Practice what you preach
I have recently started reading/watching/growing obsessive over Game of Thrones. For those unacquainted with the glorious story that is Game of Thrones, it’s more or less a medieval fantasy drama with mud, blood and swords. But before you presume it is for nerds and geeks alone, there is drama and political intrigue throughout, and enough cliff-hangers and twists to make the reader/viewer/obsessive despair of where the story is going, but persist in watching it. A mythical The Thick Of It, if you will.
One of the first characters we get to root for is an honorable man named Eddard Stark – father, protector, lord of Winterfell. He is a just man, and strives to do what is right in every situation, be that for his family, his king, or the kingdom. There is just one problem. He has a son, conceived while at war, when his newlywed wife was pregnant with their first child. Children born out of wedlock feature prominently in Game of Thrones, but Jon Snow (unfortunately co-incidence, but no, not the newsreader) is a constant reminder of Lord Stark’s one moral failing. Every time he is praised for his honour, there is always a reminder that despite his high standing and strong sense of morality, he has a blemish upon his record in the form of an out-of-wedlock child.
It occurred to me that often, our moral failings can be the one thing that people remember about you. I recently heard of a man who used to work with my colleagues, and was moved on to another location before I arrived. He was described as loutish and sexist, with all kinds of attendant prejudices. Now, I have not met the man, but all I have been told about him has been negative and unpleasant. He may have had his good side, and yet he is remembered for his character failings.
If we are to claim to follow Jesus, we have a particular call to live our lives in an honourable way. One slip, and we can be remembered by some people as the guy who drank a few too many and did something crass, or got angry when the project wasn’t going our way. What we do flavours the world’s opinion of Jesus. To practice what we preach, to coin a phrase, is not easy, but it is necessary.
To read more from David, keep checking out the Men@Work blog page, or take a look at his own blog This Is Not Important.
Funny you posted this because this is a question I think I found the answer to recently (at least for myself) and YES happiness is without a doubt a choice, a state of mind, an intrinsic decision one makes to count our blessings and be thankful for ALL the things we have. I made a decision to be positive and happy this year (and hopefully for life) and guess what I am!!!! Nothing much has changed in my life, just my attitude. But you know what, I've also noticed that with changing my attitude and deciding to be happy no matter what good things in my life are beginning to materialize little by little. It's quite amazing!!!