Thursday, February 14, 2013

3 Practical Steps to Combat Despair

My friends are still out of work.  Cancer pervades our Ht15_Charles_Stanley_Reinhart_a_'forlorn'_Gradgrind,_ultimately_humanised_by_despairlives.  The government is in turmoil.  Stocks have not regained their former heights.  Home prices are still low.  Interest rates are very low.  No investment is certain. No job is secure.  What are we to do?
Stay calm; there is no need to be afraid of a sudden disaster or to worry when calamity strikes the wicked, for the Eternal is always there to protect you.  He will safeguard your each and every step. (Pv. 3:25-26, The Voice Bible.)
The juxtaposition of the commands in Proverbs gives us a clear outline of what to do when we don’t know what to do.  It’s not so easy to merely remain calm; we need something to do, some course of action.   And that is exactly what the next few verses give us: a game plan.  Steps to take to keep the peace.
Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it; if it is within your power to give it, do it.  Do not send your neighbor away, saying, “Get back with me tomorrow, I can give it to you then,” when what he needs is already in your hand. (Pv. 3:27-28, The Voice Bible.)
What do you have available that will do good for someone else?  Freely give it to them.  It may be a book, a ladder, a lawnmower, but whatever it is don’t be afraid to loan it to your neighbor.
Make no plans that could result in injury to your neighbor; after all, he should be more secure because he lives near you.  Avoid fighting with anyone without good reason, especially when no one has hurt you; you have nothing to fight about.  (Pv. 3:29-30, The Voice Bible.)
Do you feel more secure because of your neighbors?  Then make them feel more secure because you are there for them.  Watch out for their children and their pets.  Drive cautiously.  Let them know if your house is in peril from termites, water or ice.  Then they can check their own houses.  What would make you feel more secure?  Do that same thing for your neighbor.
Do you fight?512px-Water_Buffalo_fight  No, you probably don’t raise your fists to fight with your neighbor but do you butt heads?  Do you disagree to the point of antagonistic standoff?  Do you stop speaking, try to avoid them?  If they haven’t hurt you, you have nothing to fight about.  So keep the peace.
Proverbs early on gives us these three steps to take to stay calm in times of turmoil:
  1. Trust in the Eternal
  2. Do good to your neighbor
  3. Cause no injury to your neighbor
I have noted some ways to help our neighbors?  Can you think of others?

Black and White illustration by Charles Stanley Reinhart [Public domain because the copyright has expired], via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo By Ben & Katherine Sinclair (Water-Buffalo fight) via Wikimedia Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment