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131 Humility and Integrity: Bricks of Character

131 Humility and Integrity: Bricks of Character

September 28, 2020

Integrity strengthens relationships in teams, with vendors, and customers. When integrity is absent, there is a lack of trust and teamwork implodes.

130 Captivated by Purpose

130 Captivated by Purpose

September 21, 2020

Compensation systems are designed to attract, retain, and motivate employees, but many plans miss the mark because companies fail to recognize that mission is more important than money.

129 Forgiveness: Good for Body, Mind and Soul

129 Forgiveness: Good for Body, Mind and Soul

September 14, 2020

Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-ninth episode of By Your Life. I’m Lisa Huetteman and I know that you have a hundred different things you could be doing right now, so I thank you for choosing By Your Life.

My goal is to inspire, empower, support, challenge, and encourage you to connect Sunday, with Monday-Friday, in a secular business world. It’s my desire to help you live our Catholic faith in the marketplace. I hope to offer you practical ways to go forth and glorify the Lord by your life.

Holding onto Anger

In this edition, we’ll reflect on the readings for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Every Sunday, my husband, mother and I take lunch to my in-laws’ house and we spend a few hours with them talking and sharing a meal. This week, my father-in-law told a story about going to visit his mother. He hadn’t seen her in many months and had driven over 10 hours with two kids in the car and the first words out of her mouth when he walked in the door were, “Albert, can you go to the store and get me some bread?” You could hear the irritation in his voice as he described that event that happened over 50 years ago. I jokingly said to him, “Grandpa, do you think it is time you let that go?” He jokingly responded, “No, I want to hold onto it!”

All kidding aside, the first reading from the Book of Sirach and the Gospel should be a warning to all of us who hold onto resentments. Sirach said, “Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” (Sir 27:30) Then, in the Gospel, Jesus told the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. If you are human, and you are reading this now, you must admit that there have been times you’ve held onto anger way too long, despite the negative effects it had on you. But, if we are honest, what should concern us even more is that wicked, unforgiving servant who Jesus describes in the parable is us, the ones who have been forgiven, yet refuse to forgive. Why do we do this? Why do we cling to hateful things, refuse to forgive others, and allow ourselves to be consumed by anger?

128 A Good Critic

128 A Good Critic

September 7, 2020

In this edition, we’ll reflect on the readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time. (Cycle A) Each of us is a critic. Hundreds of times a day we mentally critique others, how they look, what they wear, how they drive, how they wear their mask, or not, how they complete a task, what they eat, say or do. Most of the time these thoughts are merely a matter of preference, (“I don’t know how you can listen to that music.”), or opinion, (“I don’t think that is a good color on you.”), or judgment, (“I think turning left here is faster than going straight.”), or values, (“I wouldn’t have done it that way because you left the most important thing unfinished.”) In most of these cases, our criticism is best left unsaid. However, we sometimes face situations where we must judge the moral implications of another person’s actions. What is the right thing to do in these situations? Our readings this Sunday give us guidance.

127 Listen to the Voice Within

127 Listen to the Voice Within

August 31, 2020

We all have a little voice of God within. It is called our conscience. The question is, do we listen to God or to everyone else? In this week’s episode of By Your Life, we talk about the consequences of choosing who we listen to.
 

126 Character, Reputation, and God-given Authority

126 Character, Reputation, and God-given Authority

August 24, 2020

If you are like me, you’re sick of all the media coverage of this election and can’t wait for it to be over. You may wonder, “Is this the best the United States can do when nominating presidential candidates? Is God really involved in this process?” To answer these questions, in this episode of By Your Life, we talk about character, reputation, and God-given authority.

125 Preparing for the Test

125 Preparing for the Test

August 17, 2020

So much of what we observe these days is just not right. When we are constantly bombarded by negative thoughts, we can’t help but respond with negative behavior. In this week’s episode of By Your Life, we talk about stopping the flow of negative so when we are tested, we are prepared to respond with what is just.

124 What You Focus on Matters

124 What You Focus on Matters

August 10, 2020

Peter Drucker is credited with developing the concept of management by objectives, a management philosophy that focuses on clarity and agreement of goals. When employees visualize what needs to be done and how, they can focus on doing the right things. In this episode of By Your Life, we discuss how what you focus on matters.

