Anytime we build a life philosophy, there will be circumstances that make us challenge our thoughts. It's best then to seek out truth and to be compassionate. If those two are in place, it will be easier to accept changes.
I believe in the old saying and song, "Life is what you make it." The words to the song are...."Life is what you make it and what you make it is up to you."
Because I believe in that philosophy, I'll be the first one in line to analyze a situation, make a plan, clap my hands and say..."Okay then, let's get busy." That philosophy also pushes me to be as wise as possible before a problem occurs.
For example, I don't smoke because I want to avoid cancer. I don't drink because I don't like being out of control and doing something stupid. I became an avid reader because I wanted to be logical and find truth about many areas of my life. I study people and try to read their personalities so I will know how to be a good friend -wife-mother-employee-and how to help them to be those things to me. In other words, (except for eating-my one true vice) I try to avoid anything that will hurt me now or in the future.
And the biggie.....if something is wrong in my life, I take the responsibility - period. I put the blame on me first and only if I'm sure that I'm innocent do I begin to look elsewhere.
If that was all there was to my philosophy - I would probably be in the loony bin!
As I said before, there must be truth and there must be compassion. Why? Because evil does exist.
I hate the statement "Where there's smoke there's fire." That's not always true and it hurts innocent people. There are many innocent people that suffer and they haven't done anything to deserve it. Children who are kidnapped. Women who are abused. Men who lose their life over a designer jacket. Men or women who work 29 years for a company and are fired a week before 30 years so the company can deny them a retirement. There may be a lot of smoke, but there is no fire in their lives. They are completely innocent.
But -- there are levels of innocence. What?
I had a client once that was in the middle of a divorce. I spent hours talking with her about her problems. It appeared that she was 100% innocent. He was a monster, a controller and a very mean man. She should divorce him. She should get away from him. At first I was 100% on her side. It wasn't until the divorce was over that I began to hear things that let me know she was not 100% innocent. There had been some interactions that could have been handled differently. There were some times when she was less than compassionate. She did have some inner struggles that would have made dealing with her challenging. But....the fact remained....he was a tyrant. Getting a divorce was the right thing to do. Together we looked at those problems and decided to apply compassion. Why? Because even if she had reacted differently it probably would not have changed him. No one knows for sure of course, but it was logical and reasonable to apply compassion.
So when do we use compassion? When you see an adult with a deeply embedded evil personality or character issue - it is impossible to change that with your actions. It will take the help of many and the intervention of God. Be compassionate when you don't have the power and there is no way your actions or decisions can change the circumstances.
Children can be changed even when personality and character issues seem evil. Until the age of 16 you have a chance to reach them. They are still tender and young enough that you can "bend" the reed. It is harder when they have suffered abuse that makes them 16 on the outside and 27 on the inside - but with a lot of prayer, understanding and a lot of work, most can be helped. The younger the better rule does apply. The closer you get to 16 the harder it will be to help them conquer deep issues. So be there when they are young!
Another example of an innocent percentage would be a young lady that is raped by a neighborhood boy. Is she innocent - yes - totally! But, could she possibly have changed the facts? What if I said she liked to mow the lawn in a string bikini? What if I also told you that even when she wore clothes they were provocative and on the edge? What if I told you that she often flirted with this guy? Would that change your mind? The fact remains that he should be jailed for a long time for his actions. But would the situation have been different if she had been more conservative? How would you rate her innocence level?
This brings me safely back to my first conclusion. Life is what you make it. The decisions we make do change the direction of our lives.
I'm collecting data for a book that will compare the life styles of the 40's-50's to today's lifestyle. Anytime people become nostalgic they return to that period of our history. Why? Because life seemed to make more sense then. Life was more black and white and people were dedicated to "making" life better. Evil existed - but we didn't condone it.
I know that lifestyle very well since I lived it. The basic difference for that period of time was that "whining" had not been invented.
If you didn't have a place to live.....you didn't whine....you got a job.
If you didn't have food to eat....you didn't expect others to come to your rescue or provide for you...you got a job. And if you dare to express the fact that you didn't feel responsible, there was someone to let you know if you wanted to eat, you better get to work.
If your child misbehaved, other people didn't take the blame they insisted that you do something about it.
If you didn't like your place in society, it was up to you to change it.
If you did the crime....you did the time....
And if you did follow the rules, work the job, raise the child, support the society....you were praised for it. It was called responsibility.
In the 60's this country spiraled downward into a dark cave. We allowed spoiled children to dictate our "life philosophies." Since there were cases where evil hurt those who couldn't help themselves, they felt we had to rid the world of those cases. For example, innocent children that were spanked, people who lived daily without proper food or housing because they couldn't or wouldn't work, harsh sermons on hell and what was wrong with our society. These "easy philosophy" thinkers said it was better to put up with the occasional crime or spoiled child in order to avoid a "harsh life philosophy". What they didn't realize is that the percentages of hurt people would be far more devastating on their end than were present in the 40's-50's.
When we - as a society - lost the philosophy that our personal life choices dictate the way our lives turn out, we lost our ability to make personal progress and we became a society of whiners. Like little children we sit on the side of the road screaming for someone to help us never imagining for a moment that the real help lies within our own hands.
What to do?
1. Set your life philosophy for truth and compassion.
2. Obey all the rules that point you to truth. Don't yell at your family and friends for something that you do yourself. Look to yourself first to be sure you are innocent. This will be a fight. Humans are geared to self-preservation. Listen carefully to those around you and get advice from people outside of the problem so you can "honestly" judge yourself.
3. Be compassionate when you have decided it truly isn't your fault. Understand that we are all pushed to the limit. And even if you have done all you thought you could, but you still fell short - perhaps part of the equation is that you are expecting "superpowers" from yourself. Be compassionate enough to say, "I can't do it all!" Most people don't think about the line in sand that says - "this is not humanly possible." There is a line and if you cross it, you won't be able to successfully complete your goals. That line is different for all of us. You are the only one that can decided that issue. Be compassionate.
4. When life is truly evil - don't blame yourself and don't lose hope in God. We live in an evil world where awful things happen. Good people are killed in accidents. Innocent people live lives of desperation and pain. Godly people suffer at the hands of the wicked. Sweet Aunt Suzie who has been a Christian and truly Godly person all her life may contract cancer and die a painful death. Once you have determined that you have done all you can to change your circumstance - then it's time for a loving God to take over.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." ---Psa. 23:4
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." ----Psa. 30:5
"My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." --- Psa. 73:26
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ---Matt. 11:28
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." ---Heb. 13:5
Why should these verses comfort me Debbie? My life is a mess and I'm hurting. People are constantly blaming me and I'm doing the best I can. No one really sees me or knows how I feel. You don't even know all there is about me.
You are exactly right! No human can honestly know all there is to know about another person. You could spend every hour of every day telling me about yourself and there would still be a small part that I couldn't and wouldn't understand or pick up on.
The reason these verses are so powerful is that God does know every one of us. He sees and knows our inner thoughts, our private conversations, our motives, our hearts. He knows everything about everyone. And that my friend makes him a truly qualified judge. Since he knows it all, he can properly point the finger. And even in knowing who is right and who is wrong he says......"Come to me and I will make everything right!"
No more guessing, no more fighting, no more wondering if we did it right or if we are innocent or if they should be punished. God simply makes everything right!
Did you hear that? Shhhh...... I ran to Father. I pleaded my case and.....he made everything right. And now, my favorite verse....
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ----John 14:27
Peace. The most comforting word in our society. Peace.
God loves you,