Yes, I have a “to do” list. Almost as effective as my “not to do” list.
1 I WILL NOT BADMOUTH THE GOVERNMENT.
President Trump was voted into office. He’s there to stay for a while. Our scriptural mandate is to pray “for kings and all who are in high positions” (I Tim 2:2).
2 I WILL NOT BE DISCOURAGED.
I let discouragement in the door a few years ago, and self-pity came in the back door. Stayed for two weeks. Hard to get them out. When I face things with the potential to get me down, I lock the door to discouragement. Think John the Baptist and Elijah. When they gave in to discouragement, they said and did dumb things. People are counting on you. “Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Life gives us “good” reasons to be discouraged. God gives us more reasons to stay encouraged.
3 I WILL NOT HOLD ONTO MY MONEY AS IF IT IS MY OWN.
What I release comes back to me; what I hold onto I lose. “Give, and it shall be give to you…” If you need it more than me, you’ve got it (I John 3:17).
4 I WILL NOT SAY STUPID THINGS, like,
“This is a really bad time for a flat tire.” You don’t know; it may be a great time. The last two times with car trouble, I managed to hold my tongue and thank God. The first problem fixed itself. The second problem, a dangerous flat on the freeway. I was able to pull over. Started to change the tire with an ineffective jack. A young man joined me and without asking got his jack and changed my tire in twenty minutes. I pulled out $30 and said, “Thank you.” He said, “I am not taking any money. I didn’t stop for that reason.” I thanked him again, shook his hand and asked his name. He answered, “Muhammad.” I said, “Thank you, Muhammad,” and he hurried off.
5 I WILL NOT COMPLAIN.
I don’t control the weather, I live with it. I will not complain about weatherman, as if I could do better. I will not complain about the food, about the people I work with, the wife God has given me, the governor whose policies are different (God, forgive me). Complaining does damage and God NEVER blesses it. I will not complain about neighbors who don’t like what we are doing at the Ranch. I will bless them instead. (It’s working).
6 I WILL NOT THINK THAT GOD OWES ME A GOOD DAY.
I will not expect that because I am a follower of Jesus the day will go smoothly, people won’t try to take advantage of me, or that I won’t encounter material or relational issues. I will not assume that suffering is for backsliders. I will not expect that the challenges God gives me mean that it will be easy. Could be hard, but it will be good!