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“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)

Focus on bad, you’ll find bad.  Focus on good, you’ll find good.

In life, we tend to zoom in on the things that aren’t great.  We let one minor offense ruin our day.  I’ve been guilty of this.  I’ve gotten mad at the person who cut me off in traffic.  I’ve created an entire narrative in my head about how insensitive and selfish they are.   A stranger causes me to lose my lid.  Chances are, they didn’t even realize they cut me off.  A lot of time they don’t, yet I think their actions are specifically targeted towards me.  The worst part is the time I  waste fuming over this minor infraction.   I let one bad moment rule my day.

Focus on bad, you’ll find bad.

If we don’t overlook an offense, we’ll only find more.  Once someone has offended you, everything they do becomes offensive.  We have to take charge of our thoughts.  We have to take charge of our actions.  We have to let the offense go so it doesn’t destroy our relationship, and our day.  The larger we perceive the offense, the harder it is to let go.  But only in the letting go, can we find freedom to live.

When someone cuts me off in traffic, I can let it go or let it grow.  If I immediately recognize the act wasn’t intentional, I have an easier time releasing it.  But if I don’t let the moment go, if I dwell on it, I’m focusing on the bad.  Once I start focusing on the bad, everything seems bad.  The sun is too hot, the line in the grocery store is too long, my husband too loud, the house too messy, the list goes on and on.  What we focus on determines what we find.

I listened to a podcast by Dr. Laurie Santos and Dr. Jamil Zaki.  They discussed strategies for happiness, based on scientific data.  Dr. Zaki talked about focusing our minds.  In this time of pandemic, the news focuses on the bad happening in the world.  Dr. Zaki suggested we focus on the good instead.  Because a lot of good is happening.  Search #COVIDKindness and you’ll find hundreds of posts of good deeds.  

Focus on the good, you’ll find good.  Don’t allow one bad moment ruin your entire day.  Instead, take a deep breath.  Focus on the air as it flows over your mouth, deep into your belly.  Close your eyes, concentrate on the slow intake of air filling your lungs to capacity.  Now let the breath go just as slowly.  Repeat as necessary.  Release the offense, embrace renewed life.

Question of the Day:

What offense do you need to release today?

Further Reading: 1 Chronicles 19-21 NIVRomans 2:25-3:8 NIV, Psalm 11:1-7 NIV, Proverbs 19:10-12 NIV

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