Oh! The Troubles I’ve Seen #1 (The Brother’s Keeper)

Dear Y.B.M.:

Job 14:1 says, “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” Boy, Job got that right!

Jesus said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Some years ago, I preached a sermon titled “Songs in the Night.” In that sermon, I brought up the idea of God-ordained troubles and self-imposed troubles. Well, I have had some of both, but in this letter I am going to mainly deal with self-imposed troubles. In other words, I am going to deal with the troubles I brought upon myself. YBM, remember this: Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

The main trouble I brought upon myself stemmed from my bad attitude as a teenager. When I got into my early teens, I developed a very bad attitude—particularly toward my dad. I knew how to play the hate dad/love mom game very well. I don’t really know why I despised my dad so much during those days, other than the fact that he was a preacher. (But I will say this: if a father does not lead the family in the way he should, and if he does not spend quality time with his children, those children will probably grow up bitter toward him.)

Anyway, I had a really bad attitude toward my father—talking back, accusing him of abusing my mother, etc. Well, one day, I was in the bathroom with the door locked, doing my usual running off at the mouth and talking back to my dad because he wouldn’t let me have the car, or something like that. I thought I was safe with the door locked. Friend of mine, my dad got tired of my talking back, and he tore the door down and burst into the bathroom. I thought I was going to die that very hour. I thought I had seen the end of my days. Son, you can avoid a whole lot of trouble by maintaining a good and positive attitude.

Little did I know, my attitude would seep out and affect other areas of my life as well. While in high school, I carried that bad attitude on to my job with me, and even though I was the best worker on the job, my boss, Terry Buchman, got tired of putting up with my bad attitude and one day he told me never to return to the job again. That’s right, I got fired from an afterschool job. This took me by surprise seeing I was the best worker on my job at the time. This is when I learned the lesson that attitude is more important than performance. A few weeks later, I went back to Mr. Terry Buchman and apologized for my attitude. I changed my attitude, and he gave me my job back.

Now, I know this may sound trite, but it is true: “Your attitude determines your altitude”; your attitude determines how high you go in life. If you have the right attitude toward your parents, you will go very high in this life. A bad attitude toward your parents and to others in authority will bring you low.

Exodus 20:12 says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 also tells us: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

I credit an old Bible-believing preacher by the name of Charles McKinney in Biloxi, Mississippi, for helping me to get my attitude changed. He was really the first one who had the guts to consistently stand up against me and my bad attitude, and I thank God he did. I sign off…

With a New Attitude,


P.T.: Power Thoughts

Henry Ward Beecher said, “Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”

Ann Landers said, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’”

William James said, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

Someone once said, “Attitude is the way you mentally look at the world around you. It is how you view your environment and your future. It is the focus you develop toward life itself.”

Edgar Watson Howe said, “The way out of trouble is never as simple as the way in.”


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