Of Common Sense – Volume 1

The Words and Wisdom Of Keith Lionel Brown

In the early morning of our lives, our school is our home, the students in the classroom are our siblings, and our teachers are our parents. In the afternoon of our lives, our school is a building outside the home, the students in the classroom become our friends and confidants, and our teachers are those who have themselves studied and prepared to impart knowledge to us that we will use as we continue on our journey through life. In the evening of our lives, we continue learning in the school of life with the world being our classroom, and life itself being our teacher.

Each new day of life is an opportunity for us to learn some new and interesting things. The wise man gleans as much as he can from his life experiences and with his new found knowledge and wisdom is able to chart and navigate his course in life. With all of his learning, he also learns that some obstacles in life can be overcome by using a little common sense.

What you are about to read are some of the gleanings from my personal life experiences and the lessons that those experiences have taught me to help me chart and navigate my course. I believe that many of these thoughts are merely common sense.

Someone may say, “God owns the cattle on a thousand hills”. That is a correct statement; however, it would be better stated that, “God not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but He also owns the hills on which those cattle graze”. Our Heavenly Father is not the partial owner of anything, He is indeed the full and rightful owner of everything.

We are the stewards of those things which God has entrusted us with. Therefore, we have a responsibility over that stewardship and will one day stand before Him and give an account of the same. Some will be entrusted with more than others. For them their responsibility and accountability is greater. For, to whom much is given, much will be required.

If in this life the only thing that a man seeks after is the favor of men, then he will need to look no further for any other reward, for the recognition and favor of men is the only reward that he will receive. However, if in this life a man seeks to gain the favor of God, he will enjoy the blessings of this life and the life to come.

In the morning of our lives, school is our home, students in the classroom are our siblings, and our teachers are our parents. In the afternoon, our school is a building outside the home, students in the classroom become our friends and confidants, and our teachers are those who have themselves studied and prepared to impart knowledge to us. In the evening, we continue learning in the school of life with the world being our classroom and life itself being our teacher.

We should never think of ourselves as being so holy and so righteous that we can walk around with our noses turned up to people or talk down to them. If it were not for the GRACE and MERCY of Almighty God, we would probably follow in the same shoes and footsteps as those we tend to snub. REMEMBER: EVERY righteous person has a past, and every sinner, because of the ATONEMENT of Jesus Christ, has a future.

I have been blessed to achieve certain things in this life, but it does not mean that I am better or more special than anyone else. No man is an island. Therefore, there are none who are better or more special than anyone else. We are all wonderfully and uniquely made. Some of us are the eyes, some the ears, some the mouth, some the arms, some the hands, some the legs, and some the feet. Each of us are different in our own way, but all are precious in our Father’s eyes.

Every individual has a voice and at some point that voice deserves to be heard. Whether or not we agree with what is being said is neither the question nor the issue. The least that we can do is give the voice an audience and allow it to express itself before immediately reaching for the emergency shutdown button to turn it off. Amazingly, we could possibly learn a few things if we would only give the voice a chance.

In my young fifty-two years of life I have come to learn that the reason some people cannot face truth is because it oftentimes shines an unwanted spotlight on them. Some people do not mind standing in the spotlight so long as there are praises and accolades being sung unto them whether they are deserving of such or not. The moment the spotlight exposes them for who they truly are, they cower and run away.

Never apologize to anyone for standing up for what you KNOW to be right. Never compromise and reconfigure truth into a half-truth, which becomes a whole lie, simply to side with the multitude. Stand up for TRUTH. The truth remains the truth whether ten thousand people want to hear it and accept it, or one lonely soul believes it and protects its preciousness. Better to stand on the side of truth, then to be snared and entangled in an endless web of lies.

Just because we may wish that certain events in history did not occur does not erase the fact that they did occur. If we are to tell our history, then let us tell the whole story and not just those parts that are pleasing to the ears of the masses. Why should we continue to settle for a fragment of the story when all of the pieces fitted together tell the whole story? There is nothing that we can do to turn back the hands of time, but we can learn from the pages of our past.

Regardless of our race, regardless if we are rich or poor, regardless of our occupation and station in life, we are all brothers and sisters. We are all members of The Royal Family with a Father who loves each of us equally and unconditionally. It is impossible for a man to say that he loves his Father, but yet holds malice and ill will towards one of his brothers or sisters. If we say we love our Father, we must love all of our brothers and sisters as well.

