Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Joneses

Live wisely and with dignity.  In the right way keep up with the Joneses.  Seek riches that are the best.   Look for excellent people to model your life after; pay attention to what you’re being fed, especially news and information from the media.  Media may be a blessing, or a curse, so select wisely.

In wrong ways people may keep up with the Joneses.  Our lifestyle is a matter of choice, so be careful what you choose to do.  Give some attention to the Joneses, but don’t be influenced by their earthly possessions.  Consider how they live and recognize the good they do.  Are they respectable people?  Are they sincere in their Christian walk?  In time of need, can you depend on them to lend a helping hand?  Do they flaunt their wealth?  What do their neighbors think about them?  Make it your goal to emulate their good works.  An Irish playwright and founder of the London School of Economics, George Bernard Shaw (18561950) wrote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  By modeling what’s best, that’s the way you begin creating a lifestyle of integrity.

Alluring Desires

Around every corner there are alluring desires.  People only have to switch on their TV sets to be bombarded with multiple images.  Whether it’s TV, computers, Smartphones, or some other social media, greeting us are a myriad of good and bad pictures.  Some visuals are ads that seduce Americans by telling them how better they will be if they use certain products.  Sex, riches, beauty, speed, and money are frequent themes in these images.  It’s therefore wise for us to remember that money and power portrayed so blatantly are nothing more than false idols.  Withdraw from bad choices which do you harm and be aware of products promoting a self-centered lifestyle.  Life is about helping others, not selling them alcohol, and stimulants to drown their sorrows.

A Danish philosopher and theologian Sӧren Kierkegaard (18131855) observed, “Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.”  The impressions we ingest become how we will come to value society.  So a proliferation of crime, disaster, betrayals, embezzlement, social revolutions, and wars may tend to dominate our imagination and beliefs.  Worldly power is centered in atrocities as these.  An English Catholic historian and politician Lord Acton (18341902) noted, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  It’s therefore wise to avoid images which corrupt our minds.

Defeat & Failures

Entanglements with earthly deceptions will eventually lead to a run in with the law.  Some good citizens entrapped in such a vicious cycle are dishonored and their names dragged through dirt.  We frequently witness news reports about crashes, bankruptcies, crime and violence.  In the tourism industry, prostitution, and other vices lead to an exacerbation of values.  Poor nutrition and lack of exercise contribute to health problems.  People lose hope because they are crushed by life’s troubles of pits and bogs.  In living wisely we’re able to avoid trouble. 

Climb Mountains

While in valleys set your eyes to mountain tops.  A good way to do so is by embracing Christian principles and accepting our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let him be the model in bearing your cross and transforming you.  He’s the abundant one.  With this perspective you’ll view life differently.  A publisher and author William Feather (18891981) wrote, “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”  In this journey you’re sure to live compassionately, and after departing this world you’ll enjoy eternal bliss.  This is because you've been living a purpose-filled life.

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