Life is a Mirror // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Your life is a mirror. It reflects who you are.

We often deceive ourselves into thinking that our circumstances determine the quality of life.

If good things happen — then life is good.
If bad things happen — then life is bad.

I have discovered, however, that this view does not hold water for the long haul.

There are plenty of miserable people who seem to have “everything” going their way and there are joyful people who have experienced the most horrible circumstances. It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond that really counts.

Not long ago, I spent a week in Ethiopia. While there, I encountered some of the most beautiful and joyful people I’ve ever met. I spoke in a little church with dirt floors, a thatched roof, and dirt walls. Since having an American speaker was a special occasion for them, they decorated the place, stringing up toilet paper on a wire, and balloons that said, “Happy Birthday” in English. They didn’t have electricity, nor was there any indoor plumbing. A casual observer would say they are among the poorest of the poor.

Yet, after spending the whole day with them (Their meetings went from 8:30 a.m. until after 6:00 p.m., and they made me preach five different sermons), I realized that they are among the richest people I know. They have little in the material sense, but they are very rich in the spiritual and relational sense. I walked away thinking it is better to be rich on the inside than the outside.

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Sure, it’s nice to have a little extra — but it doesn’t purchase the most important things in life, such as love, faith, peace, and joy.

If you hate your life, start making changes within. If you change your setting without changing your attitude, you will discover that the new scene is just as bad as the one you left. Misery follows us wherever we go.

A stranger came into town one day. “What kind of people live around here?” he asked a local. “Well, what kind of people lived where you come from?” came the reply. “They were a bunch of stinking, rotten, scoundrels!” the stranger declared. “Unfortunately, that’s the same kind of people who live around here,” the local man murmured with a frown.

Before too much time passed, another stranger came into town. He proposed the same question to the same man, “What kind of people live around here?” “Well, what kind of people lived where you come from?” Again, was the reply, “Oh, they were wonderful people, delightful!” the stranger declared. “Yes! And that’s the same kind of people who live around here!” the local man exclaimed with a smile.

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