Ten Street Smarts for Men and Women

streetsmartsThe following are ten “street smarts” that may be very valuable to you.  They cost you nothing but have great value. Consider what you might add to this list.

  1. Start.  John Acuff was right in his book, Start.  Sometimes you just need to begin.  Start doing what you have put off.  Start doing what you know you need to do.  Start doing before you have it all figured out.
  2. Beware of toxic, mean people in your life.  Some people are mean!  These toxic people want to hurt you.  This may be your ex-husband, a former neighbor, or a total stranger.  This meanness is evidence that you are dealing with a person who will stoop to most any level of behavior in order to get his ego stroked.  This calls for wisdom and care in dealing with such people.
  3. Pray.  Listen to children pray.  Listen to how they pray without being self-conscious.  Prayer is a reminder that all of life is larger than yourself and that each one of us desperately needs live in dependence on God.
  4. Show up.  Think about those people in your life who are important to you.  Is there an event in their lives that calls for your presence?  Simply showing up and being fully present at funerals, weddings, showers, receptions, is huge! Being present in body while staring at your screen isn’t exactly what it means to be fully present.
  5. Remember names.   You might say, “Oh I’m bad with names.”  Ok.  Most people I know have to make an effort at remembering names.  At least they are making the effort. Remember that we all love to hear our name.
  6. Get over yourself.  Growing in knowledge does not mean that you get to depend on God less while you control others more (Zack Eswine, The Imperfect Pastor, p. 113).  Too some, competency seems to suggest that simple trusting faith is no longer necessary.  Is your perception of your competency so important that you are almost offended when others go to someone else for counsel or advice.
  7. Don’t quit the first time you hit a wall.  Yes, marriage is hard.  Raising children is hard. Work can be hard. Ministry can be hard.  Yet, hitting a wall does not mean that something is wrong.  Some of the most valuable things that we are doing are hard!  Anything that is important is bound to be hard at times.  Instead, pray for the grace you need to persevere.
  8. Get focused.  I saw a sign in Memphis the other day that warned drivers about getting distracted while on the road.  That same day I saw a car racing across the freeway while the driver was texting.  Some of us don’t text while driving, but we are nevertheless distracted, while we dart about from one distraction to the next.  People who are focused put a value on the discipline it takes to pay attention.
  9. Learn.  “…you were never meant to repent because you don’t know it all.  You are made to repent because you’ve tried”  (Zack Eswine, The Imperfect Pastor, p. 104).  Smug and self-assured?  Not exactly a learning posture.  Yet, when I begin to sound very sure and certain about a situation I am in, my attitude may simply be an effort to mask my fear and shame.
  10. Laugh.  Enjoy the laughter of children.  Laugh with them!  One little boy said to his mother not long ago when they were playing, “Mom, I just love to hear you laugh!”  Laugh at yourself (most of us have plenty of material to work with).  However, stay away from the mocking, evil laugh.  You’ve met that person.  He says something snide, hurtful, and condescending and then mockingly laughs.  Such laughter is designed to hurt.  Its intent is to demean and destroy the confidence and the strength of another.  This is beneath the dignity of a child of God.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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