I am not concerned about the color of your skin, for the color of a man’s skin does not make the man. I have no interest in your monetary or financial status, for worldly riches cannot buy true friendship or true love. I choose to take an interest in your culture and heritage in an effort to understand you and to get to know you better. What does matter is that we treat each other like the brothers and sisters that we are with love, dignity, respect and self-worth.

It never ceases to amaze me that some people seem to believe that they cannot hold an intelligent conversation unless it is riddled with an overabundance of four letter colorful phrases. In my humble opinion the use of vulgarities to express oneself do not show how intelligent one is, but rather it sends a message that the exact opposite is true. Intelligent people know how to express themselves intelligently without the need for profanity.

If standing up for what is right means having to stand alone than I will choose to stand alone. I would much prefer to be found with my feet planted on the firm ground of truth, than to find myself sinking in the quicksand of compromise and uncertainty. He who attempts to win the favor of man in all that he does has already lost his race, but he who stands firm on the rock of truth shall be declared the victor in the end.

Some people may feel or think that I am old fashion and need to “let my hair down” and live a little and that is fine. They are entitled to their opinions as I am to mine. Personally, I would rather be thought of as being old fashion and standing up for what I BELIEVE and what I KNOW to be right than to live my life swinging on the fence of mediocrity for the sake of “living a little” or being a part of an “in crowd”.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a success in this life so long as we do so remembering from whence we came. Just because we may achieve certain accolades in life, we should not forget those who helped us to reach our goal or burn bridges behind us. Not all bridges that are destroyed can be or are intended to be rebuilt. The same applies to friendships that are forsaken.

That which man cannot comprehend, or refuses to learn becomes easier for him to tear down and tear apart. There is no shame in being ignorant of certain things, for there are things which we all do not comprehend, but we all can learn if we have a mindset to do so. The shame is in those who choose to remain in their ignorance and not allow the light of knowledge to illumine their lives.

Why should we continue to ask God to bless us with more abundance when we do not show our gratitude for that which He has already blessed us with? We do not have an abundance based on our material wealth and possessions, but we are abundantly blessed when we realize the blessings that we do have and use those blessings not merely for ourselves, but to bless others as well.

When God created the universe He did not place any of us at the center and allow all of His Heavenly creation to revolve solely around one of us. He did not position the sun so that it would only rise and set upon just one of us, or the moon to only give light to one of us at night. Sometimes people tend to get so caught up in the “world of me” that they totally forget about all the others.

If you cannot be of help someone, then don’t stand in their way and be a hindrance to them either. If you do not have any kind words to impart, then perhaps it is best that you say nothing at all. If you cannot be someone’s friend, then don’t try to put all the blame on them for the differences between the two of you when perhaps the blame is your own.

Do not expect people to stand with you and support you in the things that you endeavor to do when you barely, if ever, show any support for the things that they endeavor to do. As the old adage goes, “A little appreciation goes a long way.” Don’t be so selfish as to hog all of the glory for yourself all the time, learn to show some appreciation and support for what others do as well

One person pulling a cart alone can cover some distance in a day’s journey. Several people helping to move the cart along can cover an even greater distance. This of course hinges on the fact that all involved are moving the cart in the same direction with the goal of reaching the same destination.

May I go on record this day as stating two facts that are emphatically true? First, Jesus Christ is the Son of the True and the Living God. Jesus is His name. Christ is His Royal Messianic title. He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. The two names are never intended to be used together in a type of derogatory exclamation. And second, God our Eternal Heavenly Father does not have a last name.

Having read the complete canon of Scripture several times in its entirety in my young life, I have found no instance where the Savior ever sent a disciple out alone to do anything. Even during the preparation of the Last Supper, He sent two disciples into the city to make the preparations. We are not called to do the work of the ministry alone. We minister together in the spirit of unity.

When a person makes a promise they should be bound not only by their word, but by their honor. Promises that are made without any intention of the person who made them ever fulfilling them are empty, void, shallow, and vain. A person who consistently breaks his promises testifies of his own character.

The cover of a book can make the book appear to be of great interest. It is not until we open the cover and read its contents that we learn what the book is really about. Similarly, our covers (appearances) can sometimes be deceiving. The true person that we are is only revealed within our contents (character).

