Good Friends: Simplicity

True friends know, accept, love, serve, and celebrate one another.
-Bill Hybles

True Friends

There is nothing quite like spending time and doing life alongside true friends. It is fun. It is rewarding. It is fulfilling. It is truly a blessing. But more, in Bill Hybles opinion it leads to a simple life. King Solomon gives this advice in Proverbs 13:20

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

People influence your life. People rub off. Bill Hybles suggest in his devotional simplify that your friends are a large factor to living a simple life. Have you ever been around someone who always seems to have a negative outlook? They seem to bring with them a cloud of drama wherever they go. I am a big proponent of positive thinking. Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Seek out friends who display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hang out with them. Your life will get much simpler.

Are you a true friend? Are you taking the time to get to know people and focusing on how you can help them? Are you a positive person who brings good to others? In my estimation often the very best way to find a true friend or an awesome mate or a great business partner is to work hard on becoming one. Look to yourself and get to work, if you are anything like me you will find plenty to work on.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

 

Forgiveness and Trust: Simplicity

To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

-Frederick Buechner

 forgiveness and trust: simplicity

 

Forgiveness: to let go: to let leave: to move on. Enough. Unresolved issues take up space. In his book, Crucial Conversations, Joseph Grenny argues that if you do not talk it out you will act it out. Passive aggressiveness. Acting it out, I believe, breaks down trust. A most useful characteristic. Trust speeds up. It bears time. Freeing us from needless worry about the distant future and distant past that we may focus on now and on eternity.

Acting it out creates more negative. Negative that slows and takes up more and more. That becomes harder and harder to forgive. That eventually break relationships. I believe margin works the other way round. If you have it, the hour conversation to talk it out now can be had. Which leads to more margin. Margin begets margin.

I have come to believe that if we lack margin now we can insert forgiveness and trust to set things on the right course.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

-A takeaway from Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny

-A takeaway from Mansfield’s book of Manly Men by Stephen Mansfield

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Building Goodness: Simplicity

“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”

-King Solomon

Farmer Hand Touching Wheat Ears

Words build up.  Words tear down.  We create simplicity with our words.  We create drama with our words.  The things we say matter.  Each day, each interaction we have a choice to bless people with simplicity or burden them with unnecessary drag.  Our attitude is most critical to building a culture of simplicity in our community and organizations. Are you a culture builder or a culture buster?

What if at the end of a work day when you left to head home you could say “Today I persevered for my fellow, I blessed everyone with my words.  Today I built up the culture I belong to. Never tearing it down with even the slightest unnecessary burden or negativity.  I never criticized, condemned or complained”  How satisfying that day would be. How fulfilled we would feel.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Contentment Brings Margin: Simplicity

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

-C.S. Lewis

Creation Of Earth

I once heard a wise woman discourage the use of the word ‘bored’ in her household.  “Offensive to the creator” was her stance. How firm a foundation. Who are we to be bored with what God has given? In finances a basic understanding is to spend beneath the level provision provided. Contentment with what we are given will bring margin. We can budget time as we budget finances. We have all been allotted 24 hours a day and we all approach the future at that rate. How much progress is enough? Contentment will bring margin.  Who are we to say “this is not enough.” Enough money. Enough progress. How much is enough for you to be content? Do you yearn for self or for others? Do you toil for the perishable or for the eternal? Perhaps these are the questions of margin. To reveal what contentment you were set for.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Empty to Filled: Simplicity

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

-C.S. Lewis

barbed wire fence, Kansas pasture

There was a point in my life where after a long day, I regret to say, I sometimes felt emptied to a point of toxicity. I felt I had nothing left to give. This is not true of course. I was being deceived. Mistaken indeed. Other times I have equally demanding days, yet I am filled.  Ready to serve. The difference seems to be one of attitude and perspective. Resentment seems to breed toxicity and emptiness. Thinking something was not fair. Someone did not do their part. Focusing on self.

The better way, I have come to believe, is to focus on gaining perspective.  True wisdom, I believe, is seeing things as God sees things.  We tend to get glimpses from time to time.  Understanding, I believe, is obeying God’s commands. Thinking of the long-term effects instead of the short-term.  The eternal perspective providing all understanding.

Reflection seems to be a tool for gaining perspective. Anyone can look back on yesterday and say ‘I was foolish’ but who can look in to the next minute and say ‘that would be foolish.’?  To say. To do. To think. Who can be so aware to notice feelings setting in?  Subtle attitudes taking hold?  Who can notice and change their course?  Reflection and pause and sensitivity are habits that make us wise.  Discipline and humility, I believe, aid in understanding.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.