One day, Benjie went to a horse race in San Lazaro.
Before the race began, something odd happened: He saw a priest walk up to one of the horses, laid his hand on its head and blessed it.
And sure thing, when the race begun, that horse pulled away and won the race.
Benjie was very impressed.
Before the next race, he saw the priest go to one horse again and blessed it. And that horse won the race too.
Benjie couldn’t believe his eyes!
Before the next race, he saw the priest walk up to another horse, put his hand on his forehead, and even touched all four hoofs.
Benjie knew what to do. He ran to the nearest ATM, withdrew all his money, borrowed more money from everyone he knew, and emptied his wallet. And he ran to the betting window and bet on that horse all he had.
But when the race began, that horse was the last to go out.
And in the middle of the race, it stopped on its tracks and dropped dead!
Benjie almost died with it.
He went to the priest and said, “Father, what happened? Why did that horse die? I saw you bless it!”
The priest shook his head. “That’s the problem with people like you who don’t know their religion. I didn’t bless him. I gave him the sacrament of the last rites.”
Are You Betting On The Right Horse?
Life is like a horserace.
And like Benjie, people are betting on the wrong horse.
Because in life, there’s a winning horse and a dying horse.
The dying horse is called collection.
Have you noticed? Human beings have a tendency to collect things. We surround ourselves with things, thinking that they will make us happy.
Oh yes, we love things.
But things will never love us.
Your cars will never love you back.
Your clothes will never love you back.
Your jewels will never love you back.
Like Benjie, we think that God is blessing the horse named collections. Actually, God is just givingcollections the last rites.
One of these days, collections will drop dead.
Your clothes will be eaten by moths.
Your house will be eaten by termites.
Your car will be eaten by rust.
Your body will be eaten by worms.
But because people forget about that, they bet all their life, all their time, and all their energy, oncollections. On things. On stuff. Believe me, things will make them happy.
Friends, don’t be like Benjie.
Don’t bet on the horse of Collections.
Instead, bet on the winning horse.
The name of the winning horse is Connections.
Give your life to your connection with God, with others, and with yourself. Only connections can make you happy.
Connections Are Created By Character
Do you want to be happy?
Focus on connections.
Focus on relationships, not things.
Focus on people, not money.
For the next 4 issues of my Soulfood Letter, I’ll be talking about how you can have strong connections in your life.
Connections can only be created by Character.
By character, I mean a person who follows God’s old-fashioned values. For the next 4 weeks, I’ll talk to you about 4 powerful values that will bless your relationships—and your entire life:
o Week 1 is about Selflessness
o Week 2 is about Kindness
o Week 3 is about Humility
o Week 4 is about Faithfulness
I Miss The Old Fashioned Values
I thank God for modern life.
I can write my books in my laptop; I can call my wife in my cell phone; I can fly on an airplane. I repeat: I thank God for modern life.
But I encourage you to be old-fashioned when it comes to your character. Be old fashioned when it comes to your values.
It’s the only way you can create strong relationships.
Let me now talk about the first old-fashioned virtue: Are you selfless?
Let me tell you a story.
One day, while Mommy was cooking pancakes, her two small boys were fighting over who would eat the first pancake Mommy would cook.
Both of them said, “Me first! Me first!”
Their mother shook her head and said, “Boys, boys, if Jesus were here, he would say, ‘Mommy, let my brother eat the pancake first.’
Paolo, the 5-year old, told his younger brother, “Michael, you be Jesus.”
Are You A Go-Getter?
Let me ask you a question:
Are you a Go-Getter?
The world admires Go-Getters.
In our materialistic world today, no one wants to be Jesus—because He’s not a Go-Getter. He’s a Go-Giver.
In other words, He’s selfless.
Because if you become Jesus, that means you let others eat the pancakes first.
“Oh no!” the selfish person says. The disturbing question in his mind is, “What if others eat ALL the pancakes? Then there’ll be none left for me? Then I’ll be hungry!”
You see, the selfish person trusts only himself.
The selfish person is ruled by the spirit of fear.
But here’s a spiritual principle you can take to the bank: Real abundance can never be based on fear. Never!
Fear can only produce scarcity.
It is selflessness that will produce abundance in your life.
To be selfless, to be a Go-Giver, requires a profound, radical, deep trust in God. That as you allow others to eat the pancakes first, God will see to it that there’ll be an infinite number of pancakes for you!
The selfless person doesn’t seek for reward or even gratitude from the people he serves.
