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by Lou Seckler

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    We are greatly influenced in our growing years by what people say about us. Parents, teachers, siblings — all have a responsibility not to interfere negatively in the life of the young. I remember my dad, while he shook his index finger in front of my face, saying: “You will never amount to anything.” In the meantime my mother would tenderly say to me: “Son, you will have a great future.”

    So I grew up saying: “Thank you, mom” and “I will show you, dad.”

    It is incredible how negative input about ourselves from our loved ones can traumatize us. Many decades later, when we are in the process of making an important decision, those tapes sound like they were recorded yesterday. Those tapes need to be destroyed.

    A counselor friend says that it takes eight positive remarks to counteract every negative remark people say about us. It is nearly impossible to erase from our minds all of the derogatory remarks we hear over the years.

    One day when eating lunch with my son Carlos, then an adolescent, I asked him how it was that he was able to maintain his healthy self-esteem. He said he knew he was a good artist, and that one thing kept his self-esteem untouched.

    It is amazing how one thing that we do well can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves.

    A lady who suffered from severe depression, confined to a wheelchair, was giving the psychologists trying to help her a hard time. They had been trying to help, but were unable to find anything that worked for her. One day, an expert in the problem of depression visited her at her home. He noticed the assortment of beautiful orchids which she had cultivated herself. This observation gave him an idea: he instructed the lady to deliver a new orchid to every one of the elderly people who lived in a nursing home nearby.

That one thing made a considerable difference in her life.
    Several years later when the lady died, there was an interesting headline in the local paper: “The Orchid Lady Dies, Leaving Behind Hundreds of Friends.” As she began to give the orchids away to those senior citizens, she started thinking about them instead of concentrating on herself and her illness. That one thing made a considerable difference in her life.

    To the apostle Paul that “one thing” was his faith. He wrote the Philippians: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) This one thing, this noble goal, seemed to be all that was necessary to energize Paul. This same principle can energize you, too.

    To our son Carlos the one thing is being a good artist. To the lady in the wheelchair, it was giving away orchids. To Paul, the one thing was his faith. What is yours? Find out what the “one thing” is for you, offer it to the Lord and to others, and you will maintain your self-esteem no matter what tries to tear it down. You will discover that not only is your life a blessing to others, but that you in turn are blessed.


Are you presently experiencing a new life? God’s word says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This new life is a free gift of God through faith Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about this life that only Jesus can give you, sign up for one of our Bible courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done, you can begin again. You may also contact Lou Seckler at rbecton@heraldoftruth.org if you have questions about becoming a new creation.

 
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      © 2003, Herald of Truth and Lou Seckler, Herald of Truth. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Lou Seckler
      Publication Date: July 22, 2003


 
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