Archives For enthusiasm

I’ve been told that I’m annoyingly energetic and upbeat. I try to greet everyone I meet with a smile. When asked how I’m doing, I usually reply, “Fantastic!” But many people misunderstand why I’m this way.

Some seem to think that nothing in my life ever goes wrong. “You are just so lucky that you don’t have my life,” they seem to say. Then there are those who attribute it to my age. “When you get to be my age,” they say, “you won’t have so much energy.” I think my enthusiasm may even make some people feel guilty. “Why don’t I feel that way about life? Something must be wrong with me for not being so enthusiastic about God.”

But the answer to being more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited isn’t your age or even your circumstances. Here are some of the things I try to keep in mind:

1. Don’t act the way you feel. 

As a general rule, I try NOT to act on my feelings. There are days when nothing seems to go right. There are days when I feel discouraged and frustrated. There are days where I feel apathetic. There are even days when I feel like ignoring (or verbally pummeling) everyone with whom I come into contact. And sadly, whether you’ve ever witnessed it or not, sometimes I act like I feel. But, I try hard to act upbeat and positive, regardless of how I feel.

It isn’t being “fake” or “hypocritical” to act happy when you don’t feel happy. In fact, feelings often follow actions. When you smile, you feel more like smiling. If you don’t believe me, try it. It’s a proven fact, when you smile, you feel happier. God designed it that way. So, often I’m acting the way I want to feel rather than the way I actually feel.

But the most important thing is this, since God’s word tells me to be joyful and grateful (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), I want to do my best to be exactly that! I don’t always feel joyful, but God’s word tells me to rejoice anyway. I don’t always feel like being grateful, but God’s word tells me to give thanks anyway. You have to decide, are you going to act the way you feel or the way God tells you to act?

2. See the big picture.

It’s easy to feel completely discouraged when all you can see is the pain of this life. But, when we see the big picture–when we realize life is short (James 4:14) and heaven is forever–it is so much easier to have a positive attitude. I’m not sure how you can read passages like 2 Corinthians 5:1-5, and not be excited:

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Seeing the big picture is about faith and looking to the reward (Hebrews 11:26). How can you help but be overwhelmed with excitement when you ponder concepts such as salvation, grace, mercy, and heaven?

3. Focus on others.

God’s word tells me to be encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Again, this isn’t conditional. God doesn’t tell us to be encouraging, when and if, we feel like it. He simply says, “Encourage one another and build one another up.” If I always acted the way I felt, I would seldom encourage anyone.

Often we act the way we feel because we seek pity and encouragement ourselves. I know I have been notorious about this. Someone asks, “How are you?” And I reply, “Oh, I guess I’m doing alright,” hoping they will inquire further and I’ll be able to tell them my troubles. We’ve got to stop this nonsense! If you have something you need to share with someone, just tell them, “Hey, would you be praying for me? I’ve had this-and-that going on and I really need some prayers.” We’ve got to stop trying to make people feel sorry for us.

When we are trying to get others to encourage us, we are completely ineffective at encouraging others. This is what Paul described as a Christ-like attitude, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Please understand, I’m far from being as upbeat, enthusiastic, and energetic as I want to be. I want to have more joy and less self-pity. I want to be more encouraging and less focused on myself. But, if you see me with a smile on my face, know that I’m not trying to tell you my life is perfect; just that I want to encourage you.

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

 

 

I love to have a cup of coffee in the morning (in fact I’m drinking one right now), but that really isn’t what gets me going in the morning. Most of the time, I am excited to get out of bed in the morning and these are a few of the reasons why…

Christian Thoughts to Get You Going in the Morning

1) I know that I have a job to do! There is so much work to do, in service to God, that I feel guilty when I waste too much time not busy doing the things that need to be done! Paul told the Corinthian church to always be “abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). There are people who need to be helped, taught, and encouraged today! Can you honestly say you get out of bed in the morning to start “abounding” in the Lord’s work? If not, why not? There is certainly plenty of it to do!

2) I want to please God! We all know that there will be several things we do during the course of a day which will displease God. But maybe we think about that too much! Do you ever get out of bed with the realization that you have the ability to please the Creator?! Wow! What an absolutely awesome thought! Paul had that mentality. He said that He made it His “aim to please Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). How would it change your day if you got out of bed, motivated to please the God you love?

3) There is so much to learn! I am so far from the man I want to be! But if I work at it today, I might just get a little closer to being that man! I want to grow in the areas of my life like my faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, etc. (2 Peter 1:5-6). How much more excited would be to get out of bed if we realized our growth for the day was dependent on the time and effort we invested in it? You growth is your choice; get out of bed excited to become a better person!

4) There is so much to enjoy! 1 Timothy 6:17 says that God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” Have you ever thought about your taste buds? God gave you taste buds simply because He wanted you to enjoy the things you ate! Of course the ultimate goal of your enjoyment is that you give praise and thanks to God for His awesome gifts. Why not get up every morning with the attitude, I’m going to try and enjoy as many of God’s gifts as I possibly can today! We wouldn’t want to waste a second if we really thought about life that way!

Sadly, like everyone, my attitude isn’t always so positive and enthusiastic; but it should be! Because these things are always true! Every day of every week these thoughts are true and should echo through our mind! There is always work to do, God is always pleased by your faithful obedience, there is always room for growth and learning, and there are always so many of God’s gifts to enjoy! So let’s all make it our goal to change our attitude and live with purpose and enthusiasm!

I love you and God loves you! Have a wonderful day!

Excited about being a ChristianI guess if people say one thing about me consistently it is probably something about my enthusiasm. People assume I’m just an excited kinda guy. But I’m not excited about everything. For instance, I don’t get excited about broccoli or lima beans. But there are several things I get pretty fired up about.

Romans 12:9-11 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”

That is a passage full of passion and excitement words. Words like abhor, cling, devoted, diligence, and fervent. I see at least four things in this passage about which every one of us should be excited!

1. (Abhor) Hate What is Evil. Christians have a hard time using the word hate. Instead we use words like “dislike.” Well that’s not good enough! God expects us to HATE evil! Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.” It is time that Christians starting hating evil. Of course I’m not saying we should hate evil people! I am saying we should want no part of their evil. We should not welcome it into our homes, our schools, or our minds!

2. Cling to What is Good. Again, Christian people have a way of watering this down too. We usually “like” what is good. But that is not good enough! We must be glued to it. We must be so committed to good that we are inseparable! Paul says we are to, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). Things like Bible study, fellowship, prayer, worship, and service are “good” things; be glued to them!

3. Be Devoted to One Another. It is time that Christians learn to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. That doesn’t mean you tolerate each other for a couple of weeks during worship! That means you are family! You are passionate about helping, serving, teaching, and even admonishing one another. When you see a brother in danger of losing his soul you don’t gossip about it; you go and talk to him! Church, be devoted to your family!

4. Serving the Lord. Paul said not to be lagging in diligence and to be fervent in our service. The word fervent literally means to be boiling over! Can you really say you are boiling over in your service to God? In 1 Corinthians 15:58 Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” Can you really say you’re “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” When was the last time you truly wore yourself out in service to the king? If you’re not busy, then its time to get busy! You are never more useful than when you are selflessly serving the Lord with everything you have to offer!

Let’s commit ourselves to not being lukewarm! Let’s commit ourselves to giving everything we have! Let’s commit ourselves to being passionate in our Christianity!