How To Have Unspeakable Joy


After years of working at a job I loved, I was anxiously looking forward to retirement. For me, retirement meant traveling to exotic places and seeing the world, sleeping in until the sun came up, having quiet, blissful mornings, and enjoying the great outdoors. These long-anticipated events were soon to come to pass, but not without some trials.

The first trip my husband and I took after my retirement was to Denver to ski. We’re not great skiers, but we enjoy the winter sport and the snowy mountain atmosphere. On our fourth and final day, as I went to lift off the chairlift, this excruciating pain shot into my lower back. I skied down the hill, which seemed to loosen it up a bit. Thinking of the spasm might have worked out, I got back on the lift. But the same thing happened when I got up from the chair the second time, only worse. We were there to ski and have a good time, and I didn’t want to disappoint my husband by telling him I couldn’t ski anymore so I tried it again. This time the pain was so unbearable that I was in tears and by the time I got down the hill and I let him know that I was done for the day.

When we got home I made an appointment with the back doctor and, thankfully, x-rays showed nothing was wrong with my spine. “It’s just weak back muscles,” he told me. Evidently, years of sitting at a desk had weakened my back, and I needed to strengthen it. Some medications and therapy were prescribed and it gradually got better over the next few weeks.

Just as I started to feel normal again, my feet started killing me. The pain was so excruciating that at times I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without holding on to the wall. I sought out a foot doctor and learned that it was plantar flagitious. A common foot ailment brought on by inflammation from overworking the muscles and tendons. All that extra walking I had been doing was causing my feet to rebel. It turned out to be a pretty easy fix with some shoe inserts, stretching, and an occasional shot of cortisone. I also backed off the walking just a bit to allow my feet to heal.

But then about mid-summer, my legs started aching. I couldn’t get comfortable anywhere and couldn’t sleep at night without pain medication and sleep aid. It was so painful in the mornings that I could barely move my legs to get out of bed. Thinking I must have something terribly wrong with my legs, I made an appointment with a leg specialist and he told me it wasn’t my legs at all, but my back again. That was weird because my back wasn’t even hurting! A strong steroid pack was prescribed and more therapy worked very well in relieving the pain. After an MRI which showed everything was good with my back and it was feeling better, I told him about another issue that just crept up.

I had woken up a few mornings prior and the tops of both my arms were hurting so badly that I couldn’t hardly move them. Even though I was an early riser, it would be around 11:00 a.m. each morning before I could move well enough to get on with my day. He referred me to the shoulder doctor where I learned that it was impingement from inflammation and overuse. I guess I shouldn’t have been lifting all those weights so soon. More steroid shots, therapy sessions, exercises, and medication were then prescribed for my shoulders.

I’m still dealing with some back and shoulder pain today, but it is manageable. I’m faithful to doing my back and shoulder exercises which the doctor said I could never stop doing and I continue to take anti-inflammatory medications. The issues are still there, but much better, and, thankfully, it’s more of a morning issue than an all-day issue. I keep doing what I now know to do and trust one day the pain will go away completely.

The cause

I’ve asked myself many times. Are these long-lasting trials an attack from Satan to steal the joy I was looking forward to in retirement or were they brought on by God who wanted to humble and strengthen me? Or was it simply a physical reaction to a shift in my lifestyle? I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure that out. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. My body was re-adjusting, Satan saw this as an opportunity to steal my joy, and God allowed it because I need to learn to depend more on Him.

Joy in trials

One thing I do know is that God intends for us to have joy amid our trials. James instructs us to “Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:3)

There are roughly 200 verses in the Bible about joy that tell us we should have it and how to obtain it. Joy is a trait God wants for His children even while living in this fallen world.

Pain and sickness are things that can certainly steal our joy. My husband said that my personality even changed during my worst bouts of pain. I’ve always been a cheerful person, but constant, intense pain can quickly change you from a cheerful person to someone who no one wants to be around.

Despite all the pain I lived in during that first year of retirement, however, I was still able to enjoy my life and had a great year traveling, spending time with family, and doing many of the things I love. Granted, it would have been much better if it had been totally pain-free, but in reality, is life ever totally pain-free? If we’re not dealing with physical pain, we may be experiencing emotional pain.

The antidote

So how do we have joy amid our trials? These three things helped me to continue living a joyful life amid the pain.

