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How’s Your Posture?

“Chin up, shoulders back, and back straight!” These instructions are often given to military recruits, athletes, and fashion models. Not a few slouching kids have heard similar words from a mom or dad at some point also!

It’s all about posture. Poor posture is increasingly causing health problems for people in our culture. Desktop computers, laptops, iPads, and smartphones keep us hunched over, heads down in strained and stressed positions for hours every day. All this slowly but surely takes a toll on our bodies.

According to medical experts, poor posture contributes to a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional issues for people. Posture researchers give us hope, however. They have made some interesting discoveries. When posture improves, breathing improves, blood circulation improves, moods and thinking improve, confidence increases, chronic headaches, and various other pesky aches and pains often disappear. Who knew? How we sit, stand, and walk matters!

What’s true physically, mentally, and emotionally is also true spiritually. Good spiritual health involves having the right spiritual posture.

The Bible clearly instructs us about proper spiritual posture:

Hebrews 6:11-12 (TLB) And we are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward. Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won’t become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience.

To stay strong and go long in our spiritual life, we need good posture. We must live in the right position. This helps us avoid unnecessary stress, strain, and pain in our spiritual journey. It allows us to make it through the most challenging moments and seasons we face.

Here’s the right spiritual posture—keep love, faith, and patience!

Having been a Christian for approaching six decades and being in ministry for over forty years, I affirm the importance of the three. They represent keys to victory, peace, and joy. They also describe our most vulnerable spiritual underbellies. When love, faith, or patience start drooping, we start drifting! When we drift, we end up in spiritual danger.

The devil does everything possible to drag down our spiritual posture. He attacks our love with the temptation to hold grudges and offenses and become bitter toward others. He targets our faith by shooting flaming arrows of doubt about God’s Word and character. He drains our patience by whispering accusations and insinuations of seemingly unfulfilled promises. It’s a relentless, life-long battle.

Here’s a fresh reminder for you! Get your spiritual chin up! Pull your spiritual shoulders back! Stand up straight and declare:

“I refuse to let anything steal my love for others!”

“I will not allow anything to weaken or rob my faith in God and His Word!”

“I will remain patient, completely trusting God’s promises, faithfulness, and timing!”

Adjust your spiritual posture today. You’ll be stronger and better as you do!

Don’t Stop Growing

Most people I’ve encountered express a desire to grow in life—spiritually,

mentally, emotionally, relationally, and professionally. It’s a rare person who’s happy just the way they are. However, translating the desire to grow into reality is quite a different matter.

Why? Because growth is hard. Growth requires changing long-set habits and patterns. Growth involves deeper levels of honesty with ourselves and, more importantly, with God. Growth is the result of painful, intentional effort.

Growth also requires another thing—perhaps the most important thing—humility! And humility strikes at the core of one of our biggest enemies: pride.

The Bible clearly describes humility as a prerequisite for growth. Note the kind of person who’s a candidate for God’s education, coaching, training, and development:

Psalms 25:9 (ERV) He teaches his ways to humble people….

Humility is required if we want to be students in God’s university and actually learn from Him.

What is humility?

  • Humility is a quality of mind and heart.
  • Humility is a healthy attitude of lowliness and felt need.
  • Humility is a hunger to come under instruction and tutelage.
  • Humility heightens our attentiveness—our willingness to listen and learn.
  • Humility recognizes and acknowledges personal sin, weakness, ignorance, and foolishness, prompting a passionate desire to be different, better, holier, and stronger.

Only when humility is present are we ready to become a true student. Only then are we teachable. Someone once said, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears!”

The opposite of humility is pride.

Pride is described in the Bible as the original sin. It’s interesting to note the English spelling of “pride” and “sin.” In each of these words, “I” sits in the middle! Nuff said!

Want to grow? It’s going to require some work, for sure. But the most important requirement is humility. God loves it when He sees it, and when He sees it, He immediately enrolls you in His school!

6 Things You’ll Never Regret

One of the wisest things we can do in life is to live in ways that reduce our regrets. While it’s impossible to completely avoid all the “I wish I had or hadn’t” life experiences, it’s possible to build things into our lives we’re sure we’ll never regret.

I was thinking recently about some of my life practices that required

dedication and discipline to learn but have proven well worth it.

Here are six practical things I have done throughout the years that I don’t regret. (These are just a few!)

You’ll never regret:

  1. Improving your vocabulary.

Words are the way you navigate life and relationships. When you improve

your vocabulary, you automatically accomplish several things:

You get smarter. You can only learn new words by also learning their meanings. This makes you smarter. Getting smarter is always a good thing. You become a more agile and able communicator—the more words you know, the more communication tools you have. A better vocabulary better equips you to communicate.

You learn words and word patterns that give you an advantage in reading and understanding other unfamiliar words and concepts. You’ll be amazed at how many unknown words and their meanings you will be able to grasp as you increase your vocabulary and become more familiar with word patterns and principles.

You “stretch” your brain. Your brain is a muscle. It atrophies without use.

