There’s a purpose and reason to everything you do. A lot of times we stop at the surface level without digging down deep to the real reasons. But if you ask the question “why?” enough times in a row, you will eventually reach the real reasons you do things. And you might find your real reason revolves around faith. Let’s explore.
This post is part of a 14 part series on How to Be a Better Person. I’ve also super-duper fancied this group of posts up into an Amazon Kindle book. Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God.
1) Be Strong, Be a Role Model
You know those really energetic and friendly waiters at your favorite restaurant? They always seem to have a great time and not worry about what others are thinking. Well, okay, they probably have good service and tips in mind, but not much stops their personality from shining through. They have the gumption to get stuff done in their own flavor. They choose to act. How do you choose to act in your own job?
Too often we shy away from sharing our real personality and feelings as a wall to protect our most sensitive insides. Not many folks can take an attack on their core values without feeling offended. But what if you could stay strong no matter what? What if you could be that shining role model that did the right thing in tough times? What would the right kind of people say?
Just Be Better: We have it easy in America. We can show our faith openly without anyone attacking us. Other countries don’t have it so easy. The problem is we don’t do it enough. Publicly give thanks for your meals. It will feel weird at first, but it’s worth it. The trick is to pay attention to who you’re really talking to.
Don’t try to change the world; set the example.
2) Reflecting Porch
Ding! Mommy! Beep! Daddy! Tweet! Excuse me! Dong! HONK! Got a minute? Woop! You have new email!
Any of these sound familiar? We have very busy lives and are constantly interrupted no matter where we go. We’ve turned from a society of hand-written letters to a global community of always on, always reachable techno-gurus. What happened to our time?
Slow down a bit. Do you ever get the feeling you’re running at 800 mph or maybe you don’t get enough of the important things done? Constant interruptions and a lack of real reflection time can grind you to a halt. Doing, working, and going at high speeds in everything you do will eventually lead to a crash. You’ve got to turn inside and shut out the outside every once in a while to recharge your spiritual batteries.
Just Be Better: Go out in the backyard or porch and quietly reflect on life for ten minutes. Don’t try to make this time ‘useful’ by multitasking or by doing anything else. Leave your phone inside.
Slow down and gain time to catch up.
3) If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say
I once heard someone say they’d rather be trapped on an island with a devout Buddhist than a lack-luster Christian. I agree. Think about it. Have you ever met a person who was truly devoted to their faith? They’re sometimes hard to spot. They don’t pressure you, they don’t try to change your life, and they only discuss their faith with an open minded audience. Now the lack-luster folks, they want to push their beliefs on you while dismissing yours. Not cool.
What do you think happens when you try to talk about the most important thing someone believes in? Do you think you have a perfect grasp of what they believe or what they do? If they’ve been studying and believing their faith for a lifetime, where does your “outside view” fit in? You can’t run into someone’s home and start rearranging the furniture without causing some waves. They’ll call you when they want your help. Be ready to answer.
Just Be Better: It’s time to put on your “completely understanding” hat. Don’t talk down, bad, or mean about any religion for three weeks. Go silent if you have to. I’m not asking you to change your beliefs. I’m asking to you appreciate strong values in everyone.
Faith comes from within and shows without. Be an admirer.
4) Random Inspiration
I have a good reason every time I say no to my son’s request for candy. Don’t get me wrong, treats are great and have their place, but they should be a rare and special thing. He may not understand why I say no on any particular instance, but he has come to accept that I’m true to my word and will make good decisions. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t respond to a random request at just the right time.
Faith is not a slot machine. No matter what you read out there, you can’t look to the sky, ask for a million dollars, and expect the bills to start raining down. But, you can ask, open yourself up for the answer God has for you, and choose to make the answer work in your life. You don’t know what’s best for you, but He does.
Just Be Better: Grab your nearest Bible, open it up to a random spot, point your finger to any old place on the page, and read at least one verse. Slowly. Really digest the words. Roll them around in your head and heart. Close your eyes and see what pictures you see. How could this apply to your life?
Open your heart and learn to see the world from His point of view.
5) Pray From the Heart
Have you ever caught yourself saying something funky or mean about someone? I’m talking about random folks, too. That guy who just cut you off in traffic? Your boss when he asks you to stay late? You get my drift. If you started to count the number of times these things happened, you might be surprised what you find out.
When has any negative thought ever made your life better, besides allowing you to let off a little steam? Well, what if you could change the way you let off steam? What if you could focus your steam into an engine for doing something positive? What if you could turn your thoughts into a vehicle of prayer for that person instead?
Just Be Better: Say a short prayer for a person in need or a person you don’t like. This is terribly hard at first, but it catches on real quick. Don’t do the “well, BLEEESSS YOOUUU!!!” thing. Calm down for six seconds first and then pray genuinely for that person’s well being.
Taste the words that leave your mouth and bless the lives of others.
6) Quote Me Daily
It’s hard to remember to take out the trash, clean the sink, or put the mail in the mailbox. These are things we know we need to pay attention to on a daily basis, but they tend to slip our immediate train of thought. Until we make them habits. The same goes for praying and paying attention to the gifts the good Lord has given you.
What’s the second thing on your mind after you wake up? I already know what the first is so I won’t ask. After my several bouts with cancer, I’ve gotten in the habit of being thankful for having another chance to see daylight. Thankful for being able to do another day’s worth of good before the next day rolls around should I be so blessed. By keeping my mind continually reminded of what a gift a new day is, I really start to focus on all the gifts given to me throughout the day.
Just Be Better: Keeping a small piece of God on your mind, daily, is the start of a good relationship that will always lead to more. Subscribe to a religious “quote of the day” email service. I’m partial to the Minute Meditations and Saint of the Day folks.
Let the inspiration come to you and start your day out right.
7) Be Quick, Get Help
You know those people who always seem to know the right thing to say at exactly the right time? How do they do it? Do they just go home and practice responses day in and day out until they have every base covered? Or is there something else there that gives them the edge in being always present, always on top of things, and always ready to communicate with power?
The wheels of your brain machine get a little squeaky when they’re thrown off track. Frustration, difficulty, and anger can throw us so far off balance that our usual systems don’t work properly. Lashing out, saying the wrong thing, or just giving up are the last thing you want to do. But do you know you have other choices? There are other choices that actually help you grow.
Just Be Better: When you get frustrated, say a quick prayer for help. Make it something easy to remember and bring to mind at the blink of an eye. Something like, “God, please help me.” Or maybe try, “Jesus, thank you and I love you” whenever you feel like it, too.
What you focus on, focuses you. Focus on Infinite Love.
7 Ways to Be a Better Person Through God and Faith
- Be Strong, Be a Role Model
- Reflecting Porch
- If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say
- Random Inspiration
- Pray From the Heart
- Quote Me Daily
- Be Quick, Get Help
I hope you’ve enjoyed another installment of how to be a better person. We really get down to the source of all good and being better when we start to focus on our Creator. Let’s get focuses, ya’ll. Have a great day!
Want to get the whole series in a convenient ebook?
Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God