Think of the past as a farmers field where seeds had been sown, the fruits have yielded, and the harvest has been completed. Think of the present as that same field that has been freshly plowed and new seeds have been sown, and now we wait to harvest its fruits. Think of the future as the harvest time of the fruits that are yielded from the seeds that are sown in the present.

True success is not measured by the amount of “things” that we possess. At the end of it all those things really won’t matter. True success is not measured by the number of “friends” that we have. Friends come, and friends go. The person who is truly successful asks not “What will you do for me?”, but rather “What can I do for you?” It’s not all about me, it’s about serving others.

We are all prodigal sons and daughters. Having left our Father’s home we are sojourners in a far land. Along the way we are prone to make mistakes, but we must be willing to repent of those mistakes and humble ourselves and return to our Father to ask for His forgiveness. He loves us and He will forgive us and He will welcome us home with open arms. (See Luke 15:11-32)

The only way to combat hatred in this world is to reciprocate with love. Hatred returned for hatred has never resolved anything, but such actions have caused ever glowing embers to burst into flames that eventually rage out of control. Once that happens, only the healing waters of brotherly love can bring those fires under control and quench any embers that remain.

She was my doctor and nurse when I was sick. She was my lawyer when I got into trouble, defending me to the end. She was my counselor, teaching me right from wrong. She was my first school teacher in the school of life. She was my first Sunday school teacher, teaching me to love my Savior. She was a friend and a true confidant. She was my mother. I miss her dearly.

In my humble estimation I am neither rich nor wealthy because I have a large bank account or possess jewels of great worth. I am rich because of a loving mother who was a rare and polished jewel. There are no jewels in the entire world that are worth more than the unfaltering love that she gave me. I may not be rich in wealth, but I am richly blessed.

It has been said that behind every good man, there is a good woman. I testify that is indeed a truism. Whether that woman is a dear mother, a dear grandmother, a loving sister, an endearing wife, or some other special person, each one has played and/or continues to play a vital role in some man’s life. I, for one, am eternally grateful for all of the women in my life. God bless them all.

I have always been under the opinion that if you want to know how a young man will treat his wife someday, you should observe how he treats his mother. If he has no respect for his mother – the one who gave him life – he will not have respect for his future wife either. Learning to respect the sacredness of womanhood begins in the home.

On 8 May 2011 we will celebrate Mothers Day. My message today is to all men everywhere, and especially to those who may feel that they are somehow superior to women. No matter how macho you may think you are, never forget that if it were not for a dear, loving mother, the giver of your life, you would not exist. Give your mothers the love, honor, and respect due them. Make every day Mothers Day.

I am now and will forever be eternally grateful to those who forged the trail before me that I might enjoy the life that I live today. Their hard work, sacrifice, dedication and devotion will never go unnoticed. It is not by accident or per chance that my life revolves around those things that my ancestors lived and in some cases died for. I pray that I will always live my life as a reflection of their hopes and dreams.

Just because we may wish that certain events in history did not occur, does not erase the fact that the event(s) did occur. We cannot just push certain things aside with the attitude of telling people to forget what happened or to just get over it and deal with it. There are some things from the past that are an integral part of who we are today. Those very things are the core of our roots. Let us never forget the past that opened the portal to where we are today.

Before rushing to pass judgment on another may I humbly suggest that we take a moment and pause to take a look at the reflection in our mirror and ask ourselves, “who is the person that I see? I submit that if we truly want to see change in this world, that change needs to begin with the person that we see in our mirror.

Who am I? I may not be who you think I am. I may not be who you think I think I am. I may not be who you think that I should be. I am definitely not all that I could be. Nevertheless, I know who I am. Though I may not be who you think I am or who you think I think I am, I am who I am.

Tolerance and acceptance are not necessarily the same. Tolerance is often the device that is used to maintain peace and to prevent an otherwise unacceptable situation from becoming hostile. There does come a time; however, when the voice of tolerance can no longer remain silent and must proclaim that what has been perceived as acceptable is indeed unacceptable.

Let us be careful to never take for granted the kindness of others and presume it to be a weakness that we can freely take advantage of. Instead let us accept kindness for what it is – an act of love and compassion toward another – and learn to be more appreciative, accepting, and loving in return towards those who demonstrate kindness toward us.

