
We have all had situations where we were 1,000% sure that we were right only to find out later that we either misunderstood the situation or we did not have all the facts…and WE were wrong. Humble pie is awful hard to swallow because it is filled with pride, and swallowing your pride never goes down easy.
There is an exception to seeking a Win-Win outcome: If you are arguing with a fool, walk away. You will never win the argument because they don’t care about the facts or the truth and they have had more experience than you will ever have, so let it go and let them learn the hard way. Their mindset is: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!” You won’t change their mind. Arguing with a fool is foolish. Don’t be the fool.
There is power in forgiveness, so forgive freely. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins, so love completely.
“Justice is giving someone what they deserve. Mercy is not giving them what they deserve, and grace is giving them what they don’t deserve.” Robert Morris.
Give others the mercy and grace that you yourself so desperately need. That results in a Win-Win most of the time. Shalom!
Is it any coincidence that “encourage” sounds a lot like “in courage?” I think not. Look at the definition of encourage: Give support, confidence, or hope to someone. The definition of courage is: The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief.
When you encourage someone, you give them courage. When you encourage, you “in” courage them. How cool is that? It is like emotional surgery, or maybe giving a transfusion to someone. Here is the truth: Everyone needs to be encouraged! There is nobody walking this planet that does not face a moment of doubt, fear, or insecurity. We all have to face those moments and we all need to know that there is hope for us and what we are facing.
Sometimes we have to encourage ourselves! Self talk is powerful and can either propel us or hinder us from fulfilling our destiny. Encourage yourself every day to face your fears, overcome the obstacles which have held you back, and reach for your goals. Just because you have failed does not make you a failure, Amigo. Learn from the pain, and go for the gain. The game is not over.
I hope that you will encourage yourself as well as others. It is like giving water to a thirsty soul, and we are all thirsty.