NO MORE BLAHS

NO MORE BLAHS

Did you hear the story about the singing cowboy?

His girl had dumped him, his horse had bro­ken its leg, the bunk house had gone up in smoke, rustlers had taken his cat­tle, his boss had fired him, his insur­ance was can­celed, his bank had gone into receiver­ship, his bill at the ranch was over­due, and his dog had run away — and he sang, “And now I’m get­ting dandruff.”

None of us are exempt from days like that cow­boy. Like an unwanted guest that can’t take a hint, the blahs like to move in and take over. Let’s talk about how we can turn it around.

First, let’s address why peo­ple expe­ri­ence the blahs.

I’m sure there’s many rea­sons, but here’s a few that I’ve observed:

  • The need for a good feel­ing fix

In the book enti­tled “Life Is Uncer­tain, Eat Dessert First”, they say there is a nat­ural ten­dency to adopt behav­iors that make us feel good. This behav­ior can be divided into three parts.

First, we respond well to good feel­ings. Deep down inside of all of us is a quest to do things that make us feel good.

Sec­ond, we try to expe­ri­ence good feel­ings again and again, being drawn to things that pro­vide us with con­sis­tent pleasure.

Third, we become bored or dis­sat­is­fied with things that do not bring us some kind of mate­r­ial or emo­tional reward. When that hap­pens, we either move on to some­thing or some­one else, or we melt deeper into the blahs.

  • Self-​​Pity

Pity is one of the noblest emo­tions avail­able to human beings. Self-​​pity is pos­si­bly the most ignoble.

Pity is the capac­ity to enter into the pain of another in order to do some­thing about it; self-​​pity is an inca­pac­ity to do so. It is a crip­pling emo­tional dis­ease that severely dis­torts our per­cep­tion of reality.

Pity is adren­a­line for acts of mercy; self-​​pity is a nar­cotic that leaves its addicts wasted and derelict.

  • Weak faith

The biggest ques­tion for a per­son with weak faith is “Why.” You’ll never make real spir­i­tual progress until you move beyond that ques­tion. And by the way, it’s been my expe­ri­ence that God doesn’t answer that ques­tion any way.

  • It’s some­one else’s fault

There was a minor league base­ball coach who was frus­trated. His cen­ter fielder could not hold on to a ball. Whether it went over his head or through his feet, the final result was always that the ball missed his glove. So the coach instructed the player to sit down and watch him as he cov­ered the posi­tion. But much to the coach’s dis­may, he too missed four straight balls that came his way. Finally, in great frus­tra­tion and embar­rass­ment, he turned to the young player and yelled, “You’ve got cen­ter field so messed up even I can’t play it!”

Why is it so easy to point the blame else­where rather than own our sit­u­a­tions ourselves?

  • Unwill­ing­ness to change

You’ve heard it and read it many times before, but it bears repeat­ing… One def­i­n­i­tion of insan­ity is doing the same thing you have always done and expect­ing dif­fer­ent results.

  • Jeal­ousy

“If I had his/​her job, car, house, spouse, kids, etc I’d be happy too.”

It seems to me that often after a per­son makes a mark in this world, a lot of peo­ple begin show­ing up with erasers.

Now let’s talk about how we break through the blahs and live the kind of life Christ intended for us to live.

  • Run away from your moods

I lit­er­ally mean, phys­i­cal activ­ity. Get out of the chair, raise the shades, and run from your moods! Take a walk, mow the yard, play a sport, light the grill, start a gar­den, ride a bike, knock doors, teach a Bible study, attend a small group meeting.

Remem­ber the 4 lep­ers and the ques­tion they posed to one another, “Why sit we here until we die?”

  • Release your emotions

Scrip­ture clearly shows us a sav­ior who expressed His feelings.

He was angry with Satan’s per­sis­tent temptation.

He was sur­prised at the Centurion’s strong faith in His powers.

He was exas­per­ated with the apos­tles when they missed the point of His instruction.

He was dis­ap­pointed by the weak­ness of Peter’s faith.

He was sym­pa­thetic towards the hun­gry crowds.

He was mad at the money chang­ers in the temple.

He shed tears over Jerusalem’s com­ing destruction.

He was joy­ful when Peter iden­ti­fied Him as Messiah.

Jesus was always Him­self — Him­self in the full­ness of His intel­lec­tual, spir­i­tual, and emo­tional life. And He wasn’t afraid to show it.

