This post originally appeared on my other blog that pays me, and you if you want, to post and to comment @ https://steemit.com/@strangerarray.
“It is a kindness to ourselves, and contributes to the repose of our own minds, to extenuate and excuse the injuries and affronts that we receive, instead of aggravating them and making the worst of them, as we are apt to do.” – Matthew Henry
I spent the majority of my early life taking things too personally and overthinking everything.
Now, I only take most everything personally.
I have made strides in not getting caught up in my own mental anguish by taking things that have nothing to do with me and making it all against me.
Instead of being so self-centered, I am a little less self-centered and try to be even less self-focused each day.
I don’t do a very good job of that.
But now I have learned not to be so offended by every little thing that comes my way.
“A fool’s displeasure is known at once, but whoever ignores an insult is sensible. – Proverbs 12:16 (HCSB)”
I had a journey of looking around me and realizing that I am not alone in this world and that I am interconnected and interdependent on others.
I realized that most everything I had at the time had been given to me by someone else.
I noticed that without the help of others, especially some days, I wouldn’t have had food to eat, a place to sleep, or anything else for that matter.
It is only out of the love, goodness, and kindness of friends and family that I am able to be here today.
If you know me, you may think my life isn’t too bad and I didn’t have it too hard growing up.
And you’d be right.
The thing is though, despite all the good things I had going for me in life, I was still able to mess it up.
I have always been good at things, and I was good at messing up my life.
However, that all changed.
As part of a college World Literature class we read classic works of religious text.
We read excerpts from the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita along with other works such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
One day, as part of the course, we were going to study the Song of Solomonfrom the Old Testament.
Our teacher requested that we bring a copy of The Bible to class for the study.
But I had a problem with that…
I didn’t own a Bible.
So one day while shopping at Walmart with my mom I asked her to buy me a cheap paperback copy of The Bible and I took it to class the next day.
We looked at the Song of Solomon in class, but otherwise I didn’t really care too much about it.
Later at home, I found in the back of it a “365 day Bible reading plan” and decided that I could take that challenge and accomplish something cool, because I thought, “Hey everyone seems to have heard of the Bible, but who has really read the whole thing?”
I seriously thought no one really read the Bible.
At that point, I realized that I didn’t know much about the Bible at all.
Not being a Christian at the time of starting the reading, I was curious to find out what the book actually said about God and Jesus and everything else.
I approached reading it as any other religious text that I had read in the course of my other studies.
However, little did I know what the Lord had in store for me through this process.
I thought I knew something about Christianity and what it was all about. But I had to unlearn my misconceptions and prejudices before I could understand what it was really all about.
Over the course of reading the Bible in a year, I prayed for forgiveness of my sins and to accept the gift of Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and for Him to come into my heart and be Lord of my life.
This was the start of the process to become less focused on myself and more focused on helping others.
“A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise.” – Proverbs 12:15 (HCSB)
I had been foolish and thought I knew what was right.
But now I am open to listen to the counsel of the others, instead of taking comments and criticisms as attacks, I look for ways that they can help me grow.