Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It Doesn't Take Much Muscle to Lift a Heart



“We are not made rich by what is in our pockets but by what is in our hearts.”

Success: Serving Others in Your Personal Life

One of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen is an old lady with hair as white as snow.  She lives at one of the nursing homes we visit.  She's overweight and in a wheelchair, but while we're singing she has a smile as wide as the sky; and when I give her a hug after the concert, her eyes tell me only one thing, "I love you!"  I don't know her name;  I only know her face, and the smile on that face and light in those eyes radiates enough happiness back to me to make all the hours of music practice worthwhile. 

Serving others or going out of your way to be kind to others is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.  Someone once said, "It doesn't take much muscle to lift a heart;"  all it might take is a smile or a kind word.  Even if you are feeling sad, dreary, insecure or uncomfortable, smiling and trying to make others feel happy, welcome, and at home will lighten your own day.  

A little bit of variation added to Walton's 10 keys to business success gives us our 10 points for this post:

  1. Commit to your friendships.  Be consistent.  If you say you will do something, do it--promptly!  Don't say you will do something that you can't do.  If you say you will be somewhere at a certain time,be there--not one second late!  Sometimes it is inevitable that you will be late or can't make it, in the rare case when that is so, try to leave a message for your friend.  We're all human, as I know all too painfully; sometimes we (I) do just fail completely--it feels terrible!! But if you've always been reliable, established good relationships with your friends/family/teammates, they will know you are someone they can trust, that you have no intentions of deserting them, and your failings were just honest mistakes.   Be someone that can be depended on.
  2.  Treat your family and friends like they are the most important people in the world (they are to you).  
  3. Motivate your friends!  Encourage them.  
  4. Communicate.  Let them know you think about them.  If there are difficulties in your relationships, tell them where the problem is (in a humble manner--acknowledging you might be wrong) and work through the problem together.  Apologize when you did something wrong.  
  5. Appreciate all the little things your family and friends do for you.  Be sure to thank them.  
  6. Celebrate your successes and find humor in your failures.  Have fun and show enthusiasm.
  7. Listen.  Figure out ways to make them talk and share their views.  Most people like to talk.  If you are a good listener, you will find out what is important to your friends and often will be able to expand your horizons with all sorts of interesting ideas.
  8. Exceed their expectations, go out of your way to find little ways to show them you care about them.  Serve them by doing little things for them that they don't expect you to do.  What you do might be an extremely small favor, and they may never notice or thank you...but do it anyway!
  9. Forgive.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Forgive and forget their mistakes.  Forgive yourself when you make mistakes.  Go on.
  10. Fortitude-- you need it.  You will find all sorts of difficult times in your life.  You may lose friends, have financial difficulties, or struggle with depression.  A preacher once said,  "If you don't have struggles, you're not alive."  We all have trials, temptations, failings, but Jesus loves us no matter how bad we feel, no matter how badly we fail.  He promised He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He will always be with us, so be strong and of a good courage!  Never give up!
     
An Eternal Reward
     Matthew 25:34 tells us:
"The King shall say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was hungred, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto the, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
We can't expect others to always treat us fairly, live by the golden rule, or serve us.  If we were absurd enough to expect it, I'm afraid we would be awakened to the rude truth very quickly.   It's best to do our best to overlook the foibles of others and instead of dwelling on their (or our own) faults, be thankful for all the good things in life.  We are like mirrors; if we look at other's failings, we are ugly.  If we look at ourselves, we are empty.  But if we focus on the resplendent character, beauty, and holiness of Jesus, we reflect the light and our lives are beautiful.  

Be Thankful!

 I  thank God for all the wonderful people I've known who have taught me what kindness and caring for others is.  I thank God for the wonderful people who have shown me how much joy there is in serving--or even spreading a smile. 

 I thank Him for the neighbor who treated us to brownies the other day (or was it a year ago?!),  the Christian music groups who freely bless us with beautiful music, the cashier at Walmart who greets us with a friendly smile and asks how we're doing, the tournament directors who direct so many fun chess tournaments for no personal gain,  the friend who encourages me in the Lord and always reminds me to pray more and more, the service representatives on FICS who help so many people without being payed a penny, my sisters who make so many delicious meals, my brother who's always so kind,  my parents who took such loving care of me when I felt sick (and they've done countless other things for me), the friend who sent me a cheerful email yesterday morning,  that lady who smiles from her wheelchair, and the list goes on and on. 

 I'm so thankful for all of you! And no matter what the world says of your station in life, whether they class you as wealthy and a winner or as poor, useless, and a failure in life,  to me you are a shining example of success.

It's true, "We are not made rich by what is in our pockets, but by what is in our hearts."


"He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; 
and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."  --Matthew 23:11-12



2 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Bethany! I was deeply encouraged and moved by it. :) Thank-you so much for posting this, and may the Lord bless you! :hugs:

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  2. Thanks Nela! God bless you too! :hugs:

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