Updated: Jul 31, 2020
TODAY, I PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON A MANUSCRIPT I’ve been working on since last summer. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m a writer for hire, and I can tell you it’s a great feeling to wrap-up a months-long writing project and get it off to the publisher.
This particular book has prompted some serious reflection I’d like to share with you. It’s the fourth in a series I’ve now written with Tom Doyle, an American missionary who’s spent the past decade helping folks in Arab nations throughout the Middle East.
Tom and I have published three books of true stories about people who decided to be different in a radical and dangerous way, and this fourth book follows the same theme. Converts to Christianity in the Muslim world, these people face frightening life situations, but they pursue a spiritual path different from many around them, because they’re convinced beyond any doubt that it’s the right thing to do.
In pondering the folks we’ve written about, I’m reminded of how critical convictions are in setting a course for life. It’s simply not good enough to “Do Different” just for the sake of being different.
Convictions Worth Standing By
Your choice to do things differently—whatever that entails in your situation—will be bolstered by the convictions you have about life and on which you base your decisions. (In case you missed last week’s post, “’Different’ Starts with How You Look at the World,” check it out for ideas on how to build a foundation for what you do.)
If you’ve never done it (or haven’t done it recently), write down what matters most to you—your convictions. It can be a life-changing exercise.
To get you thinking about what's important, I’ve noted below the things I think create a strong foundation for life. You’re welcome to own any of them for yourself, but for sure, let them stimulate your thinking.
1) Seek the truth about whatever.
No matter what the subject, truth is truth. I don’t buy post-modern, truth-is-relative nonsense. Some things are true, and some aren’t. This applies to “spiritual” pursuits like what you think about God. It applies to relationships and how you interact with other people. It applies to “self” and your awareness of what really drives you and why. Wanting to know the truth about everyone—God, others, and self—shouldn’t be frightening but rather be the most exciting pursuit in life. Whatever you discover, if you’re honest in your seeking, will make your life better.
2) And speaking of “better”: Believe that better is always possible.
You don’t have to put up with a dysfunctional job, a losing business, a dead-end relationship, an unrewarding spiritual experience. Change can be intimidating, but if it makes your life better, your mental and physical self will benefit. And guess what? Facing the truth about whatever, is the first step in making things better.
3) Be content.
But wait. . . . Didn’t I just say that better is always possible? Yes, and it’s also essential for good mental health to be content with whatever your situation happens to be while you’re on the road to positive change. So,chill. If you seek truth about where you’re at, believe it can improve, and take the needed steps, then you can afford to be patient. Enjoy wherever you are, and look forward to what’s next.
4) People matter most.
From womb to tomb, people are significant. When it’s in your power, always make decisions that benefit others as well as yourself. We don’t live in an either-or world. That’s why I emphasize that the right way to do Different is to keep all parts of your life—work, family, spirituality, health—aligned.
Convictions Create the Plan
If you let the truth guide your path to Different, you’ll never be tempted to look back and wonder “if it was the right thing to do.”
And if you’re bogged down, worried that you’ll never get where you’d really like to go, take heart. “Better” is always possible. Let that belief motivate you to change what needs to be changed.
On the way, examine your life as is, and be thankful for all the things that are good for you right now. Let that make you content while waiting for better to come to pass.
And whatever you do, take the people you love with you on a path that improves their lives as well as yours.
Build your Different on the right convictions, and you’ll live a Different you won’t regret.
The other books Tom Doyle and I have written:
DREAMS AND VISIONS
Is God Awakening the Muslim World?
Living the Faith Where It's Not Safe to Believe
And coming in January 2021:
WOMEN WHO RISK
Secret Agents for Jesus in the Muslim World
(To get weekly ideas and action steps for doing Different, subscribe to this blog—
and get a free copy of my e-book, Better than Perfect.)
©2020 Greg Webster. All rights reserved.