Timeless Advice

Yesterday on our Shrink Rapping blog, I posted a few thoughts about how psychology has applications in so many areas of our lives. From disciplining children to motivating employees, this social science offers insight into many of the challenges that confront us daily. As a quick example, I recently had a brief conversation with a man who’s sixtyish (not sure if that’s really a word) who was quite open and upfront about saying that he wished he had more friends. He has a faithful, loving wife and strong family connections, and yet he admitted that sometimes he feels a little pang of envy when he sees other guys hanging out together, laughing and having a good time.

“Well,” I said, “It’s not too late to change that.”

“How? I’m too old to change my ways.”

“No, you’re not. It might sound corny, but today is the first day of the rest of your life. Just being aware that you’d like to change something is the first step…and a good sign.”

“Naw,” he said. “I’ll just stay the way I am.”

Social psychologists have some answers for this man. So might developmental psychologists. While out walking early this morning, the thought crossed my mind that the Bible has a few suggestions for him as well. In fact, it’s funny in a way that we look in self-help books, consult experts, and perhaps even check our daily horoscopes, and yet everything (at least that I can think of) is answered in the scriptures. If not, then at least by reading them, a person can get some ideas about where to look.

By the way, the verse that crossed my mind this morning is Proverbs 18:24. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” Timeless advice.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

9 thoughts on “Timeless Advice”

  1. I wanted to tell you yesterday that I know people like that, who won’t change and claim to be too old. A lot of the time they’re unhappy and take it out on the world…ask me how I know…;-)
    You probably guessed that I look to my Bible first, then elsewhere, then usually end up back in the Bible! The biggest reason I started studying scripture so much is that I LOVE IT! and because I was getting so much misinformation. Thank God, I had parents that made me sit thru strictly biblical family devotions and have a fair sense when something doesn’t sound right…. I probably sound like a nut to some, but, hey, I’m harmless! LOL Some things that are bugging me to look more into are the anti-Christian and evolution business. Now evolution and the Bible go hand-in-hand? It’s not that new ideas aren’t good but God is getting less and less credit…We all have doubtful times and there are stories in the Bible of those who did, but to take a superior “worldview”…Nah…

  2. I confess…I don’t know much at all about the evolution going hand-in-hand with the Bible business, so you’ll have to fill me in on that. Sometimes I think that even though we are the most “evolved” of His creatures, we will never be smart enough to understand all of His mysteries.

  3. I agree and am dimayed about the lack of faith. Being curious is fine, expected, but this denial of God’s existence is becoming pervasive. Or maybe it’s just that they’re becoming more bold and loud. You remember Madalyn Murray O”Hare (according to her son, she spells it some whacky way)? Hers was the 1st petition to be considered and passed in taking prayer out of school. She began a huge atheist movement (American Atheists?) and hired the lowset in convicts to work for her. She, her other son, and the daughter of the son who is now an evagelist, all came to a bloody, grotesque end. When I read that, I couldn’t help but think, “What would one expect in keeping the company she kept?” She was a despicable person and I also wonder if, toward the end, she repented…we can hope!

  4. Hey Jayne,

    I always say you are never too young or too old to learn something or to change if you want to. I recently read an article about a 54 year old woman who sold her upolstery(sp) business and just finished law school. I always laugh at myself because I love to read “self-improvement” books all the while knowing the answers have already been provided in the scriptures.

  5. Odale, don’t you sometimes wonder how anyone could deny the existence of God when they look at the stars and the moon and the squirrels and the red birds and the ocean? How do they think everything got here on earth and in the universe?

    Connie, I love the example of the woman changing directions in her 50’s. I’m ready for a change, but I can’t figure out what yet.

    I truly believe that the answers are all in the scriptures, but sometimes the words direct us elsewhere. As an example, I can’t remember exactly where this verse is, but it starts out with “Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean….” I love that advice, but I’ve had to look other places for suggestions on how to best use my time and how to clean my house in the most efficient way. Is this making sense to you, or should I just hush and discuss this face to face???

  6. I honestly have tried to put myself in their place and cannot fathom denying God… I just saw one of the young men yesterday who recently told his parents that he’s atheist and I told him I am praying for him. I also told him he couldn’t stop me, to which he smiled… He actually got his info and “indoctrination” from the internet then met up with “locals”. As good a tool as the internet is, it’s destructive, as well. I know how he was raised and believe he’ll “come around”, but it’s still bothersome (hate to say worrisome…)
    Very good point about the Bible directing us elsewhere! God didn’t give us all this knowledge and resources for nothing!

  7. Odale, you’re going to love this. I read your post and thought immediately of a quote by C.S. Lewis. Here goes: “There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes….When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all; it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.” I especially love that last sentence. Doesn’t this atheist see that he’s arguing against the very being who gave him his mind to reason with???

  8. I love C.S. Lewis! What a guy! Excellent quote, Marla Jayne.

    You know, as I get into this, it is absolutely amazing how smart these individuals are. The young man I’m talking about is a genius. That’s why I keep insisting that their intelligence is working against them. It’s like an overwhelming intelligent, prideful, sincere effort at being “good without God involved”. They claim Christians commit worse sins than they do and b/c they see themselves as supremely ethical, there is something wrong with Christians needing God. Knowledge is their god but they’re not Gnostics or Agnostics…they just do not believe…cutting off the branch they’re sitting on, indeed.
    The letter I mentioned over in my blog in response lists the atheistic books that have become bestsellers and how they lure kids to summer camp (via parental permission, of course) , but the most disturbing is (and I will check this out) a web site that invites teens to record videos “damning themselves to hell”… It’s so slick, I have been in an antitheist site and not realized it for a few minutes… very busy, the devil and his host.

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