One morning, the late Bishop Fulton Sheen entered a greasy spoon for breakfast. “Bring me some ham and eggs and a few kind words for the day,” he said.
The waitress returned fifteen minutes later and set the food before him. “There,” she said. “What about the kind words?” he asked. She looked him over and replied, “I’d advise you not to eat them eggs!” Sometimes the first few events of the day make it clear it’s going to be a “downer.” No matter what you do, you can’t stop life’s bad turns: the car that rear‐ends yours on the way to work; the traffic jam that causes you to miss an important appointment. Yet you can choose your reaction to such irritating events.
We can live happily despite the ups and downs of everyday living, but to do so takes a great measure of dependence on Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul said it best: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12–13).
Just between us…
- Am I generally cheerful and optimistic—or gloomy and pessimistic?
- How do I usually react when I’m disappointed or discouraged?
- How do my mood swings affect you and our marriage? How can we respond more positively to difficult events?
Dear Father, we invite You to be at work in us—individually and in our relationship—to grow in us the same attitude as Jesus Christ. We don’t want to be ruled by circumstances or moods but by Your Spirit. Amen.
From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.