A painting that says "choose joy" in bright colors.  Paintbrush included.
Photo by Bekka Mongeau on

Joy is a choice

I’ve seen people battle months of horrid treatments for cancer and still retain their joy. How do they do that? They did it by drawing closer to the Lord. Joy is a fruit of the spirit and the closer we get to the Lord and allow His spirit into our lives, the more this fruit will be manifested. I’ve heard many people proclaim that they wouldn’t take anything for the hard trial they went through because it brought them so much closer to God. We always have a choice when going through trials to either wallow in self-pity and dwell solely on our misfortunes or decide to be thankful for the numerous blessings we have. The latter attitude will always produce joy no matter what circumstance we are facing.

Hope breeds joy

Sheer hope brings joy, as well. Paul mentions this in Romans 12:12 where he says “Rejoicing in hope, enduring in troubles, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” I have lots of people praying for my pain and that gives me hope that eventually, it will subside and I will move past this trial. That hope causes me to rejoice. I refuse to believe that things will not get better.

Faith ingites joy

With over 200 verses in the Word of God about joy and how to have it, we can get our joy back by simply reading and accepting those words.

There are numerous promises there, but here are just three:

Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.”

Psalms 126:5

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved in various trials.

1 Peter 1:6

Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance.

Romans 5:3

Faith and hope are intertwined. Faith in God produces hope in our situation which brings forth joy.

Other joy stealers

Pain in our bodies isn’t the only thing the thief uses to steal our joy. Betrayal, sin, unbelief, and unforgiveness are some of the tools Satan uses against us. Each of these can also be overcome as we will explore in the coming weeks.

A woman by a lake hands up in the air showing joy and praise.
Photo by Eneida Nieves on

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

Make the Most of Life’s Instruction Manual


They say that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but actually it does! It’s called the Holy Bible.

Several years ago, our pastor felt that our congregation didn’t know enough about the Bible. We came to church faithfully every Sunday to listen to his sermons, but most of us didn’t have a systematic way to read and study the Bible.

He asked us as a church to begin a daily reading plan that took us through the Bible in one year. Today, this discipline has become a part of the daily devotions for many of us and the result has been life-changing as well as church-changing.

Being a Christian most of my life, I’ve studied the Bible and even memorized many key verses, however, reading it from cover to cover unveils a storyline that you don’t get by just reading various chapters out of sequence.

It’s very unpopular today in some circles to say that you believe in the Bible, but I find it ironic that many of those who discount the Bible and say they don’t believe it to be the inspired Word of God, have never read even a small portion of it, much less cover to cover. While we would never purchase an expensive appliance and refuse to pick up the instruction manual to see how to operate it safely and efficiently, many of us try to make it though life on our own without ever consulting the manual God has given us for our time on earth.

Will we understand everything we read in the Bible? Certainly not, but we will understand some of it. The beauty of reading the Word is that we almost always learn something new or see a principle in a new light, even from a familiar passage.

Many people mistakenly think that the Bible should have all the answers to life’s questions, and since it doesn’t answer everything, it’s not valid. But God hasn’t revealed everything to his creation – just what He wants us to know. The Bible, rather, is the story of man, and God’s plan to redeem him from his sins. It shows us how to live triumphantly in this life and how to prepare for the next. It doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. That’s for another time and place. Today we know in part, the Bible says, but when we see God face to face we will know fully. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

If you’ve never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I encourage you to do so this year. Some of it won’t make sense, but a lot of it will. Numerous Bible Reading Apps online have a scheduled reading plan, and many will read it audibly to you so that you can listen while driving or getting ready for work, etc. This one from Life Church is fantastic, but there are many other options.

Holy Bible

What’s actually in there?

Some verses tell us what to do when we feel weak, anxious, worried, betrayed, or sad. It shows us how to be at peace and joyful instead of stressed and gloomy, and how to love instead of hate. There are verses for when we need forgiveness and when we need to forgive others.

The Bible tells us how to be a good friend, parent, neighbor and child. It teaches us to trust God and believe in something bigger than ourselves. It provides comfort through our sufferings while challenging us to become better people.

We may not always like what the Bible says to us, but everything written there is for our good. There are answers for dealing with the sins in our life and how to get deliverance from them. Not everything we read will make us happy. Biblical truth is sometimes hard to swallow. God’s word claims to be sharper than a two-edged sword and, believe me, I have felt that sword in my own spirit many times. But no matter how it hurts, a reality check is sometimes just what we need.

