By John Austin
Bible readers are commanded to be grateful in all things and I am thankful for a phone call this morning that caused me to do some thinking and resulted in me writing a new chapter for this book.
2 Nephi 2:11
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;
This verse is found only in Mormon scripture, but since I follow no organized religion (my religion is seeking to know God and any truths that come from God) I am able to accept truth no matter where it comes from. The fact that this verse comes from Mormon scripture may itself be an opposition that causes the reader to reject it.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:30
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
Truth is truth no matter where it comes from and what I write today is based upon the premise that there must be opposition in all things. And the more I look around me, the more I know that to be true.
A muscle that is not exercised soon atrophies and becomes weak and if left too long becomes useless.
This morning I received a phone call from a dear friend who had gotten herself into an extreme amount of mental opposition. She has had a lot of health challenges throughout her life and she had found a health product that appears may help her to regain her health.
She was upset because she was hoping to market this product to health care practitioners only to find that the product she had been using was not entirely exclusive. She found similar products that purported to do at least some of the things her other product is doing and since I was the one who told her about the product she was taking, she was venting on me as to my integrity and the integrity of the company that I had purchased the product from.
Her call woke me out of a deep sleep and for the past month had been living on about 1/4th my normal requirement for sleep. The product in question is what was allowing me to abuse myself to this degree without having total collapse, but even then, I was not mentally prepared to deal with the opposition I was receiving.
Immediately after hanging up the phone, I thought about the quotation on opposition above and I thanked God for the opposition I had just experience, because it caused me to reflect upon how I may have dealt with it in a better way.
And in case you are wondering, I am writing this chapter as much for myself, as for anyone else because I am swimming in my own pond of alligators, having recently dealt with a situation where I gave 3 ½ years of my life to a man to whom I had brought thousands of customers to and sold millions of dollars worth of products for and then he began stealing customers from me and cutting me out of commissions that I rightfully deserved.
There is never an excuse for doing or saying the wrong things and needless to say, I did not say the right things for which I must now apologize, but again I am thankful for this experience and all of the times of opposition that have caused me to grow and become a better person.
If there is indeed opposition if all things, then we can expect for every person that is living under a cloudless sky, there must also be people elswhere living under a clouded sky and when the clouds go away, they don’t just disappear, they move to a different location.
Theoretically, every time the sky clouds over, we could hop on an airplane and travel to some other place where the sun is currently shining. Few people in life want to deal with opposition and they are constantly looking for a place where the sun always shines.
Some resort to mental and physical diversions to hide the clouds in life. These could include drugs, alcohol, going to clubs, social events, sporting events, watching television, etc. Others simply go into a state of depression and try to hide the pain and opposition with long periods of sleep.
Then there are those who for whatever reason are not happy with the sun that is momentarily shining into their lives. Rather than looking at the positive side of things and how they can maximize the situation or capitalize on the good things that they find, they go looking for the negative in every situation.
Assuredly, the opposition and negativity exists and if that is what you look for and focus upon, assuredly you will find it and the quality of your life and your health will be determined to a great degree on whether you choose to focus on the rain or the rainbow.
The rainbow is really a promise that things are not going to get worse than we can bear. It is an assurance that things are going to get better if understand and trust God’s plan.
One of the big reasons that God put us in this mortal sphere was to sort things out for ourselves and to learn that the opposition in life is nothing more than an opportunity for us to exercise faith and grow stronger and to realize that through faith, we determine the outcome of our lives. We are controlled by the circumstances in life only when we believe that we are.
As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. I have proven over and over again that this Bible verse is true. If I allow myself to believe that I am controlled by the opposition around me, then I am powerless to do anything about it, but the moment that I believe that I am in control of my circumstances and my future in spite of what is going on around me, then my experience begins to improve.
We simply cannot stop the storm clouds from gathering, but we can choose to come inside out of the rain and let the storm pass over us, knowing we have within us the power to conquer our fears and to create whatever circumstances that we desire, by exercising the power of faith that God has made available to all of us.
Whatsoever you ask in faith believing, you “shall” receive. This is an absolute promise, so why do we let the oppositions in life control us, instead of taking control and receiving every good thing that we could possibly ask for?
Part of it no doubt stems from the fact that after all of the sermons we have heard on faith, not one minister has been able to tell you what faith is or how to acquire it. For that reason, I went directly to God and began asking him to teach me about faith.
Faith is another chapter of this book and you can go there to quickly learn the four steps of faith that God taught me and then you can experiment upon them to see if they work or not. They work for me every time that I use them and I can only believe they will work for you, if you do the same.
Now with the understanding that there must be opposition in all things, you realize that as long as you live on planet earth, you are never going to find a situation that does not have some negatives or opposition associated with it.
Benjamin Franklin gave us a valuable tool that can help us to quickly see of the positives outweigh the negatives in any situation. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side put the possible benefits. Who will this benefit vs. who will this hurt? Who wins vs. who loses? What are the upsides vs. what are the downsides?
Since everything in life will have opposition, you will never find a thing that does not have reasons for doing it and reasons for not doing it. It is natural for most people toseek those things where the most people win, but there are always those who don’t really care about good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative; they live strictly for themselves and that usually spells money.
If you want to become more polarized to the positive side of things, simply promote what you love and stop bashing what you hate. Understand that one size never fits all, but there is usually a size or situation where a larger number or larger percentage of people benefit from the situation. Seek to bless others without hurting anyone.
Recently a question was put to me. “Can I in good conscience sell a product that people really need, that costs more than a similar product, but most people will never hear about it except by word of mouth?”
I replied, “Take coffee for example, you can buy it at McDonald’s or Starbucks and many places in between. The price is going to vary considerably, but so will the atmosphere and the taste. Price is definitely a consideration for some, but there are plenty who are willing to pay a higher price even when they know they can find it cheaper somewhere else.”
I said, “Some of your customers may end up finding the product that costs slightly less, but that happens all of the time. You may see a product advertised on television or hear about it on the radio and you happen to be in a different store when you think about it and sure enough you buy it from a competitor.”
“If your product gives equal or more value than it costs, then you have no moral obligation to advertise for someone who will not pay you commissions for doing so, and if your are offering an opportunity where your customers can earn free product through referrals, then it is win/win for everybody.”
“If you plant a seed that produces a harvest for someone else, don’t worry about it. The Law of the Harvest is always operating in your favor and you will be blessed with unexpected customers elsewhere, so long as you count your lost customers as seeds even though someone else received the harvest, rather than crying over your loss. Your work became a blessing to others and by natural law must return to you multiplied as long as you maintain the proper attitude.”
“Use the four steps of faith that I taught to you to find new customers and don’t worry about the opposition. Whichever end of the spectrum you choose to focus on is where you will get your biggest harvest, so focus on the customers you will gain and the people you will bless by telling them about your product, rather than focusing upon the customers you may produce for someone else. Don’t be the opposition by worrying about the opposition.”
To learn more about how to apply the four steps of faith in your life, please read my Chapter on Faith.
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