Language skills exercises are a significant part of your brain. Break out the dictionary and start studying! You’ll never regret improving your vocabulary!

  1. Learning to write and speak well.

Consistent writing is a habit I recommend to everyone. Whether it’s a devotional journal or daily diary, the discipline of regular writing is one you’ll not regret. It will add more to your life than you imagine. Put pen to paper and let your thoughts, ideas, and inspiration flow freely. Get the inside out. When you do, you learn a lot about yourself and your relationships.

When writing more formally, practice good writing skills. Check your sentences for proper word tenses, proper syntax, singular and plural consistency between nouns, pronouns and verbs, etc. Refuse the contemporary tendency toward sloppiness in writing emails, texts, etc. Be your own “English professor.” Good writing is all about content, ruthless editing, and high-quality style.

Add to this writing discipline a commitment to monitor your speech for content and correctness as well. This is a challenge but also well worth it. You’ll never regret learning to write and speak well!

  1. Establishing life patterns and rhythms.

Haphazardness in life patterns and rhythms creates dissonance and disorder in your life. Setting schedules is extremely helpful. Know what you’re going to do and when you are going to do it. Create a daily and weekly rhythm. A rhythmic personal life and work plan will make you far more productive. You will rise above average folks by doing this one thing. Expand this rhythm approach beyond work. Establish a similar flow in your spiritual life, your relationships, and your physical body. This, too, will return great dividends. You’ll never regret establishing life patterns and rhythms!

  1. Paying attention to lessons others ignore or overlook.

I would guess that 75% of the major lessons I learned in life came from informal rather than formal instruction. Somehow, I adopted a life orientation of observing, listening, and asking helpful, educational questions of people who were much smarter and more capable than me. The result was a great education and a lot of beneficial wisdom.

Not everyone appreciates this practice. I am amazed at how many times I have intentionally made a statement to someone meant to be educational, and perhaps even tactfully but constructively corrective, only to have the individual totally ignore and miss the point. My gift of knowledge or wisdom to them was completely wasted!

Remember, you always pay for an education. The least expensive way to get an education is to “pay attention!” Many people are missing promotions, opportunities, or personal development because they are too stubborn, resistant, rebellious, or blind to the information and opportunities informally offered to them. They overlook the rich nuggets of wisdom lying along their path.

Remember, no one else is responsible for educating or developing you. It’s your responsibility to get an education. Much of what you need to know for your growth can be found in the wisdom and examples of the people around you. Wake up. Pay attention. Stop ignoring and overlooking what’s in front of you. You’ll never regret paying attention!

  1. Taking responsibilities seriously.

Every responsibility is an opportunity. You will do something with it. It will get better or worse under your care. It will not stay the same. If you belittle, complain about, or underestimate the importance of what you’ve been given, there’s a great chance you’ll never be given anything more to do.

People who succeed in life take their responsibilities seriously, no matter how mundane or “unimportant” they may seem. This kind of person understands their duty to their organization or business.

If involved in an organization, they understand their assigned responsibility is to advance its mission. If working in a business, they are responsible for contributing to its profitability and growth, adding value to the bottom line. (Interestingly, according to a recent study, a business employee needs to make a company five times their annual salary in profit for the business to succeed!)

Being responsible involves things like:

  • Preparing in advance for assignments and duties.
  • Completing assignments on time.
  • Completing assignments with a “second-mile” attitude and contribution.
  • Showing up early when responsibilities require it.
  • Staying late when responsibilities require it.
  • Communicating progress on assignments regularly and proactively with supervisors and overseers without being asked.
  • Responding quickly and cooperatively to supervisors’ and overseers’ requests.
  • Demonstrating teamwork and effective communication with peers.
  • Contributing to positive organizational or business morale.
  • Contributing to the “bottom line” of mission advancement or business profit.
  • Being a positive culture carrier.
  • Developing a reputation as a “can do” and “go to” person.
  • Becoming a problem-solver, not a problem-reporter or a problem-creator.
  • Growing people under their care.

These are only a few of the things associated with responsibility. You’ll never regret taking your responsibilities seriously!

  1. Accepting personal ownership for excellence and improvement.

There are two types of people when it comes to pursuing excellence and improvement. The first type is the externally driven. This person operates on standards given to them. They only do the minimum to meet goals and expectations for excellence or generate improvements. Often, they look for the lowest level of accomplishment necessary for “meeting the basic requirement.” They do little or no personal inspection or monitoring. They depend on others to check that standards are or are not being met. Passivity describes this person.

The second type of individual is self-motivated. They have internal standards of excellence and improvement. They also internalize the values, goals, and expectations of the organization or business where they work. They eagerly and consistently think about and actively monitor the quality of their work processes and products. They are proactive. They exercise agency by making better anything placed in their care and under their responsibility.

This kind of person is a great treasure. They’re like “cream that rises to the top!” You’ll never regret accepting personal ownership for excellence and improvement!


Some of you may read and forget these six things. They may not impact you at all. However, some of you will take them to heart and diligently add them to your life. For those who do, 10, 20, or 30 years from now, I am confident you will say, “I don’t regret it!”