123 Scarcity or Abundance

123 Scarcity or Abundance

August 8, 2020

Blake Mycoskie started TOMS shoes in his apartment and grew it into a $450 million business in seven years. Most will credit his novel business model, but I look at it as God’s abundant blessings. In this edition of By Your Life, we talk about how when we give whatever we have, God can multiply it.

122 Pearls of Wisdom

122 Pearls of Wisdom

July 29, 2020

Coach John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” This is just one pearl of wisdom from the winningest coach in basketball history. In this episode of By Your Life, we talk about the value of wisdom and wisdom in what you value.

121 That’s Not My Job

121 That’s Not My Job

July 20, 2020

I usually cringe when someone says to me, “That’s not my job!” It is counter to my belief in taking personal responsibility. But there is one thing that is not our job: judging others. In this episode of By Your Life, we discuss the pitfalls of judging.

120 Till the Soil

120 Till the Soil

July 13, 2020

Is profitability a core value? Profitability is a laudable business goal and I’m all for profits. But defining profitability as a core value can lead to unintended consequences. In this episode of By Your Life, we talk about cultivating a values-centered culture at work and personally cultivating a Christ-centered heart.

 

119 A Better Way

119 A Better Way

July 6, 2020

Grace Murray Hopper said the most dangerous phrase a manager can use is “We’ve always done it that way.” Still, not everyone is open to accepting a better way to do things. In this episode of By Your Life, we discuss how continuous improvement is good for business and for our lives.

118 Right Priorities

118 Right Priorities

June 29, 2020

Stephen R. Covey said, “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” In this edition of By Your Life, we talk about the rewards of establishing the right priorities and being disciplined to carry them out.

117 Fear, Faith, and The Amazing Race

117 Fear, Faith, and The Amazing Race

June 29, 2020

Fear can be a great motivator and it can also be an obstacle. It can keep us from becoming our best selves or it can drive us to accomplish things we never thought we could. In this edition of By Your Life, we talk about dealing with fear by never giving up.

116 Transformative Power of Words

116 Transformative Power of Words

June 15, 2020

The children’s expression “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”, is not true. Words have the power to build up or tear down if you let them. In this episode of By Your Life, we talk about the transformational power of words.

115 Correct, Not Condemn

115 Correct, Not Condemn

June 15, 2020

Have you ever worked with that person who doesn’t pull their weight? The person who neither does right by themselves nor the organization because they are unwilling to do what others want? They are proud, stubborn, and in other words, they are stiff-necked. In this edition of By Your Life, we discuss what to do and how we are called to correct, not condemn.

114 Mission and Strategy

114 Mission and Strategy

June 15, 2020

As SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule was transmitting breathtakingly beautiful live shots of the face of the earth this week, what was hidden miles below in cities across America was the ugliness of human hatred, anger, and greed. In this week’s episode of By Your Life, we discuss a three-part strategy to address these events and renew the face of the earth.

113 Get to Work

113 Get to Work

May 26, 2020

We are all living in a dark time right now. Wouldn’t it be great to fast-forward to the point where we can look back on the blessings that this time will bring? Wouldn’t that make it easier to deal with all the challenges this pandemic has brought into our lives? Well, for people of faith, we are already there. In this episode of By Your Life, we talk about how we are called to share our faith and be a blessing to others.

Ascension of the Lord – May 24, 2020

Happy Easter, a blessed Memorial Day, and welcome to the one hundred and thirteenth episode of By Your Life. I’m Lisa Huetteman and I know that you have a hundred different things you could be doing right now, so I thank you for choosing By Your Life.

My goal is to inspire, empower, support, challenge, and encourage you to connect Sunday, with Monday-Friday, in a secular business world. It’s my desire to help you live our Catholic faith in the marketplace. I hope to offer you practical ways to go forth and glorify the Lord by your life.

Big dreams

In this edition, we’ll reflect on the readings for the Ascension of the Lord. In the first reading from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, before Jesus was taken up, the disciples asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) This question implies that their belief in Jesus as the Christ meant they expected him to be a political leader who would restore self-rule to Israel. Because that hadn’t happened before he died, they wondered if this was the time?