A true friend walks beside you and is there to help bear you up when necessary. This friend is there beside you when the skies are blue and the sun is shining, and especially when the skies are blackened with the storm winds of adversity. This friend loves you at all times, unconditionally, and for who you are. A true friend realizes that your past is history and leaves it there.

I will never understand why it is so important for some people to want to be the center of popularity and to have a myriad of friends in this life. In my humble estimation, a few good, loyal, dedicated, all weather, all season friends are worth far more than an ocean of sunshine weather, off season friends.

We cannot expect to walk through our entire life being held by the hand, fed from a bottle, given a pacifier to calm us, and never accepting any responsibility or accountability for our behavior. Sooner or later we must learn to walk on our own, remove the pacifiers, do away with the baby bottles and intake and digest the meat of life, and take full responsibility and accountability for our behavior.

There are people in this world who attempt to reason their way through life with an excuse for every one of their actions that tend to land them in trouble. In my humble opinion, excuses are nothing more than oxen in the mire and easy escape mechanisms that some people choose to use to keep from choosing the right and doing those things which they know they should be doing.

I shall never be faced with the decision as to which people to love for i strive to live at peace with all men and have a heart’s desire to love everyone as my brother and sister. No barriers, man-made or otherwise, can nor should separate us because we are covered by a common blanket of love. It is our love for one another that unites us and strengthens us.

Why should we pray and ask God to bless us with more abundance when we are unappreciative of the things that He has already blessed us with? Instead of wanting and expecting more, we must first learn to be thankful for what we have.

Why do some people spend so much time trying to emulate other people? The only person in this life that we have to be is ourselves. Each of us is uniquely and wonderfully created. When God finished each of His masterpieces, He commenced the next with something a little different in mind. There is not a single person in the entire world exactly like you or exactly like me.

Why be angry or jealous hearted because others seem to achieve things that you have never been able to achieve? We are all blessed with different talents and abilities. You will be able accomplish things that I will never be able to accomplish and vice versa. It does not mean either of us is better or more loved of God than the other, it means that our purposes are not necessarily the same.

As we journey through this life it becomes wise counsel to: (1) as much as possible, live at peace with all men. Love thy neighbor as thyself, (2) love, honor, and cherish your family. Don’t spend your life being bitter towards one another and harboring regrets, and (3) never burn any bridges behind you. You never know when you may have to cross that same bridge again.

In my humble opinion one of the biggest lies that we tell people is “I know exactly how you feel.” How can I possibly know how you feel if I have never sat where you sit or stood where you now stand or viewed the world as you see it through your eyes, or have felt of the same pain, heartache, and suffering that you now endure? I cannot. To know exactly how you feel is virtually impossible.

One of the most important aspects that we often overlook when dealing with forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. We are our own worse critics and often harbor guilt and shame long after a matter has been resolved. As a result we make ourselves prisoners in our own prison with ourselves being the warden that holds the key that can open the prison door and set the prisoner free.

It is far better to have tried and failed then to never try at all. Failing at something in life does not necessarily equate to being a failure in life. It is from our failures that we gain the insight and wisdom that we need to achieve the successes that we desire. Many a great success has been achieved only after a myriad of failures.

I am thankful for the trials and tests in my life for they help to strengthen my faith and testimony. It is the winds of adversity in my life that keep me humble and dependent upon Him who is a very present help in time of trouble. Without conflicts in my life, I would soon become complacent and take life for granted. I pray that I may never be found doing so. I pray that I will always remember that my life is in His hands.

The cover of a book can give us some insight as to what the book might be about, but it is the actual contents of the book that tells the true story. In the same way, our “covers” or outward appearances may reveal somewhat of who we are, but it is the content of our character that reveals who we truly are.

The easiest way to be defeated in this life is to never try at all. Inside each of us lives a great potential of being someone that could have a great impact on the world. We may never know what we could have achieved if we never allow that potential to come to full fruition. It is not necessarily the voices of naysayers that prevent us from achieving our potential, but our own voices of defeatism.

I have often heard it said that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” What that means in layman’s terms is that we should not rush to hold a white glove inspection on the cracks and crevices of someone else’s house until we have cleaned all of the dust and cobwebs out of our own. We should ensure that our house can pass inspection before trying to inspect someone else’s.

Respect is a reciprocated process. We cannot and should not expect others to support us and give us due respect when we at every turn find ways to undermine, demean, embarrass, or utterly disrespect them. If you want to be respected, you must FIRST learn to respect others.

