Apparently, I like lists. I like to make lists and cross out what I’ve gotten done, and I like lists that simplify the big things. When the big things are simplified, all of the little things feel in place. So, have another list. You might decide you like it.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
2. Love deeply. I think a lot of people get confused about what love is. Love isn’t a shallow emotion. It’s a gift we give people through our actions, accompanied by our feelings. It takes maturity and effort to love like we should and like Jesus did. Love means speaking the truth, being kind, being honest, and giving others the benefit of the doubt, not talking about their faults, but praising their strengths (and telling them, personally!) It means not giving up on your friends or your family. It means doing good to everyone. It doesn’t tear down; it builds up. Love is strong, and love is happy.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-13
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
3. Smile always and laugh often. I mentioned in one of my posts a couple of years ago that one of my friends decided she was going to smile all day. She walked all the way from her dorm to class with a smile on her face – of course it wasn’t a big, cheesy smile, but you get the point. She wasn’t particularly excited about it at first – it was a challenge. But, as she went through her day, it became genuine. It was her very own reminder that she had so many things to smile about and be thankful for. Then she posted this quote:“Life is like a mirror. If you frown at it, it frowns back. If you smile at it, it returns the greeting.” Just simple smile can cheer you up in a heartbeat, no matter how much you don’t want to – and it can encourage others to do the same. I mean, hey, it does take more muscles frown than it does to smile, and who wants to work that hard? 😉 I’m also a firm believer in laughing. I really think it’s true that laughter can be the best medicine. Sometimes, I laugh so hard that I cry. That’s one of my favorite feelings (and, seriously, I have a lot of those). But this gives me genuine happiness.
I’ve been told that your emotions are your choice. Your happiness is your choice. You can be happy in any situation thrown your way! Of course, it’s not easy. Life isn’t meant to be easy, but you can choose to be happy in any situation because God has something great for you and everyone else. Don’t let the cares of the world get in your way, and don’t let the way others treat you dictate the way you feel or how you live your life. Let God be your focus, and rejoice in that.
So, really. Cheer up! Everything’s great.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.