They still didn’t get it. After being with him for three years, eating and drinking with him, learning from him, and participating in his ministry, they still thought the Messiah’s purpose was to win political freedom from Rome. How disappointed they must have been when “he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9) Their hopes for the restoration of Israel were crushed. The Messiah had come and was now gone and not only was Rome still occupying Israel, they feared persecution from the Jews who had Jesus killed. They must have been devastated.

Shattered dreams

We all have experienced similar disappointments or periods of darkness when what we planned for is taken from us and we realize what we hoped for will never be. As I was reflecting on this, I thought about Shawn Munn. Shawn is the President of Logos Imaging, a provider of portable digital x-ray solutions, and I wrote an article about him for TwoTen Magazine.

As a teen, Shawn was gifted academically and on track to become valedictorian of his high school class. He was also an athlete who played football, basketball and, just to “be a little lazy,” picked up golf. His identity was wrapped up in sports, and he thought he was headed for success.

But that wasn’t God’s plan. God had dreams for Shawn and to fulfill them he needed to give him a nudge. The summer before his senior year in high school when he was working at a grain elevator during the wheat harvest, his foot slipped into the grain auger and severed his arm above the elbow and his leg just above the knee.

At 17 years old, not only were Shawn’s dreams shattered, his personal identity was gone. Gone were his dreams of walking into Memorial Stadium as a Nebraska Cornhusker. Gone was the hope of finding a woman who could love him. For five years—five years of darkness—there was no joy in his life.  Lost in the forest of his pain, he believed he was destined to live a life he didn’t want—the life of an amputee. As he described it, “I lived in total selfishness and self-pity.”

In hindsight, Shawn recognized that the success he was seeking and was taken from him was on a path to self-destruction. In a moment, God gave him a gentle nudge and it was all taken away. He said, “I don’t know how God uses tragedy in his economy, but at that moment in time, the very hand of God reached in and grabbed me.”

It took over five years for Shawn to accept God’s grace, but through the testimony of Christian athletes and the woman who would become his wife of 25 years, Shawn was rescued from his dark place and as a result, he has gone on to share Christ through his own testimony.

New and improved dreams

Were his dreams really shattered? Not really. Shawn is still an athlete. He’s a competitive golfer with a 12 handicap. Shawn said, “The average person can’t imagine how difficult it is to swing a golf club with one arm.” Laughing, he added, “Try doing it with one leg!” He also met a woman who not only could love him but became his wife and mother of his three children. And, he’s a successful business owner who is a witness to God’s love at home and at work. When I asked if he wished God’s plan for him could have been a little less painful, Shawn emphatically answered “No! Looking back, that day is the single biggest event of my life leading up to my salvation.  It was a transformational event that I would never take away. Nothing would be worth going back and having the life I had before.”

We know from Scripture that the disciples’ dreams weren’t shattered, and neither did they go back to the life they had before. They received “the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4) and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:4) Nothing, not even their lives, was more important to them than spreading the news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Accepting this gift changed their lives just as it changed Shawn Munn’s life. It didn’t mean they no longer had trials. It didn’t mean they didn’t suffer again because they surely did. It just meant they were able to persevere through the dark times with the help of the Holy Spirit because they were confident in the hope of their salvation.

Hindsight is 20/20

We are all living in a dark time right now. Wouldn’t it be great to fast-forward to the point where we can look back on the blessings that this time will bring? Wouldn’t that make it easier to deal with all the challenges this pandemic has brought into our lives? Well, for people of faith, we are already there. We know that all things work for good for those who love God. (Rom 8:28) We may not recognize the blessings at the moment, but we live in joy despite the hardship because we have hope.

Wouldn’t it be great to fast-forward to the point where we can look back on the blessings this pandemic will bring?Click to Tweet

This isn’t true for everyone. Some people will not be blessed by this pandemic. Instead, as Shawn Munn did for the first five years after his accident, they will choose selfishness and self-pity over living the joy that comes from knowing and trusting God. We all know people like this, so what are we to do?

