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Do you like yourself?"
April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024
Issue 217

Agree with God: Be kind to yourself

One of the great ironies of life is that some singles are kinder to their pets than they are to themselves.

I'm no psychologist so I can't tell you why this is, but some of us constantly beat ourselves up emotionally, demoralizing ourselves with nonstop criticism.

Here's why you should quit that and be kind to yourself: When you are, you're agreeing with God.

Yes, it's true the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, but that's because God loves you and wants what's best for you. Sin is bad for you.

Treating yourself compassionately is NOT prideful. When you're kind to yourself, you are liberated to be humble because God's love for you is based entirely on His grace and goodness. As you know, one of the great treats about being loved is that wonderful feeling of walking on air.

Single friend, this is one of those breakthrough moments in life. You will never be the same after you make this simple change, and that's no exaggeration.

Ready? Let's jump into why you should be kind to yourself.

I like me

I see someone funny
when I look in mirrors.
But that's just the way
my outside appears.

Inside I'm good looking.
What can't be seen
could be on the cover
of a magazine.

I'm so cool
I stand out from the herd.
Even though
I may act like a nerd.

I have no fan club;
followers: zero.
But in my heart
I'm a superhero.

I like me.
I like the person
I've come to be.
Do I have flaws?
Sure, two or three.
But I'm a work-in-progress.
I like me.

I'm not stuck-up
with my nose in the air.
When folks reject me
I don't care.

God's my Savior,
Friend and Guide.
My home with Him
is bona fide.

So I don't waste time
as a wannabe.
I'm contented.
I like me.

I like me.
And that is no
If you think that's wrong,
I disagree.
My mind's made up:
I like me.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2024 ~

"Me? I'm fine!" (Not really)

Did you say it today? When someone asked how you're doing, did you tell them you're "fine," "good," or "great"—even when you're not?

It's a little game we all go through. We quickly learn most people don't want to hear our complaints. We know complainers, and everybody avoids them like they're a leper. We don't want to be treated like that.

We all have problems, but they don't have to be overwhelming. Many are manageable, and with God's help, we can overcome them.

Hope for Hurting Singles is a great place to start. There's good stuff in this book, practical advice you can start using right away. This is not the story of my life. Who cares about that? Instead, it's a step-by-step manual on how to deal with things like:

  • Loneliness,
  • Shyness,
  • Rejection,
  • Depression,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • Fear,
  • Bitterness.

I didn't have anything like Hope for Hurting Singles when I was coming up. The only books on singleness I could find were written by married ministers, or by young women who were short on the actual how-to. I went through decades of trial-and-error

When you read Hope for Hurting Singles, you'll learn the major part Jesus plays in all this. Jesus has the power to change us and to change our circumstances.

Hope for Hurting Singles is not a self-help book. It's a God-help book. That's what makes it unique. Hope for Hurting Singles is $10.99 in paperback and $3.99 for the Kindle version.

QOTM: "In the final analysis…"

April's Quote of the Month comes from Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, known to the world as Mother Teresa, an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity:

"In the final analysis it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

~ Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997) ~

Whose approval matters? Whose love matters? In the final analysis, who truly matters? God.

I spent much of my life beating myself up because I felt I didn't measure up to other people's expectations. Thank God I finally learned the truth and I have been so much happier since.

Life is about God, first, last, and always. When you understand you are deeply loved by God, things begin to turn around. That's what happened to me, and I pray it will happen to you, if it hasn't already.

Once you know you are loved by God, agree with him and love yourself. It's not pride or vanity. It's simply acknowledging that God is always right.

Lighten your load by chucking these burdens

It's better to soar than to stagger. It's better to have wings than ankle weights. You'll be happier when you get rid of the things holding you down.

I'm talking about the crushing habits of grudges, fear, envy, and worry. We all pick up some of these burdens along the way, but we rarely stop and make the conscious decision to get rid of them.

You can do it, you know. Eliminating things from your life that are hampering your progress makes sense, doesn't it?

These things aren't helping. Really,they're not. Oh, you are going to miss them when you get rid of them, just like you'd miss a bunch of heavy rocks in your backpack.

First let's identify them. Then let's give them the boot. Here's how to lighten your load.

Spring clean your mind and spirit

Meh. I'm not much on cleaning. I'd rather read or work on these newsletters.

But even a bachelor like me has to dig in once in a while and spruce things up. I admit I do enjoy a clean room.

Spring is the traditional time for housecleaning, but why shouldn't we clean our mind and spirit at the same time? Listen to what the apostle Paul said about this:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2, NIV)

R.C. Sproul was one of my favorite preachers and authors. For years he hosted a radio program called "Renewing Your Mind," named after this Bible verse.

Sproul knew our minds accumulate a lot of dirt and trash—the pattern of this world—and need to be constantly renewed by reading the Word of God. Paul says it will transform us, and he's right.

Don't let your mind be manipulated by self-serving politicians or social media influencers. Get a good study Bible and read it every day. Lay down God's truths as your life-foundation. The Bible is your user's manual for the Christian life.

What's the difference?

No doubt you've observed that some people seem to be happy and upbeat most of the time while others are gloomy complainers. Is it because the upbeat folks have an easier life and the gloomy ones are beset by troubles?

I don't think so. Nobody escapes adversity. Eventually it visits everybody. The difference is how we respond to it. Now don't get me wrong—when a loved one or a cherished pet dies, we need to grieve. It's healthy. And illness or divorce can make a person depressed. But here's the key:

Our thinking creates our world.

Outside circumstances can smack us, but we primarily live in our mind. It's a minute-by-minute battle to control our thinking, but the Holy Spirit helps with that. Once we get over the delusion that we're entitled to be gloomy, we can then choose to be a survivor instead of a victim.

This choice is obvious in older people. Upbeat seniors, like that guy on the left (who is not me, BTW), are more fun to be around. They have more friends. They have learned, over time, to give up anger and resentment because they turn you into an unhappy person.

We can learn to be contented rather than ungrateful. I'm not advocating that we all become Pollyannas, pasting a fake smile on our face no matter what. I'm simply saying we have more power over our inner world than we believe.

What kind of inner world are you creating?

That wraps up the April issue of Inspire-O-Gram, fellow singleton. Thanks once again for reading. You can comment on this newsletter or any aspect of the single life through our secure contact form.

I'll leave you with the words of artist Mary Engelbreit: "If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."

Until May,

Jack Zavada

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

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