The Bible truly is a Living Word. Nothing will grow our faith more than the Word of God. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, (Psalm 119:105) showing us the way on this journey of life. It’s a love letter from God to us, His children, and is more precious than any treasure we could ever find.

Its words bring comfort to us when we are burdened, hope when we are in despair, and joy when we are in sorrow. All the while convicting us when we are doing wrong.

We’ll never master the Bible completely, no matter how much of a scholar we become because it is a living, breathing book, and the more we learn the more is revealed.

There is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures. Everything from how to eat, how to manage your money, to how to treat your neighbor. There are numerous ancient prophecies through those pages that have now been fulfilled and other prophecies showing us what’s to come next in our world.

Why not give God’s Word a try this year and commit to reading it through just to see what it has to say to you. I think you’ll be impressed and blessed!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

God’s handiwork

We can’t do it by ourselves. We didn’t create our human bodies, fill them with a soul and spirit and place ourselves on this earth. We had no say in the matter – neither the era in which we were born, the family into which we were born, nor what race or other physical characteristics we acquired.

So why do we think we have to do life on our own? When we struggle with sin and failure we often turn from God instead of asking him to help us.

But this verse in Philippians tells us that God is always working in us both so we can do his will and for his good pleasure.

“He’s not mad at us, “ As my friend, Dave Ramsey says, “He misses us.” God wants every person to live forever with him. That’s the reason he sent his son to die for us. If he didn’t care about us, he would have just let us all die in our sins.

Don’t let guilt and shame keep you from God. He understands the struggles we have on this earth for Jesus had those same temptations. We will never be as perfect as Jesus, but God will help us become more like him each day if we allow him.


Guiding light

When I was a little girl I’d often spend the night with my cousins who lived with their grandparents. They had an outhouse for a bathroom. I can remember us little girls taking a flashlight after dark and following the path down the trail to that creepy toilet which was in a field behind the main house. It was always a little scary to us because we never knew what was lurking in the darkness.

This verse is a picture of what the Word of God does for us as we travel through life. It guides us through our journey and helps avoid both perceived and real dangers along the way.

The Bible remains the number one selling book year after year! Unfortunately though, many people haven’t discovered the jewels of inspiration, wisdom, and hope that are recorded there.

Some say they don’t believe the Bible, yet have never even read it. If that’s you, I’d say now is the time to dive in and discover it’s truths. The creator of the universe has given you a manuel for a successful life here in earth. Aren’t you curious to know what’s in it?

Dave Ramsey says that everyone should read the proverbs for their incredible wisdom even if they aren’t a Christian. I agree. That book alone will provide you wisdom for relationships, finances, health, and life in general.

There’s a big movement within the church today for believers to get more into the study of the Word. Many are participating in one or two year plans to read it through cover to cover. This is good because even though it isn’t written chronologically, the Bible is actually a story. It’s the story of man from his creation to eternity and God’s plan for his redemption. Reading it cover to cover allows the story to unfold.

It’s exciting to see the church gaining the wisdom presented in God’s word. As the days get darker before the return of Christ and Christian persecution intensifies, we are going to need the strength the Word of God brings more than ever.

My greater desire, though, is for those who aren’t believers to begin to search it out. For not only will they find help, wisdom, and guidance for these moments in time, they will find the keys to eternal life as well.


How to be humble without being a push over

Most of us tend to get a little more humble as we get older. Maturity and understanding along with some hard knocks in life bring that about in our character.

Yet, as always God’s word brings a challenge. This verse is no different as it instructs us to be completely humble and gentle. That makes it a little harder because, honestly, how can we be anything one hundred percent of the time?

Some think humility means being timid. It does not. Nor does it mean one must be a door mat and let people run all over you.

True humility is simply honoring God and others

Think of someone you know that you consider to be a humble person. Chances are you see them showing kindness and respect to everyone they come in contact with on a daily basis.

According to Jeff Boss, a former contributor at Forbes magazine, humble people retain relationships longer because they are more likely to help out their friends and are better listeners. They are curious, eager learners always realizing that although they may be smart, there is much they don’t know. They aren’t afraid to ask for help. Humble people always take the time to say “Thank you” to whomever is serving them and start sentences with “You” instead of “I.”

The humble are not weak, they are actually confident because they know their self worth. They don’t feel the need to boast about themselves because they believe their actions speak for them.

None of us will be humble one hundred percent of the time, but it’s something we can practice at each day by simply putting others ahead of ourselves – and that will make life more pleasant for everyone.

