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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 23, 2021

Not every good idea is a God idea.

What God may tell your friend to do might be a terrible thing for you to do. For example, say you start doing something because someone else says it is a good idea, but you find it a struggle. In that case, you may be struggling because God hasn't given you the grace to do what your friend told you to do. In other words, just because other people tell you to do "good" things, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Furthermore, if God instructs you to do something, be assured that His plan is better than any other plan you could have. For example, God's plan for Jonah was for him to "go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it" (Jonah 1:2). However, Jonah didn't like that, and so he came up with his own idea: Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). To Jonah, running away to Tarshish seemed like a much better plan than traveling to Nineveh. But it wasn't God's plan. And so Jonah's plan failed miserably as will any plan that is against God's plan. Jonah ended up in so much trouble as a result of his plan that he realized he should have followed God's plan in the first place (Jonah 3:1-3). In short, Jonah's "good" idea was anything but a God idea.

In your life today, don't do what sounds "good" to you; instead, do what God tells you to do. Stop following "good" plans and start following God's plans.

Joyful living requires giving.

Most people are selfish and self-centered, focusing only on what benefits them. Such thinking claims that the more you have, the more you accumulate, and the more attention you receive, the happier you'll be.

Yet, most of the time, such selfishness only makes a person more depressed than ever. This is because when all you focus on is yourself, you'll always want more, and you'll never be satisfied with what you have. On the other hand, if you live focused on how you can bless others and serve them, then God will give you joy.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Likewise, in John 13:1-17 Jesus is seen washing his disciples' feet; he sets an example by humbly giving himself to his disciples. Then, in John 13:17, Jesus tells them, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." In other words, you will be blessed, which in the Greek has the meaning of being happy, if you give and serve others. The Bible makes it clear that joyful living requires giving.