This section aims to help you consider different aspects of your daily life – our intentions, what we want in our lives, and how we act towards others and the world around us.
Day to day life can be tiring and difficult.
You may feel like this sometimes, or a lot of the time.
The guidance considers different areas of daily life and reactions to these.
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The stories may help to give this text on daily life further meaning for you.
- Try to live simply and act with good intentions
- Do what you can to help others
- Seek to comfort, understand, give and forgive
- Try your best in what you think and what you do, both for yourself and towards others
- Do good and be kind, have mercy and be loyal
- Pray for strength against doing wrong
- Do it for redemption, rather than for thanks
- Be careful and guard against all kinds of wants and jealousy – Your life is not measured by how much you own and possess
- If a person asks you for something, give it to them. Don’t refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you
- Hold lightly to possessions and not want too much
- Don’t store treasures for yourselves here on earth where moths and rust will destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Give to those who are not as fortunate, and be kind. Store your treasures in your life that continues on. The treasure in your life that continues on never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
- Don’t try to please yourself, but try to please your God
- You cannot serve both your God and worldly riches
- Your God wants kindness and mercy more, and for people to ask for forgiveness for the things they have done wrong
- Be willing to help others and be a comfort
- Help other people be stronger and better
- Seek to work and to do things for one another because it is kind to do so, rather than to be seen and for your own praise
- Whoever wants to become great among you must do things for the rest of you, rather than wanting others to do things for you – Who is really more important: the one sitting at the table or the one serving?
- Giving honour to yourself – that honour is worth nothing. Be willing to take (and even offer to take) a low place or job, if you are asked – If you are asked to do work that you feel is too difficult or too easy, don’t say “no” on the grounds of humility, but confidently attempt it
- Forgive those who offend you, as you would want to be forgiven for any offence you may or did cause
- Pray for those who hurt you, use you and speak badly of you. Do good and be kind to them. If you do this, you will be true children of your God
- Your God causes the sun to rise on good people and on bad people, and sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong
- If you do good only to those who do good to you, what praise should you get? Everyone can do that! If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what thanks should you get? Anyone would lend to others if they knew they’d get back the same amount! But be kind and lend without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward in your life that continues on and you will be children of your God, because your God is kind even to people who are ungrateful and who are bad. Show mercy, just as your God is merciful
- See other people as also belonging to your God – do not use or judge them
- A self righteous person who vainly gives the appearance of being good may tell you to do things, but they themselves don’t do them. They may make strict rules and try to force people to obey them, but they are unwilling to help those who struggle under the weight of these rules. This person may do good things just so that other people will see them. They love to have the most important seats and they love for people to greet them with respect. People may look and think they are good, but on the inside they are full of hypocrisy
Intentions and Actions
- Try to say no to things that are wrong
- It is not what people eat or drink that makes them unclean or bad. It is what comes out of their mouths – Food and drink does not go into the heart, but into the stomach
- But what people say with their mouths and how they act comes from the way they think; these are the things that people should try not to do and should ask for forgiveness for. Bad thoughts, murder, disloyalty and cheating, stealing, lying and speaking bad of others. Also greed, acting deceitfully, doing bad things, jealousy, pride and foolish living. Guard against these things and try to do right
- The greatest person in your life that continues on will be the one who makes themselves humble like a child in this life
- By making yourself humble, you will be made great. If you make yourself great, you will be made humble
- There are those who have the lowest place in life now who will have the highest place in the future. And there are those who have the highest place now who will have the lowest place in the future
- If you can be trusted with a little, you may also be trusted with a lot. Those who are dishonest with a little may be dishonest with a lot. If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then who will trust you with true riches? And if you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?
