Ten Resolutions for Mental Health

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Clyde Kilby’s  10 Resolutions for Mental Health and for Staying Alive to God in This World

  1. Once a day I will look at the sky and remember that I am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.
  2. I will suppose the universe is guided by an intelligence.
  3. I will not fall into the lie that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding 24 hours, but rather a unique event, filled with wonderful potential.
  4. I will prefer reality to abstractions.
  5. I will not demean my own uniqueness by envying others. I will mostly forget about myself and do my work.
  6. I will open my eyes and ears by at least once a day simply staring at a tree, a flower, a cloud or a person. I will simply be glad that they are what they are.
  7. I will often remember back to when I was a child and think about my dreaming eyes of wonder.
  8. I will frequently turn to things like a good book and good music.
  9. I will enjoy each moment, not always worrying about what the decade before me will demand from me.
  10. I will bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic but rather acknowledge that each day strokes are made on the cosmic canvas that in due course I will understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

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Clyde S. Kilby, 1902-1986

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.”

Proverbs 1:2

 Clyde Kilby, who is now with the Lord in heaven, was my teacher in English Literature at Wheaton. He did as much as any other teacher I have had to open my eyes to the ministry of God in the skies. 

       – Pastor John Piper, DesiringGod.org

 

Number Them

          “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” –ESV

 
“Teach us how short our lives  really are so that we may be wise.” –NLT

 

“Oh! Teach us to live well!
      Teach us to live wisely and well!”– MSG 

(Three translations of Psalm 90:12)

 The majority of  things we must be taught.  The alphabet, riding a bike, brushing our teeth.  We need to be educated, or tutored into many different skills.  Our teachers direct and guide us, they provide for us an understanding of the skills we need to acquire.  As we advance through their instruction, we grow in proficiency.

The Psalmist comes to the realization that he needs to develop a particular skill.  He desperately wants to craft his life to be honorable and obedient.  He turns to God and seeks His aid.  The psalmist seeks a ‘teacher’ who will instruct him.  And actually, this is not only permissible, but it is quite commendable.

Our own lives are often chaotic and foolish.  We live in a great deal of ignorance, strained relationships and bad decisions.  We are ‘saved by faith’, but the course of our lives are very difficult regardless.

The Bible teaches us the ‘Law of Sowing and Reaping’ (Gal. 6:7-8).  This essentially means that we do something that will come back and ‘haunt’ us.  And we must confess that we ‘sow’ things that grow into very bad things–which we deeply regret.

The author of Psalm 90 doesn’t intend to continue doing stupid things.  He has a need, and he is pretty adamant that God will help him.  Part of what he understands is that he needs to get ahold of the reality of the ‘shortness’ of his life.

He has a limited lifespan, an expiration date. 

He refuses the deception that life will just always continue unfolding.  He doesn’t buy it.  He counts on God to pace him, and to keep him from recklessly wasting his life.  He is asking for restraints.

I encourage you to consciously make this step.  Be deliberate in this.  If we lack wisdom, we need to ask Him for it.  Apart from His presence, our lives grow increasingly irrational.  Living without restraints will lead us into more foolishness and despair.

“Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:16, ESV

ybic, Bryan

 

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Ten Life Principles Worth Knowing

 

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This list was were found floating out on the internet, and although they are a bit secular most of them have corresponding Christian principles.  I’ve added a comment after each.  I hope that you will read them, and hold on to the good.

I’m not sure who the author of this list was. But kudos to them whoever they are.

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1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period. (But don’t forget that you are first a spirit, that just happens to have a body.)

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.” (This is called “discipleship.” Welcome!)

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”  (Consider the life of Peter, the apostle– he was up and down, but always learning. He was loved by the Lord, very, very much.)

4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson. (The Holy Spirit is a most excellent teacher.)

5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned. (Learn to love people is generally what these lessons are about. But remember, there is a life after this one that is vastly more significant.) 

6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”  (Actually, the best place to be is in the center of God’s will.)

7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.  (Hmmm. It is true that we have a common humanity, and we learn a ton just by observing human behavior.  And people do mirror our character back to us.)

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours. (Perhaps.  But God directs our steps.  He is supremely in control, but will graciously lend you his tools.)

9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust. (Actually, the Bible is pretty comprehensive in this capacity. Read it to be wise; trust it to be sure.)

10. You will forget all this. (Unfortunately, this is all too true.)

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