North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Before a lady could enroll in her company’s medical insurance plan, she had to fill out a questionnaire. As expected, the form was thorough, leaving nothing to chance. One question asked, “Do you think you may need to go to the emergency room within the next 3 months?” Even companies, particularly insurance companies, are questioning the positive potential you hope to achieve. Negative thinking like this organization is banking on you to have trouble; they anticipate difficulties for you down the road. What can we do to change this trend?

I think you will agree we are living in some perilous times. It’s hard to find anything that is stable, promotes peace, and gives security for the future. It’s surprising but some people who were once quick to help others are now thinking twice about going out of their way to do something for someone else. There’s a negative tone that pervades all aspects of life these days. Having a positive attitude and thinking differently from the world requires you to buckle up and drive your own trip. In other words, be accountable for yourself. How you look, what you say, what you do, how you feel both physically and mentally, how successful you are in achieving your purposes in life—what could be more important than these areas?

For such a time as this it’s important that our mental capacities don’t give way to despair and hopelessness. You can have more good days than bad. You have to learn and recognize no one has all the answers. No one person can meet all your needs. But if you do your best and seek better ways of doing your work, you can change things. And this can change your attitude in how you perceive the world around you. A few adjustments might be all that’s needed: welcome changes, experiment, try new ideas, and stay open to other opportunities that come along. These are good steps toward a rewarding future and a new self-image. Another way to take a positive attitude toward yourself is to cultivate a sense of humor and not take yourself too seriously. God has shown His generosity to us all and the good things of earth are for us to enjoy and be held in its rightful place.

Skeptics of God and of life are quick to say the world is unstable and no hope can be found in this life. Society, in a conceptual way, is like a drunken man reeling here, there, everywhere, and falling over himself. Many people, including Christians are caught up in the confusion and perplexities of life. In facing the unknown, who are you going to call? God can be trusted because He has what you’re searching for. First, STABILITY is needed for times like these. It’s longed for and especially needed by young people. To improve our standing and faith we must become child-like; depending on someone unquestioningly who has more wisdom than we do. Things can be unnerving without stability, but when we increase our love for God and others, the love drives away fear and brings stability for such a time as this. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” (1 John 4:18). The Bible, which is God’s Word, acknowledges the unstableness of the world, but says, “After you have suffered a while, you will be established, strengthened, and settled” (1 Peter 5:10). We can thank God for this divine promise!

For such a time as this, SERENITY is also needed. Big bank accounts, higher education, psychological mind games, and power egos don’t bring real and lasting tranquility. People want peace of mind and it’s critical for good mental health. But you’re not going to gain this from the world’s playground. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God…shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The struggle you and I face is often a struggle against our own inabilities to make things better. Our success in good deeds and positive thinking are dependent on the Lord implicitly acting on our behalf. This calls for our dependence on Christ and to allow him to carry the responsibility of providing promised security.

The hope that our money and possessions will provide SECURITY is actually a false hope. On the contrary, these things breed insecurity and greed. Philippians 4:19 assures us, “But my God shall supply all your needs because of His great riches in Christ Jesus.” Real and lasting security is found only in Jesus Christ. Even in these perilous times we can be more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).

For such a time as this, Stability, Serenity, and Security are all needed. But SERVICE should never be forgotten either. It’s good for all of us to cultivate a servant attitude and be sincerely interested in others; their needs and their problems. The surest way to enrich your mind is to get into the mind of others. You can do this by looking at other’s point of view—how they feel; why they feel, think, and act as they do. This open-mindedness can help you manage yourself in a more disciplined and organized way. Listen to what others have to say and learn from their mistakes and successes. Perhaps their good can be your good and their bad can help you avoid the same. Don’t become so involved in your own personal pursuits (making money and chasing pleasure) that you fail to help others. Assist the less fortunate, comfort the lonely people you know, and consider how good God has been to you. Do these things and the most important things in life will be clear to you, life will not be so confusing and the positive things of the world will stand out. Take time for someone today and find a church home where you feel welcomed and feel love from one another.

  •       This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on Sep 16 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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