Sincerity

Teresa

The last of the nine ingredients in Henry Drummond’s Spectrum of Love is sincerity.

Why is sincerity important? Sincerity is the quality of being honest and true. If you want to have any influence on others, it really helps to have the quality of sincerity. When you add up all of the other ingredients in the Spectrum of Love, the result is sincerity. Sincerity climbs when we can exhibit the qualities of patience, kindness, generosity, courtesy, humility, good temper, unselfishness and guilelessness.

Have you ever thought you had the answer and tried to convince someone of your solution, only to have them treat you with skepticism and poo-pooh your idea? If so, did they think you were lying? Did they think you were trying to fool them? Maybe they were too preoccupied and distracted to see you as trustworthy. It’s hard to say why they didn’t jump on board with you, but what is clear is that they didn’t recognize your solution as the truth and they didn’t see you as totally sincere. Following are three things we can do if we want to take our sincerity up a notch.

Stick with the Truth

To have a chance at being believable, nothing compares with speaking the truth. For example, if we want to let someone know that a particular restaurant is good, it helps if we have first hand experience. Being passionate isn’t going to help if your message isn’t true. We need to check it out for ourselves because our reputation is at stake. By sticking with what is really true our reputation and our sincerity will soar.

Show Love

Sincerity comes from a loving heart. For others to see you as sincere they need to know that you care about them.

Mother Teresa stands out as an example of a sincere person because of her heart for others in need. When she spoke, people listened because she demonstrated compassion and caring for others. She spoke with a deep and unquestionable attitude of service and love. She was focused on helping the poorest of the poor instead of seeking fame and fortune for herself. There is a much better chance that people will trust you and believe you if you have a reputation for serving others. However, if you have a reputation for saying things that are mainly for self gain then it will be next to impossible to gain their trust.

Bask in Their Perspective

Of course, just because you are being perfectly honest and present the truth, doesn’t mean that your audience will listen. You might have the very best answer but it does no good if your audience has their focus somewhere else. Do you know what your audience is thinking? Have they dealt with people similar to you, or with ideas similar to yours? They might have had some bad experiences that cause them turn their heads and write you off as insincere.

I remember one time when I gave a presentation and failed to acknowledge my audience’s perspective. My message was proposing a project that I was certain that they would fall in love with, so I just blurted it out without addressing the big concern that was on everyone’s minds. My audience couldn’t even hear my message because of the tension and concern over another issue they were going through. Looking back, I realize that if I had addressed the source of tension and let them know that I cared about their situation, I would have connected on a much higher level of sincerity and greatly increased my chances for a positive outcome. Unfortunately, the project was shelved but I was blessed by learning a valuable lesson that has really made a positive difference over the years since then.

Here are a few statements that I am working on making true in my life to increase my sincerity in all situations . . .

  1. I check the facts before I claim something is true.
  2. My message is focused on the benefits for others rather than for myself. 
  3. I understand and address how my audience is feeling before introducing my topic, my message.
  4. My words are in harmony with my actions.

Let’s ask God to help us with sincerity,

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word and your Truth. Help me to look to you and point to you as the real truth. Please guide my thoughts, words, and actions to be as truthful, genuine, and sincere as possible. Help me to reflect your love to others in a way that encourages them to trust and believe - both in me and in you. Thank you for your love and guidance as I learn to live every minute with love for you and for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sincerity is the last of the nine ingredients in the Spectrum of Love. I hope that this series has been helpful to put more love in your life.

Thank you, and may you experience God’s love to the fullest!

Dan
flamebright.com

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Guilelessness

Guilelessness

The eighth of the nine ingredients in Henry Drummond’s, Spectrum of Love, is guilelessness.

When I think of guilelessness I think of a window. We want to be transparent like a window, not hiding anything, open and honest. I don’t want to be sneaky, conniving or deceitful, I want to be straightforward and upfront.

Have you ever been the target of scheming and conniving? Fortunately, I’ve only had a few times that I remember where people were actually working to make me fail. Even though things turned out fine later, it wasn’t a good feeling at the time. Rather than letting the experience create a mistrust and bitterness in me toward life in general, I determined that this was just an isolated incident and was not a reflection of everyone – it was even out of character for those involved. This attitude helped me to let go, forgive, and move on. It was important and allowed me to bounce rather than to crash and burn. It taught me that I want to stay on the positive side rather than the negative.

I want to be the one that builds others up rather than causing them to fail. If I do any plotting and scheming, I want it to be focused on how I can help others reach their potential rather than tearing them down. It’s a lot more fun and constructive for me and for them.

