There are some rules you should make for yourself. Not goals, not bucket lists and certainly not promises. Rules. Goals are to be reached, bucket lists get checked off and promises – whether we want them to or not – do get broken.
But rules…they’re different.
There are rules for just about everything. You have rules in school, rules in the workplace and rules in many of the places you frequent such as doctors offices and grocery stores. They may not be outlined by a sign on the wall, but when you go to the doctor, you know you need to sign in and wait your turn. At the grocery, you shop for your items, find a lane, check out and pay.
Rules are well known and usually respected. Merriarm-Webster defines “rule” like so: a prescribed guide for conduct or action or an accepted procedure, custom, or habit. Words like “guide” and “habit” tell us it’s something that, once designed and laid out, it isn’t usually deviated from.
So what are these rules? I have a few that everyone should adhere to, and if we did, what a world we would live in!
- Always be respectful. As my Mother always told me, it doesn’t cost a dime and it pays you back in the long run. You never know another person’s story anyway…they might be going through something you know nothing about, so be nice. It’s not nearly as hard to put into practice as it is to ponder.
- Take insults with a grain of salt. They usually aren’t true, and in such case, they have no hold over you. People will stoop to insults for many reasons including jealousy, anger and a general feeling of worthlessness, and you might not know the reasons for any of them. Do not give them the satisfaction of seeing you brought to the low level they are at. It’s just not worth it.
- Give, whenever you are able. I know that we live in a world where scams and liars flourish, but there are those who genuinely have needs that we can meet, and if we’re able, we certainly should. What about that neighbor that has been laid off and might not be able to afford to buy this week’s groceries? Or maybe they could use some help with the rent? Every little bit helps and if you aren’t comfortable giving money, then go and buy the food yourself and drop it off. Remember that 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
- Don’t be afraid to cry. I spent a good many years of my life not allowing myself to cry, for any reason, and I’m pretty sure it did more harm than good. It can make you dry, bitter and cause you to seal off your emotions to the point that you just don’t care about anything, or anyone, including yourself. And that is certainly no way to be! And don’t be tricked into thinking it’s a sign of weakness…quite the contrary. It shows you’re strong enough to allow yourself to really feel. And that’s hard to do sometimes. But we have to remember, that sorrow doesn’t last forever. Jeremiah 31:13 reminds us: Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
- Always stand up for what is right. Edmund Burke is quoted as saying “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” That is still true today. However, I’m not saying to attack people where they are, especially if they are lost. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death, says Proverbs 14:12. It is the very heart and flesh of the human to mess things up, and there are some things that simply cannot be condoned, but prayerfully consider any kind of open attack against another for what you consider right.
I’m sure there are probably many more rules that could go on this list, this just happens to be a few of the ones on my mind most recently. Feel free to copy if you wish.