BY REV. DR. EMMANUEL T. NAWEJI - UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, HARRIS AND LAKE PARK
It's the responsibility for all of us to making our community (and the world) a better place! Yes, that's what we also hear, and especially as we approach the elections season. Let me tell you, though, that it's going to take each one of us to do it. Surprised or not, you don't need someone else to remind you of it.
The reason why I'm saying that is because if we all embrace a particular way of life, we can transform our Dickinson County, families, and community into an area where everyone would want to live.
This particular way of life means adopting attitudes, which, in turn, will shape our personality, character, and how we relate to each other. There are many of them, but I'm going to highlight only five here.
Humility is the only way to personal growth, making you a better person.
• Humility comes from your inner self. It is a choice you make for yourself to be gentle with yourself and others.
• Humility gives you a quiet spirit. You learn how to be patient, no matter what happens in life.
• Humility keeps you on your knees. You practice spiritual disciplines to help you connect to the bigger picture. As of myself, I'm on my knees through prayer. I connect with God, the Creator of the cosmos.
• Humility helps you appreciate life and others.
As a result, humility, as an attitude, will help you grow and better live.
Happiness is, a lot of times, misunderstood as a temporary feeling of pleasure and gladness. The one that helps you live better is more than just a feeling.
• Happiness is the fruit of your spirituality. In my case, as a Christian, God represents the source of my happiness. I know that God is my Maker, and God is the Lord. Because God is my Maker and Lord, what God does in my life — and what God gives me — is the source of my happiness.
• Happiness deepens your spirituality.
• Happiness comes from what we become over time. It is a result of what we go through, good or bad. When you look at problems, challenges, losses, etc., as a learning opportunity, you will experience the kind of happiness you need to better live.
• Happiness empowers you to face anything in life.
Love isn't just a noun and a feeling. It is also a verb. To love is a choice you make and lifestyle you should embrace to a better life.
• Love people because this is the right thing to do. As a Christian, to love is God's command for all believers.
• Love is a mark of true discipleship. I love people, not only because it is God's commandment. I do it because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus Christ loved everyone, even those who condemned Him to death, you and I should also be able to all people.
• Love creates a new "you." You have compassion, concern, and sympathy for others, and responsiveness. Love propels you to serve others.
Hospitality is so much a part of who we are as humans. We express it, especially when we make sure that our guests feel at home when they visit us.
But, the kind of hospitality that will make you a better life is the one that goes beyond your home.
• Hospitality is a response to God's grace. "Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15: 7. ESV).
• Hospitality is rewarding. Read Matthew 25: 34. In the end, those who will have showed hospitality to the poor, the hungry, the sick, the prisoner and the stranger will be rewarded.
• Hospitality helps us see Jesus in People.
• Hospitality is a spiritual discipline. While it's about doing works of mercy (helping others), it also requires us to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. Read James 1:27.
• Hospitality is a mark for Christian leadership. Every human being was made to watch over others. In other words, and using the words from the Apostles Paul and Peter, we are all called to be guardians and shepherds of each other. Jesus is our model: the Guardian and Shepherd. Two things that are required of guardians and shepherds are: show hospitality and teach. Read 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1: 7 and 1 Peter 2: 25.
Our understanding of generosity is always limited to giving, and in the form of money, gifts, etc.
The attitude that empowers you to better live is generosity, which derives from the other attitudes: humility, love, happiness, and hospitality.
• Generosity is a matter of the heart. It is an attitude that comes out of what you choose to be. And, you do it in your heart. In other words, you want to let your heart connect with somebody else. As a result, you give of your time, resources, talent/skills, etc. to change someone's life.
• Generosity is investing in the future. Think of whatever you do to connect with someone as a way of investing in them for the future. Giving of any form should be done as a way of answering this question: "What should I do to make tomorrow better for people who are not here yet?" It applies to your family, Church, company, community, work, and so forth.
I hope this has been helpful to you. You can also read more at the emmanuelnaweji.com blog.