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A while ago, a post rocked the internet entitled “9 Things We Should get rid of to Help our Kids.” It was written by Kristen of We are THAT family- one of my favorite bloggers who also happens to live in the Houston area. I loved the post, shared it, then thought some more about it. I thought, my goodness, most of this could apply to adults! You can read the original article here. I know that I needed a good reminder- both in raising my children and for my own (spoiled American) frame of mind. So here are 9 things adults need to get rid of in order to become better people. And I think it will spill over into our children’s lives!
1.) Guilt– many of us perform many of our tasks in life due to guilt. Even though we should always be looking to serve others- it should be because it is our joy and not because someone guilted us into it. Conversely, I’ve been on the opposite end of trying to guilt others into what I think they should be doing. We need to stop both ends of this equation! Pray about what God wants you involved in, and do that. And don’t try to guilt others into your plan for their lives!
2.) Overspending– The number of Americans in ridiculous amounts of debt is overwhelming- and most of it is due to “I want this, I want that,” not for simple survival. After visiting Ecuador in 2014, this type of mentality is bothering me even more that it did before. Another issue is that even if we can afford something, do we really need it, or could our money be used better elsewhere? Definitely speaking to myself here!
3.) The birthday goody bag mentality – Although this is a little different than the mentality of of children, it does seem that we do love a good handout! Think about the last wedding you went to, or corporate event. I bet there was some type of gift or promotional item given. And while there’s nothing wrong with receiving gifts, there is something wrong with always expecting to get more “stuff.” (More on that in #8)
4.) Making our day-week-month-our world- about ourselves. Listen, if we are truly Christians, God put us on this earth for one reason. It is to glorify him, and we do this a number of ways. Obviously we take care of our families and home and friends and beloved church members. But. It is so easy to only look to those in a two-mile radius of us (or even within the walls of our own house). I have found that when I get into a mental funk and grouchy it is because I haven’t looked outwardly for ministry opportunities in a while.
5.) The desire to make ourselves happy all the time– this one goes along with #4. We live on earth and trials and tribulations are sure to come. (see John 16:33) Even things as small as the “weather is too hot”, “the waiter got my order wrong”, or “that blasted driver CUT ME OFF!” (can you tell my hot button? 😉 ) can get us in a bad mood for days on end. This world doesn’t, in fact, revolve around us and the quicker that sinks in to our hearts, the better off we’ll be!
6.) Made up rewards– Even though “rewards” might not be a huge thing in the adult world, it does seems that everyone wants to be recognized for everything! Yes, recognition for our hard work is very nice but this truly is an area in which it is better to give than receive. It all boils down to serving others more than ourselves.
7.) Wanting the government, or whoever, to fix all of our problems. As a society, we’re always looking for a bailout when tough times come. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
8.) Stuff. I don’t even need to expound on this one I don’t think. Look in the room you’re currently sitting in. There’s probably more stuff in that one room than millions of people in the world own, period.
9.) Unrealistic expectations– this could apply to so many areas in life. For me, it involves wanting my children to have perfectly clean fingernails, always be well behaved, and do their schoolwork without a moment of hesitation or whining. Not much, huh? But again, this world is not perfect and we need to adjust our expectations accordingly. We all need the Gospel- children and adults- and we need to realize that those around us will annoy, irritate, and flat out anger us sometimes. We do the same thing to them!
Friends, these things are all hard to root out of our hearts. It’s all about taking daily steps to becoming more Christ-like and less spoiled-American-like.
You may also enjoy Why I’m Okay with Laminate (and not Granite)
Originally posted 3-22-2014