- Try to give to your God one-tenth of everything you earn by giving to those less fortunate, as well as seeking to do good and be kind
- The way you give to others is the way your God will give to you, but your God will give you even more in your life that continues on
- Do your giving in secret. Your God can see what is done in secret, and will reward you in your life that continues on
- Anything you did for even the least of people here, you also did for your God
- When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your God who cannot be seen. Pray that what your God wants will be done; that we get food and guidance each day; that your God forgives us as we forgive others; and that we are not led towards things that are not right
- Always be ready, because you don’t know when your God will come
- You must accept as if you were a child that your life will continue on, or you will not be where your God is in your life that continues on
- Seek to be where your God is in your life that continues on. Don’t fear, because your God wants this for you
- The only people who will be with your God in your life that continues on are those who do what your God wants, and doesn’t just say they believe
- Whoever follows your God by trying to do good and being kind, and leads other people to do so, will be great in your life that continues on
- Do good and be kind for your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. Also, do to others as you would want them to do to you
- Try to be a steward of the world and not act wastefully. Try to see beauty in the living world, in nature and its creatures
- Live quietly and gently. Try to meet others peacefully and joyously
- Act against ignorance and prejudice, injustice and unfairness
- The work your God wants you to do is this: believe Jesus’ life and follow this as a good example
- If people want to follow the example of Jesus’ life, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives. Those who want to save their lives will give up their life that continues on. But those who give up their lives to follow the example of Jesus will have true life. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if they lose their soul. They could never pay enough to buy it back. If people are ashamed of Jesus and his teaching, Jesus will be ashamed of them when your life continues on
- All those who stand before others and say they believe in Jesus’ life, Jesus will say before your God that they belong to him
- You must worship your God and serve only him
- Try to give and not to count the cost
- Try not to keep score, or expect to receive
- Wish well on all . A study has shown that those who thought well on others as they walked passed them (such as “I wish for this person to be happy”) felt happier, more connected, caring and empathetic, as well as less anxious. This was in contrast to those who were asked to think of similarities they may have when they saw other people, and those who were asked to think of how they may be better off than each of the people they passed
- Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust, or lose your sense of shame, or makes you show hatred, suspicion, ill-will or hypocrisy, or a desire for things best done behind closed doors
- Wisdom is proved to be right by what it does
- It can be difficult to make changes – our instinct is to protect ourselves against things we can’t control, or perhaps we don’t want to change, or we may make allowances for our own actions. Consider what you’d think if you saw someone else do your actions and have those thoughts.
- Ask your God for help
- Accept that anything we have been given is because of your God, and at any time it may be gone
- Ask that what your God wants is done, rather than what you want
- Resignation is to judge yourself or your situation harshly and from a viewpoint of fairness. Acceptance is to take an active approach in acknowledging that what you face is the situation, and to change your focus from being a victim to getting through it. Acceptance increases your purpose and reduces your suffering.
When someone invites you to a meal, don’t take the most important seat, because someone more important than you may have been invited. The host, who invited both of you, will come to you and say, “Give this person your seat.” Then you will be embarrassed and will have to move to the last place. So when you are invited, go and sit in a seat that is not important. When the host comes to you, they may say, “Friend, move up here to a more important place.” Then all the other guests will respect you. By making yourself humble, you will be made great. If you make yourself great, you will be made humble
Greatness is measured by concern for others and modest estimation of yourself
The Farmer Planting Seed
A farmer went out to plant his seed. While he was planting, some seed fell by the road. People walked on the seed, and the birds ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t much earth. That seed grew very fast, but when the sun rose, the plants dried up because they did not have deep roots. Some seed fell among thorny weeds, but the weeds grew up with it and choked the good plants, so those plants did not produce a crop. And some seed fell on good ground and grew and produced a good crop. Some plants made 30 times more seed, some made 60 times more and some 100 times more seed.
This is what the story means: the farmer is like a person who plants your God’s message in people, and the seed is your God’s message.
The seed that fell beside the road is like the people who hear your God’s teaching but don’t understand it. They have doubts that take the teaching away from them, so they cannot believe it and be saved.
The seed that fell on rocky ground is like those people who hear your God’s teaching and quickly accept it with joy, but they don’t allow the teaching to go deep into their lives. They believe for a while, but when trouble comes, they quickly give up.
The seed that fell among the thorny weeds is like those who hear your God’s teaching, but they let the worries, riches and desires of this life keep them from growing and producing good fruit in their lives.
And the seed that fell on good ground is like those people who hear your God’s teaching and accept it. They grow and patiently produce fruit – sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more and sometimes 100 times more
Indifferent responses to your life that continues on are unfruitful. Distractions come from the world. Fruits represent good works and faithfulness
Being Humble in Thought
A self righteous person who vainly gave the appearance of being holy and a tax collector both went to pray. The self righteous person stood alone and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people who steal, cheat or take part in adultery, or even like this tax collector. I give up eating twice a week, and I give one tenth of everything I earn!”
The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even look up to heaven. But he beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I tell you, when this person went home, they were right with your God, but the self righteous person was not. By making yourself humble, you will be made great. If you make yourself great, you will be made humble
The self righteous person overlooked the need for mercy and humility. The tax collector parades none of his credentials and asks for forgiveness.
A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. But Martha was busy with all the work to be done.
She went in and said, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.” But Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.”
Devotion and attention displays greater reverence than anxious toil. Mary exemplifies contemplative life and Martha active life – both are essential but the former more important.
Intentions behind your plans
There was a rich man who had some land that grew a good crop. He thought to himself, “What will I do? I have no place to keep all my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and other goods. Then I can say to myself, “I have enough good things stored to last for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy life!”
But your God said to him, “Foolish man! – tonight your life will be taken from you. So who will get those things you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be for those who store up things for themselves and are not rich towards your God
The rich man indulges in pleasures; hoards resources; and adds laziness to greed. Death takes all this away. Rather your life that continues on is based on humility, service and mercy.