I know I am probably far behind everyone else on this. I have just realized something. Hypocrisy is not exclusively saying one thing while planning to do another thing entirely. That is hypocrisy, but so is saying something, planning to do that same thing, and yet for whatever reasons doing something quite the opposite.
Specifically, the first instance would more accurately be called duplicity and the second instance could be called insincerity. But they are simply the two natures of hypocrisy. From one standpoint, duplicity is the most harmful because it is done intentionally by one person to another. On the other hand, for the person who is unintentionally insincere, the insincerity can be quite deceptive.
Consider weight loss. How many people proclaim that they are “turning over a new leaf” or embarking on a plan to lose X number of pounds only to gain X number of pounds instead or at best maintain the same weight? How many people begin an exercise plan and do nothing to follow through. Personally, the answer to both of those questions would be innumerable.
So I come to discover that I am hypocritical in far more areas than I had previously realized. God help me!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
As I begin to get my financial house in order, I have noticed some major inconsistencies in my life. I work very hard at my job. I do an exceptional job and produce very good results. But in my personal life, discipline is missing in a number of areas. Understanding that deficiency is a good beginning. Now the time is coming for me to get control over these areas one at a time.
A few weeks ago, I went to a friend's house and he got out a couple of rifles. We went out back and crossed a property line so that it was legal, and began shooting up a storm. I envision the same thing happening as I undergo dramatic, cataclysmic transformation in my life. This is far more comprehensive than any change cycle I have ever attempted before, and the change here is coming from the inside out. Stephen Covey refers to a need for paradigm shifts to come from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. Most of the attempts I have done before have been externally motivated to one degree or another. This is different.
The proof is in the way that I feel now compared to the way that I have felt before when I have tried these kinds of things. I am clearly in control. Before, it has merely been a "well, let's give this a try" kind of feeling. Here, it is fundamentally different. There is no question in my mind that the motivation is there. I simply need to correlate some of these other issues into the intrinsic drive that is under way in getting out of debt.
Essentially, I don't want to wake up in a year and be struggling with the same junk that I have been struggling with for years. I don't want to wake up in a year and still be completely out of shape, overweight, financially controlled by debt, spiritually controlled by my flesh, and living a life of occasional victory, occasional failure, and constant fear. Perhaps this is an oversimplification of my condition, but black and white works best for me. I have begun working on the finances, now I must begin working on the health.
Because a rich person who has spent all his time acquiring wealth at the expense of his health would give all he had to regain the health that he lost. I am tired of being afraid to look at pictures of myself. I am tired of avoiding certain stores because of the number of mirrors they have in them. I have a handful of health problems that contribute to poor breathing. Asthma, a lung that collapsed 9 years ago, the other lung that had a tumor pressing against it, etc. Being overweight and out of shape merely add to the problems, and I am tired of all that junk. My heart is tired, too. If I were to lose a single pound a week for the next year, I will weigh 50 pounds less at the beginning of July, 2007. Very conservative plan.
I am extraordinarily competetive in a lot of what I do. And yet, God has been teaching me over the last three or four years that patience is definitely a valid character trait that I have so oft neglected. The tortoise beats the hare. Dave Ramsey says that "the best way to get rich quick is to get rich slowly." The best way to lose weight fast is to lose weight slowly. Methodical and consistent always beats out flash in the pan. Our microwave culture wants the quick fix. It frustrates us if the cable company gives us a two hour window in which to install the cable. We are a sad lot, aren't we?
Posted by Joel at 7:31 PM
Monday, July 10, 2006
"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." -- Atwood H. Townsend
I have recently come to the realize that success depends on knowledge. Knowledge comes from a handful of places. The key storehouses of knowledge are found through experience, trial and error, and reading. Obviously, the quickest and least frustrating of the three is simply reading.
I have never been a prolific reader of books. In school, I don't remember fully reading as assigned book after I finished seventh grade. There are lots of good fiction books that I wish I would have taken the time to read, but I never really like people telling me what to do without telling me why to do it, and I was always able to figure out a way to pass without doing the assigned readings. Perhaps I would be more cultured if I would have spent that resourcefulness rather doing what was asked of me!
When I tasted of conversion and began to truly live for God back in 2000, I began to read the Bible a lot more than I ever had before. I also began reading Christian nonfiction books. In fact, at that time, I read some of the Left Behind fiction books. I liked learning what I learned in the nonfiction stuff. Since that time, I have collected quite an array of the so-called Christian Living books. I also have a handful of biographies. I have experienced times when I've read and times when I've not read. Up to that point, I had never really had a desire to go out and read books. I really hadn't read many magazines or newspapers either. I simply didn't read. Not for school, not for entertainment, not for learning, not for nothing.
Summer Precipitates Change
I have lately started quite a few books, but very often do not finish them. In June, I got a copy of Dave Ramsey's latest book, The Total Money Makeover. I read it in less than a week. I also have been finding quotes from some of the people that he references and they seem to be very high on reading. So I've looked into it more. In that same month, I borrowed a copy of his book Financial Peace and read it, too, within a week. I went to a discount book store the other day and bought copies of about four or five books. I have completed two more books this week. Maybe one day I'll get a bookshelf to hold all of them in instead of filling an empty closet with them.
Posted by Joel at 5:20 AM
Monday, July 03, 2006
I am sitting at a table outside of a hotel down the street from my home. I kicked the cable company out of my home. It is one of the best feelings I have had in a while. In fact, I feel so much more in control now than I have in years regarding my personal life.
For some people, having an internet connection at home is not a problem in the least bit, and it provides little to no temptation. For me, this is not the case. I did some work on my car's engine today, I have been playing with my dog a lot more lately, and I went tubing in a river yesterday. These are things that having the comforts of cable and internet do not encourage me to do. I know it all sounds pretty pathetic, and honestly, it is. But now I am exercising freedom and power and control over these things. I am focused more on God. It will be an incredible journey. At least a year, and we'll see what happens after that. Freedom is an incredible thing. My personal Independence Day is June 30th. Praise God.
Posted by Joel at 7:55 PM