God Doesn’t Have to Explain Himself

 

Even in the midst of disappointment, surprise, and mystery, you will discover an amazing thing. You will discover how very reliable and trustworthy God is—-and how secure you are in His hands. And oh, how we need that in this day of relativism and vacillation, filled with empty talk and hidden behind a lot of semantic footwork. In the midst of “Spin City,” it is the Lord who talks straight. It is the Lord who has preserved Truth in black and white in His Word. And it is the Lord who has the right to do as He wishes around us, to us, and in us.

Puzzling as the process may be to us, He stays with His plan. There is no need for us to know all the reasons, and He certainly doesn’t need to explain Himself. If we’re going to let God be God, then we’re forced to say He has the right to take us through whatever process He chooses.

Let Him have His way with your life, for nothing is worse than resisting and resenting the One who is at work in you.

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

 

We all have Habits

I used to bite my fingernails right down to the quick. I’d bite them off just as soon as the first signs of new growth would appear. Research shows that it takes only three or four weeks for an activity to become a habit.

Not a person who reads this is completely free from bad habits. It’s the price we pay for being human. Let’s focus on five suggestions that will help us overcome bad habits.

Stop rationalizing. Refuse to make comments like: “Oh, that’s just me. I’ve always been like that.” Such excuses take the edge off disobedience and encourage you to diminish or completely ignore the Spirit’s work of conviction.

Apply strategy. Approach your target with a rifle, not a BB gun. Take on one habit at a time, not all at once.

Be realistic. It won’t happen fast. It won’t be easy. Nor will your resolve be permanent overnight. Periodic failures, however, are still better than habitual slavery.

Be encouraged. Realize you’re on the road to ultimate triumph, for the first time in years! Enthusiasm strengthens self-discipline and prompts an attitude of stick-to-it-iveness.

Start today. This is the best moment thus far in your life. To put it off is an admission of defeat and will only intensify and prolong the self-confidence battle.

One day at a time, attack one habit at a time.

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail

Thoroughness
by Charles R. Swindoll

Proverbs 13:4, 9; 20:4

I just looked up the definition of “thorough” in my dictionary. Mr. Webster says it means “carried through to completion, careful about detail, complete in all respects.” Somehow, I find that a convicting definition. Few indeed are those who finish what they start—-and even fewer do a complete job of it when they do finish a task.

Now I’m not referring to a neurotic fanaticism of extreme, some impractical and unbalanced preoccupation with mundane details. I’m talking about the rare but beautiful experience of carrying out a responsibility to its completion. A course at school. A project at home. An occupation. Everyday duties.

There is a verse in Proverbs that is commonly quoted around the Swindoll house when we really finish a job the way it should be done: “Desire realized is sweet to the soul” (Prov. 13:19). When you have accomplished or thoroughly fulfilled a task, you experience a feeling of satisfaction that cannot be expressed in words.

Listen to another proverb: “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat” (13:4). The sluggard longingly craves, but because he is “allergic to work,” he gets nothing in return! Proverbs 20:4 makes this clear.

So, what are you waiting for? Stop being satisfied with a half-hearted, incomplete job! Stun those around you with a thorough, finished product! AND STOP PUTTING IT OFF! As an oboe teacher of mine used to say when I would stare in disbelief at the difficulty of a piece of music, “Attack it, boy!”

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail. That is true of a delicious meal, a musical presentation, a play, a clean automobile, a well-kept home, a church, our attire, a business, a lovely garden, a sermon, a teacher, a well-disciplined family.

Let’s make a long-term commitment to quality control. Let’s move out of the thick ranks of the mediocre and join the thin ranks of excellence.

I’m ready if you are.

Does something need doing? Dig right in and refuse to give up until that task is done. Tighten your belt a notch and wade into that unpleasant job with renewed determination to write “finished” over it.

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.