It has been my privilege to be a professional counselor for thirty years. I’ve consulted with lawyers, doctors, dentists, businessmen, tradesmen, executives, factory workers, laborers, waiters and waitresses, janitors, the unemployed, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the brilliant and the dull, those from good homes and those from miserable homes, males and females.
All these people have one thing in common: they come in to find relief for their desperately unhappy, frustrated, hopeless condition resulting from their response to the conditions and people in their world.
Frequently, these people face conditions that cannot be reversed–being fired from their jobs, bankruptcy, poverty, broken marriages, miserable home conditions, mean people, rejection, maimed bodies, the death of a key person in their lives.
If these people have any hope for restoring or finding contentment, it must happen within themselves. It has been my joy and satisfaction to observe thousands of dejected, desperately unhappy people turn into radiant, contented, happy persons as they opened themselves to the resources of God alone who died that we might live. As the Psalmist has said:
Oh give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good (Ps. 107:1,9).
The process involved in tapping the resources freely given to us by God is what this book is all about.
In my early teens, I saw people respond in different ways to the same circumstances. Some people, no matter what the conditions were in their lives, managed to be happy and well adjusted. Others sank into destructive behavior when life didn’t go their way. How can you join the ranks of those unusual people who are contented no matter what their situation is?
We tend to chase that golden pot at the end of the rainbow, that something in the future that will bring us contentment. Seeking contentment from relationships, success, wealth, or other things often ends in tragedy. Contentment isn’t dependent on people or circumstances. It comes from a person’s relationship with God.
Advantages, in themselves, do not produce contentment, joy, peace, a sense of self-worth or self-respect. If advantages don’t produce these inner qualities, what does? How can you be a Christian and be contented? How can you be famous and happy? Rich and at peace with yourself? Single and content? Married and happy? Poor and still enthusiastic about life? No beauty queen, yet with a good self-image? There is an answer. Jesus gives us the key.
Living with Yourself (Behavior–Part 1)
Living with Others (Behavior–Part 2)
Evaluating the Way You Talk
Your Inner Life: Feelings and Emotions
Your Inner Life: The Mind
Your Inner Life: Goals
Building Self-respect in Marriage
Building Self-respect as a Parent