Finding God When I Feel Mean

By Heidi McLaughlin:

When I feel mean, seeking and finding God can help change my attitude.

Here are 5 tips to help you do just that… plus a bit of humor from Igniter Media.


Stock photo by ecerroni

Stock image by ecerroni

I know we all want to be nice so that people will like us. Sadly there are days when our feet hit the floor we can’t wait to rip someone’s head off and let them know how they made us “so mad.” What makes us so mean?

I believe that many of us are mean because we have been hurt, or use it for power to control people and events, we feel threatened, or we are too afraid to stand up for ourselves and it makes us angry and resentful. Then we become mean.

Lynne Hybels is the author of Nice Girls Don’t Change the World  and she became mean to herself and bottled it inside of herself.  Lynne was so nice that she tried to become everything her husband, her children, her church and the world wanted her to be. As a matter of fact she was so nice that it made her lose herself, her purpose and it drove her to deep hopelessness and depression.

When she stopped to find out who she really was, not the niceness of what the world expected her to be, she became free and a dangerously beautiful spiritual woman. She became who God created her to be, not who her husband and family wanted her to be. She became bold and courageous, and is changing the world in Africa by helping the Aids orphans.

We have the ability to be mean to others, but even more often, we are mean to ourselves. By being nice out of obligation, and through covering up our own pain, feelings and desires, we sabotage our freedom to be who God created us to be.

I believe there is a balance between mean and nice, and that is called “GRACE”. Accepting ourselves for who God created us to be, and accepting His grace for all the bad stuff that has happened in our lives.  So how do we do that?

ARRET (STOP!) and ACCEPT God’s Grace:

  1. ACCEPT our angry, hurtful feelings. As author Rick Warren says, “Revealing our feelings is the beginning of healing.”
  2. ROOT to fruit. Agree to look back at the words or events that made you mad, hurt you or threatened you. This is probably the root of your meanness.
  3. RELEASE the people or circumstances that have hurt you. Forgive them. No one can be perfect and no one is the Savior of our life other than God.   We all hurt people and we must forgive and release those who have hurt us.
  4. EMBRACE yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others and diminish who God made you to be. When we compare we begin to criticize, and then compete.  That makes us ugly and mean.
  5. TRUTH.  Go to God’s word (the Bible) and find the truth about who you really are. The truth is that you are nice, lovable and delightful. Some of the things that have happened to you have made you mad. God can replace and restore all your hurt and wounds and set you free to be nice and lovable.

I choose to be the kind of woman that is nice and beautiful from the inside out; beautifully, spiritually dangerous to do something meaningful and helpful to God’s Kingdom here on earth. I can be that woman if I follow those five simple, outrageously difficult steps.

© Heidi McLaughlin. For over two decades Heidi has taught women how to become “beautiful from the inside out”, applying God’s powerful truths via bible studies, mentoring, and Heidi’s own poignant stories.  Visit Heidi at, or  her blog. Follow Heidi on Twitter: @heidiheart

Enjoy this video about not being mean to your spouse: The Don’t Song, from Igniter Media.


Finding God in Friendship

By Karen O’Connor:

Often God shows his love for us by connecting us with others in friendship.


Image by mconnor

In the early 70′s my family moved to a new house. I was bereft leaving my long-time friends and familiar neighborhood of nearly a decade. But a sweet neighbor came to the door one sunny afternoon and welcomed me with a delightful mixture she dubbed “Friendship Tea.” (Click here for the recipe.) That very day this kind gesture helped me find God in the woman’s loving act of friendship.

On another occasion I met a caring older woman at a women’s event at the church I attended. She listened to my sad story about a heartache in my life and the two of us had a good cry over a cup of tea. By the time we dried our eyes we were ready to smile. Life didn’t seem so bad after all.

Once again I was finding God in friendship.

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship that can help us through tough times when we need someone to share a grief or a joy with us.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

And in the words of Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, “A friend is a gift you give yourself.” This is something any of us can do by enlarging our circle of love to include people from a variety of races, colors, and ethnic backgrounds––for God is a friend to all and can help us help ourselves and others through friendship.

Enjoy this YouTube video with Joel Osteen on enlarging our circle of love by reaching out to others:

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  


Find God in a Joyful Heart (31 Ways)

By Karen O’Connor:

Image: Stuart Miles /

Image: Stuart Miles /

The best way to experience a joyful heart is to rejoice in God and praise Him!


Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name

 (Psalm 97:12 the Bible)

. . . and you will find God in a joyful heart.

Also, here also are 31 practical ways to cultivate a joyful spirit:

1. Invite a new neighbor in for afternoon tea and conversation, a time to get acquainted and be together.

2. Meet a friend of colleague for a lunchtime walk, an opportunity for exercise and conversation without calories.

3. Give your spouse a foot rub or a back massage before bed to help him or her unwind (the next night could be your turn).

4. Walk barefoot on the grass in early morning, an invigorating ‘wake up’ call to your body.

5.  Stop anytime for a cup of your favorite brew and a big, fat muffin.  Sit awhile and reflect as you sip and chew.

6. Visit a bookstore and browse the shelves.  Pick a book that’s just right for this moment in your life.  Buy it, take it home, and read it!

7.  Call someone you haven’t seen in several weeks or months. Chat and reconnect.

8.  Send a note, a greeting card, or an e-mail to six people in your address book to say hello, thinking of you today.

9.  Take a leisurely salt bath, then a nap.

10. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers or even a single rose. Place it on your desk or dresser where you’ll see it.

11. Jot down in your day planner or on a tablet all the blessings you received today.  Revisit the list a week from now and see how rich you are.

12. Purchase a medley of fresh fruits and make a big fruit salad. Then feast on this healthy food and notice how good you feel afterwards.

13. Call your parents (if they’re still living) and tell them you love them, even if the relationship is difficult. You’re alive because of them, and that’s something to be joyful about.

14. Stand in front of the mirror and declare out loud two positive things you notice about yourself.

15. Take a risk.  (Tell someone the truth you’ve been withholding; compliment someone you admire; etc.)

16. Volunteer at the local hospital, Girl or Boy Scouts, church youth group, or local government.

17. Be creative. Bake a fancy cake. Arrange dried flowers in a pretty basket. Sew. Knit. Make jewelry. Draw. Sketch. Build something out of wood or metal.

18. Start a joy journal. Write down today and each day, one thing you have to be joyful about.

19. Plan your summer vacation. Take one step toward making it happen.

20. Buy a new set of bed linens in a bold pattern or color that makes you smile.

21. Toss or give away all clothing you haven’t worn in the past two years.

22. Enroll in a class just for fun: cooking, needlepoint, ice skating, cake decorating, etc.

23. Veg!  (It’s okay to take time out to sit and stare.)

24. Drink eight glasses of water today. Notice how you feel when you’re fully hydrated.

25. Smile at everyone you meet. Pay attention to who smiled back!

26. Allow someone else to have the ‘last’ word, even when you deserve it.

27. Listen to classical music while driving.

28. Ask for help when you need it. It’s a joy to share a burden.

29. Reconcile your bank account. Oh the relief you’ll feel!

30. Comfort someone in need.

31. Say or write an original prayer of thanks today, noting your gratitude for a month of joyful new discoveries and reflections.

Enjoy this YouTube video with Twila Paris singing, “The Joy of the Lord.”

 ©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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