It is neither correct practice nor principle to want to always put others on the spot or use them as the subject of our object lessons. If we wish to put someone on the spot, let us take the witness stand ourselves and allow the prosecution to begin questioning us as to how we are living our lives. Are we completely living up to the standards that we attempt to hold others to?

Let us not be so hasty as to want to tear down and tear apart the labors of others without ever taking a look at what they have put in place and actually testing to see if what they have presented will satisfy the overall objective. Make CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions if you must, but do not deliberately reject an idea because it was not developed according to your own plans and agenda.

Wanting to always voice one’s opinion for the sake of recognition and acknowledgement from others does not necessarily equate to possessing a certain level of intelligence or maturity. Sometimes it is best to keep our opinions to ourselves so as to avoid undue conflict and strife, and even the possibility of having to eventually eat our own words.

If we have no desire to be a part of the solution to a problem, then we should not cause additional problems by rushing in at the eleventh hour to offer our proverbial “two cents”.

Far better it is to be found following after and standing for that which we know to be truth, than to be found weighing in the balances because of misguided decisions to follow after the approval of the world. In every situation seek to follow after truth, and not the favor of man. Let truth be your moral compass.

When standing at the crossroads faced with the decision as to which diverging road to travel, let your moral compass be your guide and choose the road that leads you in the direction of the north star of truth and righteousness. Better to follow the road which leads to truth, than to be forever lost following the road that leads to the unknown.

The basic foundation for the structure of any society is the family. In the home mother and father become the first school teachers, teaching their children the basic fundamental principles necessary for survival in the larger learning institution called life. It is the praying family that is the hope of building an even better society. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

If we desire to have friends in this life, we must first show ourselves to be friendly. If we desire to live at peace with those who would otherwise prove to be our enemies, then we must not show hostility and malice towards others. If we desire that people trust us, then we must prove to them that we are trustworthy. To live at peace in this world requires the efforts of many, not just the few or the one.

I will never comprehend why it is that some people feel as though they have a God given right to berate, belittle, criticize, or otherwise demean other people for no apparent reason. Yet, when the proverbial shoes are placed upon their feet, their laughter turns into anger, bitterness, and scorn, and they are quick to cry unfair, unjust, foul play, or that they are the victim of maltreatment.

I often hear people remark about how lucky they are. I must admit at 52 years young I do not fully comprehend what one implies by luck. I don’t see myself as being lucky at anything, but I do see myself as being blessed by the hand of Almighty God. It is neither by luck nor per chance that I have my being, but it is because of His love, His grace, and His mercy shown to me.

When upon life’s seas the storm winds begin to rage and the billows cease to roll, and your ship is being tossed to and fro, be very sure that your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock which is Christ Jesus Our Lord. He who commands even the winds and seas to obey His voice is our very help in time of trouble – our shelter from the storm. In Him there is safety. In Him there is peace.

Why must our love for one another be riddled with qualifications that seemingly must be met in order to be worthy of that love? Why do we have to pass the tests of satisfying the declaratives – “I love you when”, “I love you because”, or “I love you if” for example? Why can’t we just love one another without any strings attached?

Life is very similar to taking a train ride. As the train moves along the tracks it stops at various stations allowing some passengers to get off and others to get aboard. You cannot ride the train forever seated in the comfort of neutrality. At some point you must decide which station is your destination or else have your destiny decided for you by riding the train to the end of the line.

Sometimes we cannot see the proverbial forest because of the trees that impair our vision. We sometimes exert our energy in concentrating on what makes us different and fail to recognize the commonalities which should help to unite us as brothers and sisters. We may not agree on everything, but our differences should not cause us to become bitter and mortal enemies, but friends who are willing to live together, learn from one another and most of all love one another.

Christmas is not about the brightly decorated tree or the beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree. Christmas is neither about the size nor the cost of the gift. Christmas is all in the heart. The true joys, blessings, and spirit of Christmas are not in the getting, but in the giving. We may never realize how many lives we touch if we but make room in our hearts for others that might otherwise be forgotten. The greatest gift that we can ever give to anyone is to love them. It is a gift that keeps on giving long after Christmas is over.

