Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that exhibits its fruitfulness when we maintain a deep abiding relationship with Christ. As we celebrate Easter, and have now completed our Lenten sacrifices, I have to ask: How have you done with your Lenten sacrifice? Were you able to exhibit self-control and maintain your promise to Jesus in thanksgiving for the sacrifice He gave for you? Perhaps you gave something up, or perhaps you pledged to do something for others, or perhaps you elected to practice a specific virtue this Lent. Although Lent is over, you can still live up to your promise, for Jesus always gives us another chance, with each and every day that He gives us to live.
Jesus is our living example of one who bears fruit through the use of self-control. We only need to look at Matthew 4:1-11, where Matthew writes about the devil tempting Jesus three times during Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. Read more…
Now that Wolf Hall is on Broadway and on PBS, a great many people will be talking about not only Thomas Cromwell but also Henry VIII, his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, his daughter, the Princess Mary, and of course his second wife, Anne Boleyn.
In my novels I take the opposite side of the Reformation from Hilary Mantel–my protagonist is a Dominican novice. But I also in my research have found many surprises in the religious choices of people who lived in the 16th century. Including the mother of Anne Boleyn.
To read my post, go here: http://nancybilyeau.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-lonely-death-of-elizabeth-boleyn.html
Meek AND effective – sounds contradictory doesn’t it? Well not so. There are many ways that we can demonstrate being meek without losing the competitive edge. If you think being meek is weak, then I challenge you to be meek for a week! Here are just a few things that you can try, and after doing so, I would love to hear back from you on what reactions you may have noticed from others, given your change in behavior:
- Put others at ease. – Be friendly. Create a vibe where others feel welcome to approach you. Body English speaks volumes!
- Be mild mannered. – Be docile in your behavior. Keep your emotions on an even keel.
- Listen and let others speak. – Restrain yourself from cutting in on conversations because you need to be heard. Give others the floor. You just might learn something valuable.
- Read more…
Where does it get you? Stomped over? Dismissed? Think again! Have you ever heard the commentary, ‘a good leader listens more than speaks?’ A good leader is docile, putting others at ease by creating surroundings that make it easier for those with diverse thoughts to speak and express opinions that might not otherwise be shared had the leader been domineering and overly assertive. Meekness gets you needed information to make prudent decisions.
Why show meekness in this dog-eat-dog world? Embracing the virtue of meekness sets you apart from the run-of-the-mill person in business today. Using the virtue of meekness, when appropriate to do so, will draw support from others because they will be drawn to you. Read more…
Assertive vs. Meek
It sounds like a boxing match, with assertive highly favored over meek, doesn’t it? Hmmm – This is not always the case. It depends upon the situation. There are times when assertive behavior is appropriate. For example: Speaking up for the unborn gives voice for those who would otherwise not be heard. Being assertive in this instance would be a good thing. However, there are times when it is best to be meek, rather than assertive.
To be assertive actually means one is self-confident, self-assured and firm. However, the word has taken on a surly meaning when a person uses assertiveness to be forceful, pushy or aggressive. When acting in the former, being assertive is appropriate. When acting in the latter, meekness would be a better avenue to take.
Meekness is not being weak, shy, or quiet as a mouse for fear of offending someone. No, meekness is…Read more…
Unselfishly giving to others – Do you find it easy or hard to do? If you are like me, you might find it hard to do, all the time. That is because in our society, we are wired to “take care of number 1,” especially in the world of business. We tend to transcend that thought process into our personal lives. How contrary this thought process is to how Christ would like for us to behave as Christians!
Christ’s message was clear. When He taught us to pray the Our Father, he taught us to say, “Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.” Every time we say the Our Father, we are surrendering our will to the Father by aligning our will with that of the Father. Have you ever looked at the words of the Our Father in this way? Do we really mean what we say when we pray the Our Father? God reads the heart. He knows the truth. If we mean what we say, then acting unselfishly should come easy to us. However, if we have reservations about completely submitting to the will of the Father, then acting unselfishly might not be that easy for us. For many of us it is difficult to let go and let God’s will be done.
So, if we would like to truly act unselfishly, on a more consistent basis, how can we accomplish that? Here are a few practical suggestions to get you started: Read more…
A Key to the Roadmap
In the previous article, we looked at sin and evil, and identified the Seven Signposts on the Highway to Hell. But, just knowing the outward signs is probably not quite enough. So, let’s take a closer look at these sins and find out why we call them Deadly.
Did you ever have one of those weeks that you thought you just might not survive? I mean emotionally, not physically, although, sometimes emotional stress is worse than the most strenuous physical workout. Well that’s the kind of week I had.
It not only left me battered and bruised, but it had me questioning every decision I have ever made as a wife, mother and friend. I would no sooner think I was on solid ground and the rug would be pulled out again!
In those times, although, not much fun, much growth can occur. I found myself swept away in a current that had been building for quite some time. Continue reading……
Why be selfless? As Christians, we are called to imitate Christ to the best of our abilities. Christ was completely selfless, when He allowed Himself to be mocked, scourged and crucified – all for the love of humankind; obedient to the Father’s will to the end. Prior to His Passion and death, Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Now, He is not necessarily calling us to lay down our lives for our friends literally. He is however, calling us to imitate Him in how He obeyed His Father. “He emptied himself” (Phil 2:7) to become human and did not regard Himself in equality with the Father (Phil 2:6). Jesus submitted His will to that of the Father. He calls us to do the same. This means that we are… Read more…
Is selfish behavior harming you? The answer is yes, of course. But, do you know why it harms you? Selfish behavior robs you of becoming your true self, the person that God wants you to be. When we listen only to ourselves and do only what we want, we close ourselves off to blessings and lessons of life. Father Romano Guardini explains it well in his book, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God:
“As soon as the person fixes his eye upon himself, he fills the mental space, so to speak, in which a portion of life is to take place; he gets in the way of his own realization” (p. 154).
Imagine what it would be like to meet Jesus at your own personal judgment, and hear Him say…Read more…