Is it also possible for me to secretly work to make myself fail? Do you ever make decisions that you know will cause you to trip and stumble on the way to reaching your goals? Sometimes I’m just not that helpful and positive toward myself when it comes to my thoughts and actions. It’s just as important to be a trusting, encouraging and positive person with myself as it is with others.

Here are some descriptions that I am working on making true for me . . .

  1. I practice honesty and integrity, even when no one is looking.
  2. People see me as real and genuine, whether I’m critical or complimentary.
  3. I am intentionally positive and encouraging with others as well as with myself.

Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son who gives us the ultimate example of offering love and forgiveness, even while enduring incredible guile and ridicule. Help me become a source of strength and freedom to those around me. Help me to show your love and let it be clear to those I come in contact with that I genuinely care about them.

Next up is the last one in this series – sincerity. I look forward to seeing you next time. Thank you for going on this journey with me.

Dan
flamebright.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Good Temper

McEnroe

The 7th ingredient in Henry Drummond’s “Spectrum of Love” is good temper.

Have you ever been around someone with a bad temper? It can be stressful and difficult because you never know what is going to set them off. You have to keep your guard up because you are not sure how they are going to react at any time. There is a lack of trust and a tension that easily hurts rather than helps a situation or a relationship.

I want to be the kind of person that people can depend on, a person who is steady and reasonable in different situations. I want to be helpful rather than hurtful. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have emotions and express how I feel about situations and events, it just means that I have control and try to channel it in a positive way without hurting or threatening those close to me, including myself.

When it comes to people losing their temper I tend to think of examples in golf and tennis. You see people breaking their tennis rackets, throwing golf clubs and generally having fits. Maybe it is because these are supposed to be calm and serene types of sports that the temper tantrums tend to stand out. John McEnroe (photo above) was good at throwing fits. Remember his line to the umpire, “You cannot be serious!” Even today McEnroe is very emotional and frequently throws mini tantrums over a line call or a missed shot. I have to admit that it is entertaining but I don’t think I want to live my life like that.

Maybe you can relate to some of these areas where my temper is tested . . .

  • Another driver is inconsiderate.
  • My list of things to do is bigger than the time I have.
  • Expectations with another person are different and conflicting.

So what are my heart-check statements concerning good temper? I’m working to make these true for me  . . .

  • I am consistently calm, steady, and positive.
  • Even when I am upset, I’m still considerate toward others.

Let’s pray about keeping a good temper,

Lord, I know that losing my temper and spouting off tends to make me look selfish and reckless rather than building trust and understanding with others. Help me to learn to confront people and express my opinions in positive ways to build caring and respect. Thank you for your guidance and presence in these situations as you help me keep my temper in check.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share this series with you. It has been very meaningful for me and I hope it has also been meaningful for you. We have just a couple more to go in the series and my hope is that it will generate some discussion. Please leave a comment below, I would especially like to know about a time when you had good results by staying calm.

Talk soon,

Dan
www.flamebright.com

 

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Unselfishness

Sharing

Number six in Henry Drummond’s list of the nine ingredients in the Spectrum of Love is unselfishness.

Why is it that a child sharing a toy is such a beautiful thing? Maybe it is because the act of sharing by someone so young shows so much maturity. We know that our natural instincts tell us to go for all we can get and hold on tight. We realize that we all are selfish and letting go for the sake of others shows an inner strength and confidence with an awareness beyond ourselves.

Giving comes out of a concern for the well-being of others along with a faith and belief that we already have our needs met and we will be OK with less.

When I donate blood, I do it out of thankfulness and a willingness to help someone else in need. I want them to experience life a little while longer and have another chance to see their family, another birthday, and do whatever they were meant to do. My blood is precious and important to me, but God has provided enough that I can share and make a difference in someone else’s life.

Heart-Checks (True/False):

  • With an attitude of gratitude I give to others in need.
  • Lately, I have experienced more joy from giving than from receiving.
  • It is a thrill for me to see others grow and succeed.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for your many blessings and especially for the unselfish gift of your son to die for us. I realize that all I have is from you and is still yours because I belong to you. Please help me put what you have entrusted to me to unselfish use in serving the needs of others as a reflection of your love.

Thank you for going on this journey with me to discover what real love is all about. By learning a little bit more about love, maybe we can learn a little bit more about what a relationship with Christ is all about. I would love to see your thoughts about unselfishness in the comments section. Thank you.