How to Start your day in a happy place

The birds sing to me each morning as I sit on my back deck having devotions. How do I know they are singing to me? Because I’m the only one out there!

Okay, I get it. They would be singing even if I wasn’t there because they’re actually singing to God. But I do get to enjoy listening in on their melodious tunes. A since God made the birds and He knew I’d be there, just maybe He’s allowing them to sing for me too! Nevertheless, they remind me to be as cheerful and happy as they are, inspiring me to welcome the day by offering my own praise and thanksgiving to the God who created it all.

Depending on the time of year, it’s often dark when I sleepily trek out to the deck with a cup of coffee in hand in one hand and my Bible (which is now on my phone) in the other. I don’t mind the dark because I love looking at the stars. Yet I can always tell when the dawn is about to break as the birds will start singing. It’s the first sign that the eastern sky is about to ever so slowly get increasingly lighter reminding me that God is not yet finished with mankind. He’s allowing us yet one more day.

Granted there is much to be concerned about in our world as it moans and groans from the sin that we’ve brought into it. But the birds are always happy and they faithfully keep singing their tunes. They still have something to sing about and are always excited to see the sun. Maybe they know something we don’t! They lift my spirits and encourage me to look for the things I can sing about, too. If they can be thrilled to see the dawn of a new day then so can I.

I know all the birds on the hill and all that moves in the fields is mine. Psalm 50:11

Not Why but What ? – The Coronavirus question we should all be asking

I felt such an unexplainable peace sitting in the silence of my home while at work and looking out on my back deck where the rain was slowly drizzling down. I noticed the empty patio chairs and table and my mind goes back to the time last spring when my family was reclining in those chairs, my children and their spouses each eating dessert and drinking coffee, laughing, talking and enjoying each other’s company. The grandchildren were playing in the yard. I can see them all there and my heart years to go back to that day and to experience that again.

Everything seems so peaceful with the drizzling rain against the newly budded green trees. A robin occasionally comes and perches in the deck and a squirrel scurries around in the trees. It’s as if nature doesn’t know the silent war that’s going on in the world. Did someone forget to tell spring? Why are the trees budding and turning green the way they do every year?

Of course nature knows. God controls the seasons and He decided that spring should come this year anyway. Perhaps to tell us that the world isn’t ending just yet.

We’re in the third week of isolation because of the Coronavirus pandemic and while I’m enjoying a bit of a slowdown and working from home, I’m starting to miss my loved ones and their hugs and the simple things like getting in the car and going where I’d like to go and doing what I want to do.

Naturally, this pandemic didn’t catch God by surprise. He’s aware of those who are quarantined at home, those who have lost their jobs, those who are sick and especially the hurting and the dying.

Perhaps the question we should be asking God isn’t why is this happening, but what do you want me to learn from this? Have you forced the entire world into this isolation and slowdown for a much needed rest? Is this just a way to somehow cleanse the earth and decrease pollution? Are you wanting families to connect more? Or are you longing for the world to turn back to you?

I can’t pretend to know what God is thinking, but what I can do is ask Him what He wants me to do during this time and what does He want me to learn. Whether it’s being isolated at home or working on the front lines in our hospitals combating the virus head on God has put us each in this place.

I love these words from the late Zig Ziglar. “Expect the best. Plan for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” I don’t believe he’s talking about capitalizing with money here, but rather maximizing the most of the opportunities we are presented with, even though we may not initially view them as positive.

What have you been given during this time that is unique? Is it time with family like never before, more time to reflect, to read, exercise, pursue that hobby or deepen your relationship with the Lord? Glean from it whatever you can and learn it’s lessons for this too shall one day pass.

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

3 hard choices to improve your life

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If you’ve lived more than 20 minutes on earth, you’ve learned this one thing – life is hard. Work is hard, doing the right thing is hard, even planning the perfect vacation is hard.

Getting into the world requires a long, hard push through the birth canal, but that’s only the beginning. Have you ever watched a baby work to get control of their motor skills? It’s very sweet. They hold up their little arm and intensely concentrate on making it move accordingly to their will. It takes focus but they don’t give up until they master it. Then by exerting a lot of effort they start to raise their head and eventually roll over. After a few months they are up on their knees and crawling. Then one day they try walking, falling countless times before they finally get it right.