Instead, the selfless person seeks his reward from God.
Let’s make this selflessness practical…
Are You A Selfless Person?
The Bible says, And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. (Philippians 2:4)
In other words, God wants you to be selfless.
You want a model?
Look at God.
God is selfless.
Every single moment of our lives, God doesn’t think of Himself.
Instead, He thinks of you. His mind is consumed of thinking of ways how to bless you, anoint you, equip you, encourage you, enlarge your territories, and commission you.
You’re the apple of His eye.
You’re name is written on the palm of His hand.
I repeat: God is selfless.
Today, ask God to teach you how to be selfless.
Why God Is Great
God is great.
But why is He great?
Some people say that God is great because He is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (He is everywhere). All that is true.
But if you ask God, I believe He’ll tell you that He’s great because He is a servant.
How did I get this idea?
Jesus said, “If you want to be great, learn to be the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
God is a servant.
Everyday of your life, God is there, feeding you, protecting you, providing you, guiding you, teaching you, saving you… The King has become your servant!
That is why God is great.
The Crazy Path To Greatness
Jesus said, “if you want to be great…”
I find that statement amazing.
Hey, it’s not wrong to want to be great after all!
It’s not only not wrong, it’s good to have holy ambition in your soul. That means you love yourself. And that’s important because you cannot love anyone else if you don’t love yourself.
Friend, selflessness doesn’t mean you hate yourself. Selflessness doesn’t mean you don’t esteem yourself.
Yes, it’s good that you want true greatness.
But get ready to be shocked, because Jesus says the way to greatness is through service.
The more people you serve, the greater you will be!
One day, my wife asked me, “Bo, why do you want your business to grow? Aren’t you content with what you earn?” I answered, “It’s not just about the money. I want to serve more people. I have a fantastic product and I want to share it to the world.”
God Is Carrying Your Burdens
Many years ago, I wanted to dispose of a wooden cabinet.
It was huge, tall, and heavy.
So I asked my friend, Jodean Sola, to help me carry it out of the house. (FYI, Jodean heads He Caresstreetkids ministry.)
Now Jodean is one of the strongest men I know.
I told him that I’ll carry one end and he’ll carry the other end.
I said, “One, two, three…” and we lifted it up together.
He was able to lift his side. I, on the other hand, managed to produce a lot of noise. “Arrrggghhhh…”
It was so heavy, I couldn’t lift it up an inch off the floor!
That was when Jodean said, “Bo, let’s do it another way.”
With his back towards the huge cabinet, he bent down, and he said, “Push the cabinet towards me.” His idea was to make that humongous thing his backpack.
I pushed it towards him, and the cabinet was now leaning on his back. Using his arms and legs, he lifted the entire cabinet all by himself.
Well actually, I was carrying it with him.
He was carrying 99% of the weight.
I was carrying 1% of the weight.
But that was the only way we were able to carry that cabinet out of my house.
Friend, let me give you a message today.
Don’t try to carry your burdens by yourself.
God is there beside you.
God will carry 99% of your burdens.
Just carry the 1% that you need to carry.
Believe me, it’s the only way to carry a burden out of your house and out of your life.
But that’s not all.
God wants you to learn from Him.
He too wants you to help others carry their burdens.
The Bible says, Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obeythe law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
Sometimes, in our own burdens, we forget that the person beside us has burdens too. We’re so focused on our own problems, we become insensitive to the problems of others.
So here’s the key: Give your burdens to God so that you can help carry the burdens of others!
God wants you to be selfless.
Selflessness means carrying other’s burdens.
What Happens When You Don’t Care
A dear friend sent this story to me.
It’s such a powerful tale that mirrors reality so well.
One day, a mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it
but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap. Alone. . .
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – the sound Of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient: Chicken!
But his wife’s sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered (who else?) the pig.
But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well… She died.
So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.
And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember–When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry. Our lives are woven together for a reason.
The Only Thing That
No One Can Take Away From You
Five years ago, I talked to a woman who was very wealthy.
At that time, she was running a huge business.
At that time, she was working on multi-billion deals.
Last week, I met her again.
I was shocked.
She told me she lost everything. Nothing was left. Even her house was gone. In fact, she was living with a relative.
I couldn’t believe it.
Money can disappear from you in a snap.
The horse named Collections is really a dying horse.
Don’t bet on it.
There’s only one thing that no one in this world can take away from you: The love that you have given away.
May your dreams come true,