May your inner flame grow brighter,

Dan
www.flamebright.com

 

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Courtesy

Courtesy2

The 5th ingredient in Henry Drummond’s Spectrum of Love is courtesy.

Hopefully you have the opportunity to see examples of courtesy on a regular basis. Just a simple “hello,” “good morning,” or a handshake can make all the difference.

Where I work there is good camaraderie and a kind of family atmosphere. One way this is evident is through simple waves and greetings that serve to recognize each other with respect and acknowledge that we are part of the same team and community.

Although I’m not a martial arts person, I am impressed with the bowing that takes place as a gesture of respect before a competition. They are acknowledging the value and importance of each other.

When I play tennis or golf, I like the tradition of a courteous handshake after the game. Whether you won or lost, it’s a sign of respect and that you appreciated the chance to compete with them.

Being courteous seems to be the toughest when we are in a hurry or in a bad mood, or when someone is rude to us. It’s also tough when we are in routine situations, such as with our spouses or co-workers. The goal is to be courteous whether the situation is routine, tense, or special.

Here are just a few other places where I see opportunities for courtesy:

  • Thanking a military person for their service.
  • Holding a door open for others.
  • Following the rules of the road like speed limits and stop signs.

Here are some “heart-checks” to work on making true in our lives regarding courtesy . . .

  1. I am consistently polite throughout the day, both in small and big moments.
  2. I am positive and caring when dealing with others.

Following is a prayer for courtesy . . .

Our Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me life and the chance to meet and greet others. Help me to be courteous in my dealings with those who cross my path. Let my words and gestures toward others show respect and reflect your love.

I would love to hear from you. What kind of courtesy do you see? What is a “heart-check” statement that you would suggest to encourage courtesy? Please share your thoughts below and we can all grow as a community.

Thank you for your courtesy today,

Dan
www.flamebright.com

 

 

 

Posted in Drummond | 1 Comment

Humility

Humility

In Henry Drummond’s list of the nine ingredients in the Spectrum of Love, the fourth ingredient is humility.

C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, it is thinking of ourselves less.”

Isn’t that awesome? C.S. Lewis is keying on where we put the focus. Is the focus directed toward ourselves or toward God and others? Are we taking an attitude of worship while strengthening others – or are we mainly working on pumping up ourselves?

The best leaders lead with a humble attitude of service. It’s not about putting ourselves down. We can can glorify God by becoming servant leaders with humility by showing others we are there for them.

As a follower of Jesus, I want to glorify God in all areas. Such as when I’m playing golf with someone, or a group, it is so easy to get wrapped up in my own game and focus on how I missed that last putt, or why my last drive went for a swim, or how I haven’t had time to practice. That isn’t thinking of myself less. I want to work on shifting more of the focus away from me and my game and direct it toward others. I am working on being the guy that is genuinely interested in seeing the others enjoy their day and play their very best when they are with me. This is applicable at home, work, church and other areas as well.

Here are a few “heart-checks” that are reminding me of the direction I want to go:

  1. I can encourage and strengthen others without putting myself down.
  2. I like to give others my attention rather than demanding their attention.
  3. I can sincerely praise others for their accomplishments.
  4. I am grateful to God and others because I recognize that I don’t really accomplish anything by myself.

Let’s pray about growing in humility . . .

Dear Lord, thank you for your love. I praise you for each person I come in contact with. Help me to serve others with an attitude of humility that reflects your love for everyone.

Hey, I’m learning about the Spectrum of Love right along with you. As I review each of these areas, I know that it is already affecting me in a good way and I hope it is having a positive impact on you as well. I’m trying to open a discussion and would love to see your comments about humility. What is an area or situation where you can practice humility? What is a quality you have seen in a person that you consider to be humble?

Looking forward to your comments,

Dan
www.flamebright.com

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Generosity

Generosity

The 3rd of the nine ingredients in Henry Drummond’s, Spectrum of Love, is generosity.

We know that giving is important, but real generosity with an attitude of love is hard to come by. A truly generous act is one that is done without expecting something in return. It’s given for FREE. Rather than saying, “He gave generously,” we could say, “He gave freely.” Of course we might be paid back in future blessings and it might make us feel good, but that’s not the reason to give. We want to give with our heart in the right place. By making our giving a free act of love and worship we can begin to focus on God and others more than on ourselves.

This is an area where I have lots to learn. I admit that I have actually avoided volunteer organizations and some church groups that seem to constantly present opportunities for me to give my time and money. I might say “Yes” because I feel obligated, but if I say “No” I feel guilty and selfish. It just brings out all kinds of negative feelings, but that’s not what it’s all about.