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Yes, learning to walk is difficult, but is essential for us to get around in this world. Babies instinctively know they are supposed to walk on two feet and they press through until they get it.

We go to school where it takes years to master reading, math, language and science all the while most of the time as children we’d rather be doing something else. But our parents and society force us to go, to study and to learn because they know that being uneducated in today’s world would make for a very difficult life

As we grow into adulthood, we’re constantly having to learn new jobs and tasks. We’re continually being met with new challenges brought on by life situations and the different seasons of life.

Sometimes we make bad choices in the face of those challenges which compound our problems and other times we make good choices that improve our life. While Some things are totally out of our control, there is much we can control.

Here are just three hard choices that we can make that will greatly improve our life. They are hard, but so are their alternatives and the paths they lead us on are distinctively different.


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We can choose to exercise and eat healthy foods or we can eat junk food and lead a sedative lifestyle.

Physical exercise is hard. We don’t always feel like doing it. If you haven’t exercised it in a while, it’s even more difficult to start. But do you know what is also hard? Not being able to climb a set of stairs or walk just one block with your grandchildren because your body isn’t fit enough. I see people who are way too young struggling to get around because they are over weight and out of shape. That’s a hard life, yet so preventable just by making the choice to move our bodies more and fuel it with the right food.


I tried smoking when I was very young and like everyone else got addicted very quickly. Thankfully, the Lord moved on me very strongly that I needed to give that up. It was difficult- very difficult, but looking back, my life would be very different now had I not done that. I wouldn’t be married to the wonderful man I have been for the past 40 plus years, because he said he could not stand a women who smoked. I wouldn’t have been able to sing in the church choir that I did for 25 years that I loved doing and by now, if I was still alive, I’d possibly have emphysema, heart attack, lung cancer or a stoke. At the least I’d have wrinkled skin and that annoying smokers cough. That would be very hard- much harder than the three weeks of withdrawal from Nicotine I experienced years ago.

Getting off any kind of addiction is extremely difficult, but never impossible. Living a lower quality of life and being a slave to any addiction is much harder. If you’re addictive to anything, get whatever professional help you need today and ask the Lord to help you. He will. He doesn’t want us to be a slave in bondage to anything.


Telling yourself or your children “no” to things you want is no fun. It’s very hard to delay pleasure. But it’s also tough being broke all the time because all of your money is going to the bank in high interest payments. If you choose to say no to yourself now, and only buy things you can pay for with cash, there will come a time when you will be able to purchase more of the things you’d like to have. Don’t be envious of what other people have. Learn to manage what God has given you and you’ll get increasingly more to manage over time. There are great books and teachings out there to help you learn to do a budget, spend wisely, avoid debt and save for the future. You’ll still have to be willing to do the hard work, but the payoff is fantastic!

One great thing about making the good hard choices is that it gets easier the more you do it. You’ll eventually start to prefer wonderfully cooked vegetables over lots of fatty meats, sweet desserts and processed foods. Exercise becomes enjoyable and you actually look forward to that walk in the park. You’ll even get excited about doing your monthly budget because now you’ve given yourself a raise and you get to choose how to spend your money instead of everything just going to bills and interest payments.

Life is full of choices. God has given us all the free will to choose. Some are hard, some are easy and often times we aren’t even sure which choice to make. There is a cause and effect to each choice we make. Take the time to think those through and you’ll usually get it right.

Choose my instruction rather than silver. Knowledge rather than choice gold. Proverbs 8:10

What are some hard decisions you’ve had to make that turned out for the betterment of your life?

Soaking up the goodness of God

I love nature because I see the goodness of God everywhere in it.

Sitting on my back deck early in the morning, feeling the sun warm the back of my neck to just the right temperature, beholding the blue sky, green trees, pink blooms on the rose bushes and hearing the sound of birds chirping all says to me,”Hey, I’m God and I really care about you and your well-being.”

I take a deep breath of fresh air and it literally feels like I’m soaking up the goodness of God.

I tend to find both arrogance and foolishness in those that say that God does not exist for I see Him everywhere.

I see Him in every piece of nature and in the wondrous workings of our earthly bodies designed to live perfectly in this world created just for us. From eyes that adjust automatically accordingly to the light to a heart that tirelessly pumps blood for decades non-stop and a digestive system that knows exactly how to break down the food we take in to nourish our bodies, the design is incredible. Not to mention our brain that sends signals both voluntary and involuntary at rapid lightning speed as needed or our defense system that attacks and kills viruses and dangerous bacteria to keep us healthy. We have no control over these automatic bodily functions and seldom even think about them.

