___________________________’s Rules No. 1

(Your name goes here)

All a preacher can do is share from his life experience and pray that it will help others in their walk. Much of what I share is personal from a counselor who helped me get over a divorce in 1990. I have since share this with drug and alcohol recovery groups and other church groups and helped many people get a better perspective on how to deal with the issues in their lives.

These are Rules are all called “Rules No. 1” because no one is more important than the others.

(Name is blank so you can put your name there if you like. Make them your “Rules No. I”)

1. Nothing from my past can hurt me now UNLESS I WANT IT TO.

Paul’s past – “forgetting what lies behind – Philippians 3:13-14

As a child, I felt insecure – low self-esteem. Rules #1 helped me realize that I don’t have to be controlled by the past anymore.

Zig Ziglar comments, “It’s not who my mother and father are that matters. It’s not where I grew up or what happened to me that makes the difference. It is not where I am right now that determines my future.”

1. _I AM__ the only one RESPONSIBLE for the way I feel.

Paul – Others trying to cause him harm. Philippians 1:13-18

I was going through a divorce and having quite a pity party. When I realized that I can choose how I’m going to let this affect me, I was better able to take more positive control of my life and “move on”.

We can choose how to handle compliments and criticisms by others. – POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY. If you handle it positively, they cannot hurt you regardless of the intent of the other person. If you handle it negatively, you are hurt, even if the other person meant it as a compliment.

1. I can’t get into the OTHER PERSON’S HEAD to do their thinking for them.

Paul had a disagreement with Barnabas over whether John Mark was worthy of traveling with them or not. This led to a parting of their ways – Acts 15:37-38; II Timothy 4:11

I got teased a lot in High School. Much of that I brought upon myself because of self-projection. I thought negative of myself and did things that got others to react to me negatively.

Projection – imposing my stinkin’ thinkin’ instead of really listening to the compliments of others. I have learned to accept and appreciate my positive qualities.

1. I am the only one I can CONTROL, so if I want the situation to change, I must ask what I am willing to CHANGE IN MYSELF to affect the desired change.

Paul had a disagreement with Barnabas over whether John Mark was worthy of traveling with them or not. – Acts 15:39-40

How much energy do you spend trying to control or change spouse or child or parent

If I see something that I would like to change in my spouse, I will only succeed if I see what I need to change in myself to bring about the desired change. When I change my life and my spouse or the other person observes the change, then they are free to change under their own power.


Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem and later to Rome. He focused on his purpose and worked to make it a reality. With a little motivation from murderous Jews and the Roman government, he got an all expense paid trip to Rome and eventually testified in Caesar’s household. – Acts 20:22-24

Have you experienced career failures due to some negative action on your part? Why did you undermine yourself to the point of losing that position.

I did things I did in high school that got others to tease me. I didn’t like it, but it was my own actions that brought about the negative behavior. This rule helped me make more careful action as an adult and modify my actions to God’s greater purpose.

I decided to listen to positive, motivational tapes, read motivational books, etc. These helped me to believe in myself and step out to accomplish more significant goals.

1. Words have MEANINGS and those meanings have POWER.

Paul declares that the preaching of the Gospel by people is the method God used to win others to Christ. – 1 Corinthians 1:22

Words used in arguments have a power to hurt the other person.

The Tongue – James 3:6-10. The tongue can bring healing, show love and communicate kindness or it can insult, demean and hurt others.

You determine what words have power and how much power they are going to have.

Spend some time in self-talk with positive, uplifting words. Reassign more positive meanings to those words that brought a “negative” reaction in your past.

1. Who said that LIFE had to be FAIR?

Paul – in prison for doing good – Ephesians 6:19-20 That wasn’t fair.

There were times where I was feeling I deserved better, comparing myself to others and feeling inferior.

Then I thought about others:

Jews during the holocaust.

An aborted baby.

The people in the World Trade Center.

A woman being raped.

Your favorite team loosing the payoffs. Comparing yourself to others is often out of envy or pride? A good book to read is by Dr. James Dobson — “When God Doesn’t Make Sense”. It is an attempt to help us come to an understanding of why life is sometimes unfair.


Change your thinking from negative to Godly!

Focus on Jesus instead of on other people!

Ask God to bless those who have hurt you and help you see how you can show others that God loves them.

Swallow your pride and practice humility!