The meaning of the Ascension

When writing about the Ascension in his book Vibrant Paradoxes, Bishop Robert Barron says, “The Ascension is Jesus’ journey not to another place but to another dimension. But this dimension to which he has gone is not alien to us. It is instead a source of inspiration, power, and direction. And this is why the angels who appear to the disciples just after Jesus’ departure say, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?’ (Acts 1:11) What they are hinting at, none to subtly, is this: under the influence of Jesus’ spirit, get to work! Do all you can to foster the marriage of heaven and earth. Get on with the mission of the Church.”

Under the influence of Jesus’ spirit, get to work! Do all you can to foster the marriage of heaven and earth. ~ Bishop Robert Barron @bishopbarronClick to Tweet

Get to work

You may be unemployed or underemployed right now, but we all have a job to do. As Christian disciples, we are called to be [Jesus’] witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Shawn Munn’s story wouldn’t have turned out as it did if it weren’t for the people in his life whose witnesses gave him hope. Most of us have people we can point to who did the same for us. Their lives were a witness to the joy that comes from Jesus Christ, and because they shared the cause of that joy, we are now able to live in that joy and to pass it on.

I have a friend, a former colleague, who I keep in contact with and we get together from time to time. She has had her share of suffering as we all do…health issues, loss of a loved one, financial difficulties in a tight economy. But a scan of her Facebook page will reveal a constant stream of posts criticizing others. There is the exceptional post of something in her garden or a new recipe she tried, but 98% of it is sarcastic, vile, and often vulgar attacks on someone or something. I have another friend who is dealing with the exact same health, loss, and financial struggles, but her life radiates joy. The difference is she believes in Jesus Christ and because she has hope in him, she passes it on.

You may wonder why I haven’t “unfriended” my negative friend. It is because I feel sorry for her and I hope that I might be a witness to her. I believe that I have been called to do that. Not just in the general sense like we are all called to be Jesus’ witnesses to the ends of the earth, but I was literally called to help this person. In fact, my phone rang a couple of years ago, and it was her. She hadn’t meant to dial my number, and my name and the person she wanted to call are not next to each other in her contact list, so it wasn’t just an accidental click. She dialed the other person and my phone rang. God knew she needed to talk to me, and he was calling me to be his witness.

Answering the call

Because of that call, I made an effort to be present to her. She was going through a very difficult personal loss and that was a very tough time in her life. Throughout the next year, I continued to call her, reach out, meet her for lunch, and see how she was doing. She took a new job where she was helping other people and the joy that brought to her was noticeable. But then, she quit that job and over the past year has fallen into a negative pit. Every time I read one of her posts, I pray for her. She has no joy and I know the only way out is Jesus. Now that the lockdown is relaxing a bit, I’ve been thinking I need to call her, get take-out, and have lunch with her. This week’s readings confirmed this for me.

Who is God calling you to be a witness to? You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth, just next door.Click to Tweet

How about you? Who is the person that God is calling you to be a witness to? You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth, just next door. Sharing Jesus with someone is not about winning a religious argument, it is about passing on the hope and the joy that you have in him and winning a soul. Pray about that person and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. That is what I will be doing for my friend.

This week, as we prepare for Pentecost, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us, strengthen us, and direct us to be Jesus’ witness to that one person God is calling us to.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth.

Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May God bless you abundantly with his grace this week and may you glorify the Lord by your life.

If you liked this episode, spread the word. You know what to do, forward, share, or click to post. Also, check out the Resources page where you can find a link to the books and other resources mentioned in this and other episodes of By Your Life. I’m always interested in what you think, so give me some feedback by leaving a comment.

112 Keeping Commandments-Honoring Core Values

112 Keeping Commandments-Honoring Core Values

May 17, 2020

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15) But how do we do that and survive in the world of business where our competition isn’t playing by the same rules? How do we do this in a pandemic when all we can do is try to survive? In this episode of By Your Life, we’ll explore how loving God, keeping his commandments, and business profitability are not mutually exclusive.

Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 17, 2020

Happy Easter and welcome to the one hundred and twelfth episode of By Your Life. I’m Lisa Huetteman and I know that you have a hundred different things you could be doing right now, so I thank you for choosing By Your Life.

