There is a story of a man that said, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” God granted him his request. This man’s name was Jabez. There was another man that said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” This man was Thomas Edison. The tie that binds these two people together is that they are successful people and what made them successful was their attitude.
We’ve heard the saying that ‘your attitude determines your altitude’. Well, this one is a keeper because it is true. How we view things has an incredible power over how we will address those things. Our understanding, or lack thereof, will have an effect on how we proceed towards our goals. But most importantly, our attitude has to be self-motivated and inspired. We cannot depend on our environment to nurture this growth. It has to come from within.
I was in my office thinking about today’s letter and I remembered the story of Job. This man had it all… a great family, great business and great status. In one day, Job lost one business to Sabean raiders, another business to “fire from God from heaven”, yet another business to Chaldean raiders and all of his children to a tornado. On top of that, his wife turned on him and so did his friends. This man had reason to lose it!!! But he didn’t and because he didn’t there was a greater blessing at the end of the story. The part that I want to focus on is his friends.
Believe it, or not, our friends carry a lot of weight in our lives. Unlike family, they are volunteered supporters. Friends are in our lives because of choice (theirs and ours) and at any given time these choices can change. Job’s friends sat with him for days while he mourned his losses in silence. But, when he started talking after a week, so did they. They felt that he had been corrupted or had sinned and was being punished by God which wasn’t the case. People!!! Do you realize how devastating your words can be to someone especially when they’re already going thru?!?!? Sometimes, the best friend is the one that keeps their mouth shut… I’m just saying.
Our friends do us the same way. Funny thing about people is that they hear us. They hear the words coming out of your mouth but they aren’t listening. The difference is this… when people hear they GIVE attention but when they listen they PAY attention. Giving is charitable. Paying is an obligation. As friends, we should feel obligated to pay attention to not only the words, but the spirit of the message and the details. The way that we tell on ourselves is when we support people that are giving the same message that our friend gave us and we ignored.
We want to add our friends to whatever greatness that we are experiencing but many times they are a wet rag. The feeling is “oh, this is another one of those…”, “what are you trying this time”, or “here we go again”. The problem with our friends is a good thing and that is… they’ve been with us. The problem is that they don’t see the value in what you are doing. Let’s look at Edison. This man failed to create the light bulb over 1,000 times. Don’t you think his friends were in the background talking about how crazy he was for still doing this and giving him all of the reasons why he should be doing something else? Of course they were. But guess whose name is in the history books… Thomas Edison.
So how do we fix this? Jabez answers this question. He asked for God’s blessing and expansion. All too often we don’t put both of these requests in the same prayer. We’ll ask for God’s blessing and keep it moving or we’ll pray for stuff and forget the blessing part. God’s blessing is key to whatever we do. I don’t want to ever move without His blessings. The expansion prayer wasn’t only for stuff here. This man had dealt with pain since birth. His name even means pain. So he didn’t just want stuff but he also wanted support. People in pain can be treated but to be healed you need support. He had friends, but in order to get to his next level, he needed friends that believed in him and supported him in those new levels. He needed new friends. He needed to expand not only his wealth, his status and his business(es) but he needed expansion in his friendships.
I met with a lady yesterday that I hadn’t connected with in over 20 years. After meeting with her, my feeling was, “She is a keeper!!” Not only did we see thru the same eyes but she had ideas that agreed with things that my wife and I had spoken about earlier!! In order to go to the next level, we need increase in EVERY area of our lives!
Finally, successful people learn from other successful people, apply what they’ve learned and repeat, repeat, repeat. The Bible says to write the vision and make it plain. This is not a New Year’s Resolution but written goals to be achieved.
My goals for this season are:
• God – to seek Him first in everything and listen to His responses; without Him, I just can’t… anything
• Relationships – to love my family / friends and appreciate the love that they share with me. Not to take anyone for granted.
• Finances – to attain a strong income with my grandchildren and great grandchildren in mind. To build business(es), concepts and ideas that will span generations and create wealth not only for me (today) but for them (tomorrow) AND to help others do the same
• Health – to live out the fullness of my days without the fear of various sicknesses, illnesses and diseases following me because of bad decisions. To eat properly, exercise, get proper rest and de-stress my life
• Opportunities – to keep an open mind to support others as they strive to meet their goals. To kill the spirit of looking down on people that are trying to get ahead in creative and non-traditional ways and foster creativity not only in young people but all people…
And when all of these are done… we’ll do it again and again!!!
I love you ALL!!!
Also, check out my website… http://www.JackieSmithJr.com