I’m thinking of a couple of people I know that I would say are generous, and one thing that is similar is how generous they are with their smiles. Their interest and focus is on others. They have a caring spirit and a genuine interest in me and those around them. They aren’t saying “Yes” to every giving opportunity. But they have a continual attitude of giving and service. It’s more of a core quality of a generous person to care and be generous in everything they do. I am learning to see how having the right mindset means that I am in a continual state of generosity.

Mother Teresa said, “It is not how much you give, but how much love you put in giving.” That seems to sum up the idea of how love and generosity go together. Generosity without love is weak, but together they are so strong.

So, whether I’m volunteering and raising funds for a big non-profit project, sitting with a friend who is hurting, serving a cheeseburger and fries, washing dishes, or taking out the trash, I believe it can all be done with love and a generous heart.

I am striving to make the following heart-check thoughts true for me:

  1. Developing a heart of love and generosity is important to me.
  2. My generosity starts with freely giving smiles and attention to those around me.
  3. My giving is focused on my love for God and those I am giving to.
  4. I  feel joy and freedom when giving generously to help others.

Following is a suggested prayer of asking for the right kind of generous heart . . .

Dear Jesus, thank you for your generosity toward me. You have sacrificed and given me more than I can imagine. Please raise my awareness of opportunities to give freely of my time, attention, talents and money. Help me to share with an attitude that reflects your love. Thank you for listening to me and guiding me throughout each day. In your name, Amen.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Can you share the quality of a generous person you have met? What is another “heart-check” thought that helps clarify what loving generosity is all about?

Love,

Dan Kliewer
www.flamebright.com

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Kindness

 

Kindness

What would our lives be like without kindness? Possibly the best thing we can do each and every day is to offer and accept kindness. The second ingredient in Henry Drummond’s list of the nine ingredients in the Spectrum of Love is Kindness.

We used to rent movies on VHS and there would be a sticker on it saying, “Be kind – rewind.” It’s just a little thing but sort of greases the wheel for the next guy, lowers their frustration level and stress. You would appreciate it if someone else would do the same for you. That’s the key – treating others as you would like to be treated.

Last fall, I had an accident that caused me to use crutches and a wheel chair for a couple of months. I’m very thankful for the surgeons, medicine, and for God’s healing power. I also experienced so much kindness from family, friends, and co-workers through that time. It was very different to be on the receiving end of so many little helps from so many who may have opened a door, helped carry something, or just offered a word of encouragement. I received an abundance of kindness during that time and I am gratefully looking for ways to do similar things for others.

Here are a couple of intentional thoughts we can review in our minds to increase kindness:

  1. I look for ways show others that I love and respect them.
  2. A high priority for me is to help others no matter what their status is.

Let’s ask God to help us bring more kindness into the world . . .

Dear Lord, thank you for your immeasurable love and kindness. I appreciate all of the kindness I have received. Sometimes it’s been just what I needed to give me a boost for the day. Thank you for bringing kindness into my life. I look for you to show me ways I can be kind to others. Please guide me and filter my thoughts and actions throughout the day to help me deliver kindness throughout my sphere of influence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now for the really meaningful part, I would love to hear from you! How have you experienced kindness lately? What is an intentional thought that you would suggest? Please share your comments below.

Love,
Dan
www.flamebright.com
www.thegreatestthingintheworld.net

 

Posted in Drummond | Leave a comment

Love, it’s the Greatest!

Negative influences and distractions can attack our thinking! We need a way to get back to the basics. What is more basic than love? Here is a brief meditation on real and genuine love from, “The Love Chapter,” 1st Corinthians 13. This was adapted from the list of the Nine Ingredients in the Spectrum of Love in the classic book, The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond (1851-1897). Download a FREE COPY of the book with the link at the top right of this page.

I shot the video of the birds and the squirrel on New Year’s morning in our back yard. The light snow falling seemed to energize them!

If you watch this video more than once, you might be surprised at how quickly these thoughts begin to settle in and take up residence in the top of your mind – possibly replacing other thoughts that were less productive. Hopefully this will provide a simple way to practice and strengthen an attitude of love, which truly is . . . The Greatest Thing in the World! – Dan

Posted in Drummond | 3 Comments

Love is Patient

 Length  7:13  If video doesn’t appear, click here or try Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome.

We take a quick look at Patience in this video. Patience is the first ingredient in the “Spectrum of Love” as outlined in the classic book, The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond.

Posted in Drummond | 2 Comments