My goal is to inspire, empower, support, challenge, and encourage you to connect Sunday, with Monday-Friday, in a secular business world. It’s my desire to help you live our Catholic faith in the marketplace. I hope to offer you practical ways to go forth and glorify the Lord by your life.

In this edition, we’ll reflect on the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter. This Sunday’s Gospel begins with Jesus saying to his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15) Let’s read that again. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15) If you love me…

The ultimate question

That’s a huge question to ask yourself. It is the ultimate question. Do you love him? I think we all want to say “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” (Jn 21:15) At least, I would want to say that. As much as we like to tell ourselves that we love him, do we really? Do we love him on his terms or ours? Because Jesus is clear the proof is in the pudding. If we love him, we will keep his commandments. We will love God and love our neighbor with agape, self-giving love.

How do we do that and survive in the world of business where our competition isn’t playing by the same rules? How do we do that when our industries’ common business practices are unethical? How do we do that in a culture where it is tough to find employees who even bother just to show up to work? And, how do we do that in a pandemic when all we can do is try to survive?

I get it. It can be tough. But, just asking these questions presumes that keeping his commandments is worse for business than not keeping his commandments. It assumes that being unethical is healthy for your business. It assumes that employees are a tool for your business to succeed instead of the other way around. And, it assumes that somehow not following his commandments will help you get through the Covid-19 crisis.

Core values are a necessity

Most of us want to lead moral, ethical lives at work. Doing so takes faith that we can do so and survive financially. It requires a belief that doing the right thing and doing it right, is good for business, even if no one else is playing by the same rules.

An article in the Gallup organization’s Workplace blog highlights this perspective. Pointing to Portillo’s Hot Dogs’ CEO, Michael Osanloo as an example, the authors emphasized that having a cultural “true north” is not optional. It is a business necessity. Portillo’s Hot Dogs has experienced a 20% drop in revenue because of the pandemic and according to the article, their CEO is proud of that number, considering the circumstances.

He said, “Our core values are family, greatness, energy, and funand those concepts have guided everything that we’ve done as an organization.” For example, when stores in certain markets weren’t required to close for dine-in customers, Portillo’s closed anyway because it was the right thing to do based on their values.

So, why is this good for business? First, your core values are a guide in difficult times that enable you to make tough decisions.  While this matters every day, it is especially important during times of disruption. The second reason is your customers and employees appreciate values-driven decisions. You attract and retain customers and employees who share your values.

Your core values are a guide in difficult times that enable you to make tough decisions and your customers and employees appreciate values-driven decisions. #leadership #corevaluesClick to Tweet

Competitive opportunity

Yet, in that same article by Gallup, it said, that “only 41% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they even know the values their company stands for, and only 27% strongly agree that they believe in their organization’s values.” In addition, according to Gallup research, only 26% of U.S. workers believe their organization always delivers on the promises it makes to customers.

Only 41% of U.S. employees know the values their company stands for and only 27% believe in their organization’s values. ~ Gallup #leadership #corevaluesClick to Tweet

So, people want to work for and buy from a values-centered organization, yet only ¼ to ½ of all companies can claim they are one. That means there is a huge opportunity for a competitive advantage that comes from being a moral, ethical, values-based business. But this competitive advantage doesn’t mean you’ll maximize profits. What it means is you’ll have sustainable profits because you’ll earn loyalty from employees and customers alike.

The case for profitability

So how does loyalty lead to sustainable profitability? Honoring core values increases trust, trust increases loyalty, and loyalty is good for business. Studies show that companies with high levels of customer loyalty typically grow revenues at twice the rate of their competitors. Customer loyalty increases profit margins. By some estimates, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. So, companies with low customer turnover have more time and money to serve their current customers and grow by attracting new ones.

Honoring core values increases trust, trust increases loyalty, and loyalty is good for business.Click to Tweet

On the employee front, a company that retains loyal employees builds an experienced, dedicated, and productive workforce that can deliver the high level of service necessary to cultivate loyal and satisfied customers. On the other hand, a company with high employee turnover is at a competitive disadvantage because it’s estimated that replacing an employee can cost, on average, one to three times the annual salary of that employee. Disgruntled or disengaged employees that remain on the payroll are also expensive. They can curtail productivity, damage morale, and create personnel problems that consume management’s time and energy.

