Warm, rather than Frigid

cold-winter

My morning reading was all about the golden rule.  You know, “…do to others as you want others to do to you.”

I ask, “Why is such a simple concept, so hard to achieve?”

If I had to guess as to why this can be such a difficult task, I would credit the blame to greed and selfishness.  This world it seems is fueled by greed and selfishness, and sad to say, America does her part well.  We have a leader who is all about greed and selfishness.  His very logo, “Make America Great Again,” reeks of selfishness.  And when it comes to greed I dare say, his whole life and empire has been built upon it.

As a nation, this is not who God calls us to be.

A nation is made up of individuals…you and me, and for it to change, we must change.  This is why Jesus stresses the concept of loving your neighbor.

Who is your neighbor?

I dare say, it is the person closest to you.  It’s the cashier who takes your money at Kroger…the mail person who brings your bills…the police officer who pulls you over for speeding…the homeless person with their hand out…the person driving the car that just swerved into your lane…the one who hands you an ice cream cone on a hot summer day…it’s the bill collector knocking at your door…the telemarketer on the phone…the next door neighbor who drives you crazy…the other next door neighbor who brings you pie…the person across the street who lets their dogs run rampant…the elderly lady down the road who never fails to smile when you meet…the old man down the road who curses you on sight…and on and on and on….  My point is, most of the time, we cannot choose our neighbor, and we certainly cannot choose what they will say or do.

We can, however, choose what we say or do.

People mistakenly think love to be a feeling, when it fact it is an action.  Feelings are fickle, and change with the wind, but love weathers the wind, and continues to act accordingly in spite of discomfort.

Corinne and I celebrated our 12th anniversary on April 2.  I remember our “commitment ceremony” well.  (I say “commitment ceremony” because gay marriage was illegal at that time)  We decided to come up with our own vows to one another, and I fashioned mine from I Corinthians chapter 13…

“Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Love will last forever…”

In the past 12 years, I can’t say I’ve totally lived up the this statute, but it is, and always will be what I strive toward.  Love is a verb…it is what we do.

Instead of saying “I love you,” show “I love you.”

Major change begins with one small act of kindness, and kindness is contagious.

Let’s do our part to spread it.

 

***

Daily Post: Frigid

Now-my-heart-matches-the-frigid-weather

Advertisements

Listen to Understand and Not to Reply

If you want to have a better attitude towards someone, then you must change your thoughts about that person.  This is not an easy task,  because our first instinct, as human beings, is to prove our point and then try to make others view the world through our eyes.

This power struggle, whether on social media or face to face, happens many times through out the day.  We want people to like what we like and hate what we hate.

My favorite color is blue, but when I learn yours is red, immediately I think, “Phhh…blue is much prettier than red.”  In trivial matters, such fleeting thoughts appear and disappear and often we are even unaware of its presence.  I mean, after all, unless we are talking curtains for the bedroom, our preference of color matters little, within the full spectrum of life.

However, it’s not as easy with other issues such as religion, politics, racism, sexual orientation and even climate change.  At the very mention of any of these, our psyche either goes on the offense or the defense.   We fight, “tooth and nail,” with efforts to prove our point, or we circle our wagons to defend our point.  I dare say, no one has ever changed their belief as a result of such strategy.  Effective communication is nonexistent in this kind of environment, however hurt feelings, broken friendships and divided families breed rampant.

Why are our emotions so sensitive when it comes to these issues?  Why do we draw a line in the sand and dare anyone to step over?  Why do we think everyone should agree with us?  How dare we hurt and kill others, simply because they are different?  What or who gives us that right?

Nothing and no one, and certainly not God!

I’ve heard it said, “Pride goes before the fall,” and how true it is!  It is our own selfish pride that causes us to commit such evils.  Pride is the ultimate villain, and it is he with whom we should wage war, and not each other.

How do we do this?

Peace is possible when we are willing to change ourselves.  We must “on purpose” rearrange our thoughts, to think of others more than ourselves, and then we must listen…truly listen.

When we listen we should first listen to understand first and then to reply.  Sometimes a reply is even unnecessary, but we must always listen.