  • Do some­thing for some­body else.

It’s almost impos­si­ble to get bogged down with neg­a­tive feel­ings when you’re busy help­ing some­one else.

Dur­ing a lec­ture, Dr. Carl Men­ninger was asked what advice he would give a per­son if they felt a ner­vous break­down com­ing on. He responded, “Lock up your house, go across the rail­road tracks, find some­one in need and do some­thing to help that per­son. I do not meet men­tally ill, dis­cour­aged, depressed peo­ple who are busy help­ing other people.”

  • Spoil your­self

In life it is impor­tant not to just be good at work but to also be good at play. Do some­thing for no other rea­son than to have fun. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less — read a good book, play horse­shoes or table games, enjoy good food, spend time with your spouse, go fish­ing, play golf, go shop­ping, or any other thing that you enjoy.

One of my favorite Scrip­tures that shows how Jesus under­stood the need to break away and do some­thing just for fun is found in Mark 6.

Mark 6:30–32 (NIV) The apos­tles gath­ered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many peo­ple were com­ing and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by your­selves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by them­selves in a boat to a soli­tary place.

  • Bor­row some sun­shine OR stay away from the clouds

Sim­ply put: Get around happy peo­ple and stay away from unhappy peo­ple. Moods are con­ta­gious, so make sure you’re around some whose moods you don’t mind catching.

  • Relive the good times

One of my favorite things about being with my dad and his sib­lings used to be hear­ing them rem­i­nisce about the “good old days.”

What about you? When is the last time you glanced in your rear view mir­ror to reflect over the good things God has done?

Phil 4:8 (NIV) Finally, broth­ers, what­ever is true, what­ever is noble, what­ever is right, what­ever is pure, what­ever is lovely, what­ever is admirable—if any­thing is excel­lent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

  • Laugh your way through difficulties

Recent stud­ies indi­cate that not only do emo­tions cause facial expres­sions, but facial expres­sions gen­er­ate emo­tions. So try smil­ing and see if your moods even­tu­ally fol­low suit.

A dear friend and men­tor in my life, Bishop Joseph Gar­ling­ton, has a mantra that he and his fam­ily live by: “If it’s ever going to be funny, it might as well be funny now.” I’ll admit I’ve attempted to live by this same con­cept. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

  • Keep bal­ance in your life.

I’m not going to hyp­o­crit­i­cally act as if I’ve got this one con­quered, but it is some­thing I strive for. You and I are tri-​​part beings — spirit, soul, and body. Like a three legged stool, there’s great sta­bil­ity when we’re in bal­ance and have all three legs touch­ing the ground.

Rom 12:11 (NIV) Never be lack­ing in zeal, but keep your spir­i­tual fer­vor, serv­ing the Lord. 12 Be joy­ful in hope, patient in afflic­tion, faith­ful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s peo­ple who are in need. Prac­tice hospitality.

The bot­tom line is that Christ did not come that you could have a so-​​so, blah-​​filled life. He came that you might expe­ri­ence abun­dant living…even if, like the singing cow­boy, you too have dandruff.

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Categorized as Life

User comments

7 Responses to “NO MORE BLAHS”

  • Tim Estes January 5th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Good stuff pas­tor. Gotta beat the blahs in 2010!!

  • Jackie January 5th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Pas­tor Scott,

    I’m enjoy­ing the inspi­ra­tion of your web­site. See you in church.

    Jackie (Tim’s wife) Ross lol

  • Tim Holland January 5th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hey Pas­tor Scott,

    Enjoyed this post. You are doing a great job with your blog.

    Tim Hol­land

  • Maria Carey January 10th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Pas­tor Scott,

    Thank you for set­ting me up for 2010 through your post and your teach­ing today at Gar­den Oaks. I’m on my way.

    Maria Carey

  • Dalia January 11th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Pas­tor,
    I heard of your church through a co-​​worker/​friend who attends Grace Church of Hum­ble. Your “No More Blahs” blog caught my atten­tion. Wow, I loved every word of advise. Thank you!
    Dalia Delgado

  • Jana January 27th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Thank you for these blogs. Keep them coming.

  • amy meyer June 9th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I heard you at the Fel­low­ship this past Sun­day. I got your cd “The Boat”. It was won­der­ful and now i am really enjoy­ing your blogs. Thank you!!

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