Back to Back Issues Page
Do you regret doing this too?"
June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021 Issue #183

Guard your thoughts and you'll have more peace

If you were to ask me the hypothetical question, "What would you like to go back in your life and change?", I'd say, "I wasted too much time thinking about the wrong things."

How about you? Do you hold imaginary conversations, replaying upsetting scenarios? Do you worry what friends and relatives think of you? Do you have angry or hateful thoughts toward people who offended you? Do you beat yourself up for your mistakes or shortcomings? Do you let yourself get conned by TV pundits or social media influencers?

We singles are especially susceptible to these mental gymnastics because we have more alone time. Before we drift off to sleep, we tend to dump out the emotional garbage can of the past 16 hours and pick through it. Gross but true.

This month, we explore how to break those destructive thinking habits. It took me years to recognize the dangers of this problem then find a solution that works. Some of it involves our friend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but much of it relies on ceding control to the Holy Spirit.

Want a more tranquil noggin? Check out these tips on how to guard your thoughts.

Where can I go?

Where can I go when I feel agitated
and don't know what to do?
Where can I go when I'm looking for answers
and need advice plain and true?

I cannot trust the voices from boxes
with their secret agendas for me.
I cannot rely on their rumors and gossip
and upside-down reality.

Where can I go when my spirit is sickened
and I find it hard to hold on?
Where can I go when I'm sinking in sorrow
and all of my peace is gone?

I cannot trust the world's quick fixes
that tell me to smile and be brave.
I put no faith in its immature slogans
that have no power to save.

There's only one place that I can turn
to find all the help I need.
The unfailing source of hope and direction
that will never conceal or mislead.

I find my purpose within its pages;
the good news that set me free.
I go to my Bible and heal my heart
with God's love letter to me.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2021 ~

Are you marriage material?

What makes more sense: dealing with your problems now, when you're single, or dragging them with you into your marriage?

Many single people believe marriage will solve their problems. Could that be why almost half of all marriages end in divorce?

Hope for Hurting Singles is a guide for facing common challenges like loneliness, anger, bitterness, depression, and shyness. You'll appreciate its practical, down to earth approach. No textbook theories here.

Hope for Hurting Singles is based on Jack Zavada's 50 years in the single life, where he learned what works and what doesn't through painful trial-and-error.

Hope for Hurting Singles comes in paperback and Kindle formats. It's written in a clear, conversational style. You'll start putting these strategies to work in your own life, saving years of experimenting on your own. Now there's value!

It's only $10.99 for paperback, $3.99 for Kindle version.

Order your copy today. When marriage comes, you want to be ready!

QOTM: What makes life so wretched?

June's Quote of the Month comes from British medical doctor and Reformed minister David Martin Lloyd-Jones, from his book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount:

How much of our thinking and acting and behavior is entirely governed by other people. It is one of the things that make life so wretched…Other people are controlling you.

~ David Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899 - 1981) ~

The ironic aspect of this statement is that it comes from a sermon Lloyd-Jones delivered in the 1950s. How much more are people trying to control us today!

I question everything I hear and read from people I don't know. You should too. What is the agenda of the person or organization behind the information? Are they trying to manipulate me? To what end?

This is not paranoia. It's a necessary response in today's world. The Bible calls it discernment. Discernment (guarding your thoughts) is this Inspire-O-Gram's theme.

We are sons and daughters of God. We owe our loyalty to him; therefore, we should be controlled by Him, not other people. Yes, we have duties to our employer and government, but we cannot let ourselves become slaves by worrying what other people think of us. The No. 1 influencer in our lives must be God.

The waterfall of God's love for you

Do you have trouble grasping God's love for you? As singles, we often feel lonely and unappreciated, never suspecting that the Ruler of the Universe is madly, passionately in love with us.

Take a look at the photo to the left. That tiny figure represents you, and that mammoth waterfall represents God's love, showering down on you every minute of every day. It never goes dry. It never decreases. It is huge and it is personal. It just keeps flowing.

Years ago, I judged God's love for me by my circumstances. When things were going well, I assumed God was pleased with me. When things were bad—and sometimes they were very bad—I thought God was angry with me and had withdrawn his love. I know now I was wrong.

God's love is constant. It never changes because He never changes. I know God sacrificed his Beloved Son for me—and for you. He provides for me in ways I can never imagine. I have survived terrible disappointments because God was faithful, carrying me through when I was out of strength. This holds true for you too.

Lock this waterfall image into your memory so you can call it up when you feel sad. Study this photo until it becomes a part of you. God's living water is life. God's presence in you, the Holy Spirit, is his seal of love in your heart.

This is not a fairy tale, myth, or imaginary friend. It is real and unique just for you. This simple image is a reminder: God loves you.

Why you and I just can't fit in

Wanting to fit in is an inescapable part of human nature. That's why shunning and solitary confinement are such cruel punishments. For single Christians, fitting in with the world (unbelievers) becomes a real dilemma.

On one hand, our instinct tells us satisfaction is found in being like everybody else. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit tells us we're as different as that square red peg in the photo above. We can't fit in because our values are completely opposite of the world's.

While the world praises immorality, greed, and power, God commands righteousness, generosity, and humility. The world says "Do whatever feels good." God says "Follow my commandments." The world says "Worship success." God says, "I am your God. Do not worship anything but me."

Sometimes it hurts to be an outsider. We want the approval of people. The Bible, however, tells us we should seek the approval of God, not the approval of men. On this earth, the Kingdom of God is largely invisible, but its citizens are not. I'm one. You're one. The people in your church are citizens. We are an army relying on grace, not guns.

I have to keep reminding myself who I fit in with. I am odd for God. I don't fit in with the world, and neither do you, but we're on the narrow way to a Place where we will fit in. Where we will be loved and cherished.

We chose this narrow road for the same reason you choose any road: its destination. Hey, when we both get Home, save a dance for me.

For right now though, you can comment on this newsletter or the single life in general by zipping a message to my personal inbox. This secure contact form will get it there in seconds! Then you will hear back from me. I promise.

That's it for now. Until the July issue then, stay cool and praise God!

Jack Zavada

PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

Back to Back Issues Page