I see him in the design of the earth. The way everything naturally recycles with the plants breathing in the carbon dioxide we exhale and giving us back the precious oxygen that we need to sustain our life.

The way the sun evaporates water from the earth in order to to water it again where needed; the way the earth is placed at the perfect distance from the sun so we have warmth but we don’t neither burn nor freeze to death and the way it rotates and tilts to give us the different seasons all show precision planning.

The Bible says to seek him and you will find him. Truth is, we have to look no further than the nose on our face.

Everyone today may not believe in God, but everyone is certainly dependent on Him. This I know.

For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen. Being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

How to deal with a jerk

Someone once told me there are two kinds of people in life – takers and givers. We’ve all known them, the takers who care nothing about anyone except themselves. They just want their way and have no regard for what it might cost someone else.

Then there are those who are continually giving to others, always putting the needs of others seemingly ahead of their own. You’re probably thinking of someone like that right now, picturing their happy, smiling face and the thought of them warms your heart.

I got to deal with with both recently.

At work I like to park by as island. I can pull pretty close to it and it keeps people from bumping my car doors. Recently I had my spot that I liked and I arrived at work early almost every day, so it was almost always available.

I work in an office strip mall with other businesses. One day when I arrived someone was in my favorite spot and I had to park somewhere else. Evidently this driver liked that spot too, so whoever got there first got the prime parking spot by the island.

The giver

One morning I pulled in and noticed that the other car was not in the spot by the island but one over. The driver had saved the spot for me! Every morning when I came to work after that there he was parked in the second spot from the island allowing me to pull into the space I liked. He was a giver.

The taker

Then one day another driver arrived on the scene. He liked the prime spot also and he took it every morning if he got there first.

One morning I got there first, claimed my favorite spot and went into my office. However, when I came out for lunch, I found that he had parked in the spot right next to me, but he pulled within about three inches of my door. It was obvious that he had done that on purpose to make some sort of statement that “He wanted that spot and he would make my life miserable if I didn’t give it to him.” He was a taker.

I was furious! Three different ideas immediately came into my head about how to handle the situation.

My first thought was to bang his car so hard with my door to make as big of a dent as I could. But then I knew he would probably sue me for damages. Besides I’d mess up my car too. Which is what I’d been trying to avoid in the first place.

My second thought was to storm into his office let him know what a jerk he was in front of his co-workers and ask him to come outside and move his car immediately. However, I’m non-confrontational by nature and I’m just not going to make a scene if I can help it. Besides this guy was such a jerk he’d probably just laugh at me anyway.

So what did I do? I decided to squeeze into my car, drive off and vowed to never park in that space again. He could have it. It wasn’t worth the fight…and it felt horrible.

The Payoff

A day or so later I noticed another island spot just a little way up the lot that was usually empty. I started parking there and it was actually closer to my office than the spot I was parking in before.

But then I got a very sweet surprise. I’m on the phone or computer all day at work in a room with no windows so at lunch I sometimes like to sit in my car and soak up some sunshine. However, if I wanted to work on my blog or do some work on the internet I had to go someplace else because there was no internet connection in the parking lot. Well guess what? At the new spot I can a access the internet from my car!

I believe that God honors us when we do the right thing. In this situation, damaging the persons car would have only brought on more problems, even though it would have felt great for a few seconds. If I had of stormed into his office yelling and screaming, I’m the one who would have looked like a fool. Quietly moving my car and giving up my spot for another felt horrible at the time, but it doesn’t feel that way now and I like my new spot even better.

I’m in no way advocating allowing yourself to be run over, mistreated or abused, but sometimes it’s better to take the high road even when you feel like getting even. In this case it was a public spot and didn’t involve personal property so we each had equal right to it.

I’ve never met Mr. Jerk and I have no idea how he feels now. Is he happy that he bullied someone out of a parking spot and got his way? Maybe, but if he’s a normal human, with a conscience, he probably feels a little bad about it too.

The truth about jerks

Jerks and bullies will always be around, because, frankly, there is one in each of us. How many times have I just wanted my way with little regard for someone else? When the jerk in us rears his ugly head, we need to be sensitive to the needs of the other person and when we encounter one in someone else, it’s best to just move on and let that be a gentle reminder of how not to act.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself – Philippians 2:3