Christmas is not about the brightly decorated tree, the beautifully wrapped gifts beneath it, nor the cost or the size of those gifts. Christmas is all in the heart. The BEST gift that we can give anyone is to love them. Christmas is about remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior. It is His birthday not ours. He is the real reason for the season. O’ Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!

When we are truly able to forget about ourselves and center our focus on helping others, we become true servants of our fellowman. The world does not revolve around just you or me. It is not all about us. Living life to the fullest is about doing whatever we can to be of service to others. Christ our perfect exemplar did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

God is not looking for extraordinary people to do extraordinary things. He is instead looking for ordinary people who are willing to serve Him with all of their might, mind, and strength. He is not looking for self-centered people, but people who are willing to look beyond themselves and minister to other of His children in need.

The central core of the foundation of any society is the home. The home is the first institution of learning in which children are automatically enrolled as pupils. The fathers and mothers become their first school teachers and help prepare them to one day enter that larger institution of higher learning called life.

What is the necessity of always having to have a personal engraved invitation to do things that need to get done? If there is something that needs to be done and we are capable of helping to get it done, why can’t we just get it done? In that same vein, why must we seek personal recognition for the things that we do? Sometimes it is the silent recognition that yields the greatest dividends.

The learned man cannot begin to fully understand all of the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the unlearned man dare not attempt to explain it away for the fear of the reprisals of the incorrectness of his interpretations.

It is important to know who I am, but it is even more important to know whose I am. I am a child of Almighty God. I am His son, an heir to righteousness. I must stand for what is right even if standing for what is right means standing alone. It is not he that is most popular who will win the victor’s crown, but he who is faithful and obedient.

I had a blessed Thanksgiving Day. In my younger years it was always traditional to have a large family gathering with a bounteous meal that was lovingly prepared. As I have grown older I have come to realize that it is not the size of the gathering or the abundance of the meal that matters. What matters most is being with those you love and giving thanks for the many blessings that you have.

Every day I become more convinced that nothing happens by chance in life. To everything there is a time and a purpose. We may not understand why things happen or turn out the way that they do, but God knows. He has already seen the outcome of today and He holds our tomorrows in the palm of His hands. Let us “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

As long as those who know to do what is right do nothing, the opposition will continue to press forward until it has obtained complete domination. We must stand for what is right in the midst of any and all adversity, even if it may sometimes mean that we have to stand alone. And after we have done all that we can do, we must continue to stand.

Trials in our lives have their purpose. They make us struggle – they bring us to our knees. Like a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon, our trials are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is in the cocoon that the life’s blood of faith in God helps us to spread our wings.

It is one thing to be able to preach a sermon, but often that same sermon falls upon deaf ears when needed to apply to our own lives. It is one thing to give counsel to another, but often that same counsel becomes bitter sweet when applied to ourselves. Let us resolve to live our lives as to become “living sermons” and “living counsel” that those around us will want to listen and follow.

Why do we overly concern ourselves with the “dust” in the corners of the houses of others when our own houses are in dire need of cleaning from top to bottom? Let us clean our own houses first and then we will be better suited to help others clean theirs.

Sometimes we cannot see the forest because of the trees that impair our vision. We exert our energy in concentrating on things that make us different and fail to recognize those common things which should help to unite us. We may not agree on everything, but our differences should not cause us to become mortal enemies, but friends who are willing to live together and learn from one another.

Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Tomorrow will become yesterday’s today. Yesterday has already come and gone and has taken its place amongst the annals of history. Tomorrow is a part of the future that has yet to be revealed. What we have been given is today which is called the present. Why is it called the present? It is called the present because it is a gift from God.

Do we really take the time to listen to ourselves when we are giving “advice” to others? How easy it is to tell others what they should do and how they should do it, but in reality oftentimes we never follow that same advice ourselves. Someone has wisely said, “The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.”

There is a time to speak, and a time to remain silent. Wanting to always “speak our minds” does not necessarily demonstrate wisdom. Though good intentions may be meant, sometimes what we think we need to say, and more importantly, how we say it, can cause unnecessary hurt feelings, contention, and strife. The tongue is a very powerful instrument. Let us guard our words prayerfully.

If you say that you are my friend, and you think that you know me so well that you can freely judge the things that I do or evaluate my character, I only ask one small favor of you. I ask that you walk a mile in my shoes, face the same obstacles and challenges in life that I face, and view the world through my eyes. Afterwards, return to honestly decide if your judgment of me is true and fair.

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