Stop Being Nice and Start Being Good
- Monday, October 17, 2005
Embrace passion. Don't settle for mild living when God wants you to enjoy a passionate life. Understand that it's not sinful to have normal needs and desires. Make those needs and desires clear to other people without apologizing for them. Recognize that your thoughts and feelings should be valued. Take steps to begin pursuing your dreams.
Create a personal mission statement. Follow God's plans for your life - not just someone else's agenda for you. Ask yourself, "What did I dream about before I stopped dreaming?" Consider how the pain that's currently in your life can lead to greater insight and positive change for you. Discover your God-given talents and make a plan to put them to use. Take advantage of ordinary opportunities to serve God and others through your passions. Remember that ordinary moments can become extraordinary when you live with passion.
Accept and express your emotions. Know that it's normal and healthy to feel a full range of emotions. Ask God to help you become aware of your emotions - from joy to sorrow - accept them, and express them in your personal relationships.
Harness anger's power in healthy ways. Rather than denying the anger it's natural to feel sometimes, recognize that anger can be a powerful force for positive change if it's properly directed. Use anger to spur you to confront injustice and work for righteousness.
Pursue satisfying sex. Recognize that your sexual needs are legitimate. Don't be afraid to clearly express your needs and desires to your wife. Get rid of emotional guards that block genuine intimacy with her. Work together to build a mutually enjoyable sex life.
Don't be naïve. Expect people to sin in our fallen world. Don't be ignorant of what's really going on, and don't allow others to manipulate or abuse you. Ask God to help you discern when people are lying to you or trying to take advantage of you. Seek knowledge and wisdom that will help you be shrewd as you navigate life in a world full of sin.
Seek support from other good guys. Build friendships with some other men whose courageous faith you admire. Help each other grow in spiritual maturity and confidence.
Adapted from No More Christian Nice Guy, copyright 2005 by Paul Coughlin. Published by Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, Minn., www.bethanyhouse.com.
Paul Coughlin hosts a radio talk show on KDOV in southern Oregon and is the author of Secrets, Plots, and Hidden Agendas: What You Don't Know about Conspiracy Theories. Paul has been interviewed by C-SPAN, the New York Times, and numerous radio and television stations across the country. His articles have appeared in many publications, including New Man, Faithworks, and Ministries Today. He has also been editor of a weekly newspaper and a radio station program director. A former Christian Nice Guy, Paul is happily married and the father of three. The Coughlin family lives in Oregon. Visit www.christianniceguy.com.
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