I just recently felt compelled to pull this book off of the shelf and re-read it. As I was reading today I was reminded of this blog entry from over 3 years ago and I decided to repost it with a couple of slight edits. If you've never read the book, I highly recommend it. Be warned, he is not a Christian and he quotes non-Christians and even bashes on us a bit, but in between there is some great material and advice!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I know that there will be people upset that a Pastor would promote this book and espouse these views, but Larry Winget has hit the ball out of the ball park with this book!
Of course, you can apply everything he says here to people in every walk of life, but man, would I love to tell some church folks to "Shut up, stop whining and get a life!"
Winget trademarks himself, not as a "motivational speaker" but rather as an "Irrational Speaker." He says, "We only make changes in our life when we no longer feel good about ourselves. We only make changes in our lives when we get uncomfortable with ourselves." He says that one of the biggest problems in America is that we, as a people, do not take responsibility for ourselves or our own actions anymore, but rather we are proficient at playing the blame game. He confronts those who are preaching for people to just feel good about themselves the way they are and to have a good attitude and says "that is a load of crap."
He says that what we need to be telling people is that they need to take a look in the mirror, look themselves dead in the eye and say, "This is my fault. I did it. I made these choices, I'm the one to blame and it is up to me to change and no one else."
Wow... what a novel idea! Taking responsibility for our own actions!
Who would have ever thought about that one?
Winget says that "we live in a society that condones a lack of personal responsibility."
He says that if we stood our ground and made people live up to what they say they are going to do, we would all be better off. But he adds that we just will not do that, and instead we make excuses that allow people to break their promises and blame someone or something else for it, and somehow hope that things get better. He speaks of how we build support groups to tell one another that it is not our fault that we don't live up to our word.
As I am hearing what Winget says, I find myself thinking, "This is EXACTLY the problem in our churches today as well!" In the church, when someone breaks their word, doesn't get their way, or in some other way shirks their responsibility, they will immediately find a circle of friends to rally around them, start accusing the pastor of letting them down, or of not caring enough (Whine, whine, feel my pain, join me as I sing this refrain) and as a group then they stir up and muddy the waters to cover their own lack of responsibility!
Hey, news flash! If it takes Pastor calling you every time you miss church for you to come back to church again... that is not Pastor's problem.. that is yours, and the truth is you are not serving God at all, but rather you want some one to excuse your lack of responsibility and tell you that you are OK, when you know good and well you are not!
Another simple, yet profound thing Winget says is, "While what happens to you may not be your fault, how you react to it is your fault." I don't know a single person who has not had something bad happen to them, even who did not have something happen in the church that they did not like or agree with 100%. That is not a reason to go running and circling the wagons until you get your way. The fact is, seldom does everyone in the church agree 100% on everything. Sometimes we just have to realize "It's not about me, and I cannot always get my way" and move on! End of story!
He also says, if you see a problem, instead of whining and complaining about it, do something to change it. Talking about problems to other people without trying to change it accomplishes nothing but trouble and discord. He adds, "If you are not going to do anything construes to change the problem, then shut your mouth about it." The point is, if you don't care enough to try to effect change in a positive way, then you have lost the right to open your mouth about it. "Shut up, stop whining and get a life!"
Another he says that I just love is that when you see that you are not taking responsibility for your own actions and you know you need to change, then the way to do it... (are you ready for this?) Is to change.
He says, you don't need a list of steps of how to change... just change.
Stop acting selfishly.
Stop doing what you know is wrong.
Wow! Another novel idea!