Even though this makes logical sense, it is still difficult when you have to make decisions in the face of economic pressures. Honoring your core values or keeping Jesus’ commandments is the easiest way to make these difficult decisions.

It’s not about money

One of the CEOs I interviewed for my book, The Value of Core Values, was Peter Cunzolo, owner and CEO of ExecuJet Charter Services, a provider of world-class charter flights. He told me about a customer who needed help in acquiring an aircraft and hired ExecuJet as consultants. This customer was gung-ho to buy a particular aircraft even though ExecuJet told him it was going to need a lot of work. He wouldn’t heed their advice. At the same time, ExecuJet was under pressure from the selling agent who offered them part of his commission as an incentive to do the deal. The agent admitted the aircraft had a big inspection coming up but dismissed the risk and pushed to close the sale.

In the end, Peter Cunzolo walked away. He said, “I don’t want to run into this guy somewhere down the road and hear him say, ‘You sold me this airplane and it cost me an extra $250,000 just to bring it up to compliance.’ It’s just not in my constitution to do the kind of deal that would result in that kind of dissatisfaction. I never want my employees to do it either. It’s not the example I want to set. The bottom line is it’s lying. Yes, we would’ve earned a great commission to complete that deal, but I would’ve lost a repeat customer because I wouldn’t have done right by him. I would go so far as to say that I would have sinned against him.”

The customer bought that airplane anyway through another broker. He came back to ExecuJet several years later and handed them the project again. ExecuJet was able to help him on the back end of the deal. They had to go back and make a lot of the necessary repairs required at the time of purchase, plus additional repairs his last management company failed to perform. They did the right thing and in the end, it was good for their business.

Interestingly, I interviewed Peter Cunzolo in 2009, at the height of the economic downturn and at a time when executives were being demonized for flying in private or chartered jets. The entire private jet industry came under fire as an icon of corporate greed. The economic pressure was great. But Peter had a sense of calm and peace because he knew where his strength was coming from. He knew who was protecting and providing for him, his employees, and their families.

This type A, hard-charging, get things done executive was not afraid to make tough decisions to maintain their profitability. But, he said, “It doesn’t have anything to do with money. It is about finding your inner spirit—your inner joy—that God really wants you to have. If I didn’t have my faith and I didn’t have the blessings that I have—my family, my health, the people I’ve been blessed to work with—nothing else would work. In this very competitive business, we have maintained our profitability. It’s God’s providence. In a day and age when people want God to go away, I’m glad to be able to tell this story.”

The reason for your hope

And that brings me to our second reading on Sunday, where St. Peter said “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Pet 3:15) Peter Cunzolo knew the reason for his hope and he was glad to share it. His faith in God, his values-centered decisions, his business’s profitability, and his peace, calm, and inner joy were not mutually exclusive, and he was happy to let people know about it.

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. (1 Pet 3:15)Click to Tweet

Yes, it is true that sometimes you will suffer a loss of revenue or profits because you did the right thing. ExecuJet did, at least in the short term. But, St. Peter also wrote, “it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” (1 Pet 3:17) So even in tough times, you should always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. (1 Pet 3:15)

Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us live according to Jesus’ commandments in a world that does not. Let’s ask him to help us be a sign to the world so others will want to know the reason for our hope. And, let’s ask him to help us give an explanation to anyone who asks for the reason for our hope.

Come Holy Spirit, Advocate, and Spirit of Truth. Lead us on the path to generously respond to Jesus’ call to keep his commandment. Always remind us of the commandment of love and help us to live it. Allow Jesus’ words to become life within us, become attitudes, choices, actions, and testimony so that others may also come to love him. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

May God bless you abundantly with his grace this week and may you glorify the Lord by your life.

If you liked this episode, spread the word. You know what to do, forward, share, or click to post. Also, check out the Resources page where you can find a link to the books and other resources mentioned in this and other episodes of By Your Life. I’m always interested in what you think, so give me some feedback by leaving a comment.

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