Here are 5 things that should clue you in that what you are about to do (or are doing) is shabby.
1. You feel the urgency to do something quickly more than the urgency to get it done correctly. This can include texting something that ought to be done with a phone call, saying something in a phone call that ought to be said in person, and saying something in person at a time or place that leaves the other person no chance to think or respond to the full weight of what you are saying.
2. You purposely avoid asking anyone for advice who might disagree with you. This includes people who have special knowledge about you and any particular subject that impacts the action you’re about to take.
3. You think of ways to keep people from knowing what you are about to do (doing). Creating an alias that no one knows is you, figuring out how to delete text and email threads and web search history, looking into security measures to guard your actions from scrutiny are all in this category, especially if you’ve never considered them before.
4. You have to pump yourself up with self-righteousness before you act. Listing reasons you are right and someone else is wrong or deserves something to happen is a tell tale sign of shabbiness.
5. You think about an exit strategy to get away from the scene. This is true if you’re robbing a bank or ditching on a friend.
If you are planning to take an action and any of these things are part of the run up to it, I suggest you take a step back and reconsider. You’re not a shabby person and you don’t want to treat other people in dishonoring ways. It makes the world a sucky place to live in. And just in case it occurs to you that someone writing an article like this must know a lot about doing shabby things…yeah. I’ve done all of them and none of them have left me with a lift in my spirit and most have produced bad results.
It is a simple question I bet we could gather ready answers to. What bothers you? Can you fill out a quick top five list if asked? Probably. My follow up question is going to be harder though. Here it is: What are you doing about it? What are you willing to do about it? Does bullying bother you? Are you doing anything about it? Does it bother you that local businesses are going under? Are you doing anything about it? If our bothered-ness doesn’t translate into activity, we aren’t bothered enough to bother. But if we actually get bothered enough, it can propel us to do great things…but only if we allow ourselves to move beyond irritation and into full blown bothered. I actually think that if your bothers aren’t motivating you, they aren’t worth thinking about at all and you should just ditch them. All they are if you don’t are “life sucks,” taking away our joy without producing anything.
In time of trouble say,
First: He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that I will rest.
Next: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Then: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last: In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.
Say: I am here
(1) by God’s appointment
(2) in His keeping
(3) under His training
(4) for His time
– Andrew Murray
Don’t give in to the temptation to be somebody’s savior unless you want everything that goes along with the job, including bearing all the guilt, paying all the penalties, and refusing to accept the credit due you. The person who makes claims on you to get them well will also blame you when they don’t. Why graft a branch into another branch? The Vine is healthier than the healthiest branch.
If you want to know what people are really like, find out what makes them angry, what makes them weep, and what makes them laugh. The test isn’t infallible, but you’d be surprised how much it reveals. – Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God
There is no greater compliment to a cause than the willingness to fail in it’s pursuit.
“When faced with wonderful theory, good-sounding teaching, laws prohibiting, or innovative frames of reference, I believe that we rarely ask ourselves the question, “Does this work?” We are so miserable in our present condition that we are willing to listen to anything that promises a quick remedy. At various times I have been told that Christians are not to own televisions, radios, open-toed shoes, wire-rimmed glasses, brightly colored clothing, or an organ in the church building. But in the ranks of the legalists have been found the grossest of immoralities. It must not work!” – Mike Wells, Sidetracked in the Wilderness