Choose to get better, not bitter
Apopular song sung around New Years is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, titled Auld Lang Syne. The song starts by asking a rhetorical question, which in our language would read, ‘ Is it right that old times be forgotten?’. The song is really about remembering the good from the years gone by, and then taking up a ‘cup of kindness’, for those good ol’ times. In today’s hustle and bustle it’s so easy to be over focused on exactly the opposite.
It’s often the things that have gone wrong, where offence has been taken, and sometimes given, that flood our thoughts, and shape the center of our attention.
But this isn’t right. Don’t be fooled! We will all encounter offences, but it’s up to us as to how it will affect us, and our relationships with those around us.
Our responses will always have a bearing on our futures. As we come to a new year, let’s determine ourselves to be people who handle correctly the things that want to drag us down. Let’s be people who look back and find the good in life, and determine ourselves that it’s that, that will shapes our vision for the future.
Josh Shipp, an American youth motivational speaker writes, “…we either get bitter, or we get better. You either take what has been dealt to you, and allow it to make you a better person, or allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” I like that!
The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you! Being offended by things done to you, or done against you, is all too common.
Can we escape offence? No! Even Jesus Christ openly admitted that it is impossible to live this life and not be offended at some point (The Gospel of Luke 17:1).
But we can deal with it differently from what is the norm. One of Jesus Christ’s disciples learnt this lesson very quickly himself, and later wrote, “and above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” (1st Peter 4:8). In this life, hard places and difficult challenges will always be a part of our journeys.
We can’t escape them. But we need to be a people who face them, and face them ‘with love’.
You could say that they are part of the process of being matured, and as we all know, giving out a demonstration of love in a hostile environment is no easy feat, but it is the pinnacle of maturity.
So let’s remember this as we take on 2019. Let’s remember that the choice about how we respond to offence does not belong to fate, but belongs to us! Let’s determine ourselves this year to … take up a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
God Bless, keep smiling, better things are yet to come.