How to get really M.A.D. to make a difference?
by Dwight Bain
Are you facing an incredibly difficult time in your life right now? If so, know that you are not alone, even though it may feel like it. During the painful times of life it is easy to get mad at what is going on around you, and it is normal when you feel hurt to lash out in anger, literally to pass on the pain to others.
When we are hurting it is easy to hurt others, but it's also dangerous to be self-absorbed. An angry response spikes up the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which hurts our health in countless ways because of the stress response. Did you know that when you change your focus to do something positive, your brain releases endorphins to neutralize the stress, and bring healing and greater peace? Literally God designed our brains to make our body better when we get outside ourselves to help others. I was reading a devotional from "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers yesterday and saw this phrase. "Self-pity is satanic." Oswald went on to point out how important it is during the tough times to not get self-absorbed, but rather to let every difficult circumstance push you closer to Christ.
Can I share another approach with you about getting MAD, one that is not just normal, it is well ABOVE normal? If you take the letters m - a - d and let them represent the words Make - A - Difference it will give you an abnormal response... one that doesn't make sense, except for the fact that God's love is filling up your heart, so you can share it with others. I love how this concept is phrased by Mother Teresa, listen...
"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
Isn't that great! You don't have to look far to be a person who wants to Make - A - Difference in this world... you only have to look as far as your family, your co-workers, your neighbors. Everyone is carrying burdens of some kind, but when you reach out to help them carry that burden, you are literally becoming God's hands to take some of the pressure off. Recently I spoke with a friend who told me how he received a phone call 'out of the blue' from someone who was just calling to check on him to see if he was okay. It not only brought him comfort, it reminded him to look up and remember that God hadn't left him during a tough time. I believe that call was promoted by God, but carried out by one of his messengers who got M-A-D.
How about you? Are you willing to stop looking down at your own problems... to start looking up to find comfort from God... and them start looking around to share His comfort and love with others. Here is a list to get you started today, started on a new journey, one that is straight from heaven, one that will Make - A - Difference.
- Practice Acts of Random Kindness, (or A.R.K. for short)
- Pray through the day, instead of panic
- Reach out to the lost and lonely
- Encourage everyone you meet
- Read God's Word to gain a new heart for the world
- Call someone you know who is in a tough time to comfort them
- Use a journal to release your own pain, like David did in the Psalms
- Listen to positive music and media to keep your focus
- Let go of past mistakes, remember that yesterday ended last night.
- Find something to be grateful for, to count your blessings more than you count your problems
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About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change to make a positive difference in the world for Christ.