Christian living- dealing with one 'oops' at a time…

Archive for August, 2016

Rules vs Priorities

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We live in a world that likes rules. We have ‘zero tolerance’ for fighting in school (one of my pet-peeves because the child being bullied is usually the one caught and punished the worst…), etc. But is this the best way to live?

God does not live by ‘rules.’

As we see in the Bible there are always times when God made exceptions. For a BIG exceptions see when God did not punish the women for prostitution as it was kind of the men’s fault in Hosea 4:14….

So then how do we live?

By the Holy Spirit!

But when in doubt, a list of priorities helps.

So ask yourself what is your first priority in any situation.

When dealing with your children it may be a good heart attitude. If your child fails a test because they spent their study time trying to convince a friend not to do something horrible and to do the right thing (and this is not a pattern of excuses used for not studying) then maybe we let this one go.

When dealing with your spouse, the priority is to strengthen your marriage. So when they do not load the dishwasher to your specifications or they do not wash your favorite shirt for when you wanted it, maybe we let this go and understand that they may have been working on another priority even you would agree should take precedence.

Rules are not bad, but they need to be flexible.

Too often we hold onto the rules as ‘right’ and forget why they were there to begin with.

For example, how many poems and wall-hangings have you seen reminding you that a clean house is not as important as time spent with your children? There is a reason for this. The older generation, who in the past liked to cross stitch etc was trying to impart wisdom to the younger generation. Sure, a clean house is nice, and to some level necessary, but it needs to take a back seat to being an involved parent who actually knows their kid. Children grow up so fast (trust me on this one!) that it would be a shame to not be the most important influence in their lives. When you obey the rules blindly you often prioritize things that truly don’t matter as much, such as house-keeping and work and lose the opportunity to bond with your child…

Don’t let your children grow up to resent you for not being there.

Don’t let your spouse distance her/himself because all of your rules are hard to deal with.

Be there for the people you love and make sure your priorities, not your rules, determine what you do next.

Making a list of your priorities and putting on a fridge or mirror is sometimes a good way to start.

Don’t Be A Jerk When Talking About the Olympics

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Typically I do not get offended easily. I believe it is a much better way to live to assume there is no underlying evil reason for what was said and that sometimes people do not say things exactly the way they sounded.

I hate it when I am wrong….

But this Olympics has me miffed.

Simone Biles is awesome. She deserves coverage that celebrates her accomplishments. Instead we hear things like….

“The people she calls Mom and Dad…”

“You know those are not her real parents…”

“She was an unwanted child, yet God had other plans…”

WHY?!?!?!?!

Simone, like may other adopted children, probably has some insecurities surrounding the fact that she was adopted but THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO EXPLORE THEM!

Further, adopted children are VERY wanted by those who adopted them! (And many times their birthparents wanted them too, they just have other issues that prevent them being very good parents.) If you have ever watched a family waiting to adopted you will realize that these families want these children very, very much- in some cases much more than some birth parents who are surprised by the good news… Adopted children should never have to question whether, or not they are loved and wanted because the process of adopting is difficult and only a very odd person would go through it without being fully committed. Unfortunately many adopted children do have fears that they are less loved, and we should be sensitive to that.

Adoptive parents are also REAL PARENTS! Biology aside, they do everything any other parent does and many times are incredibly committed to their children (as seen here by the training and encouragement Simone has had). By implying that adoptive parents are not ‘real’ parents you undermine the security of an adopted child. Let’s not do that!

The biggest issue however is when Christians believe they are writing stories of God’s redemption (and Christians do this to my patients who have certain disabilities as well) which imply that the person is less than. Even though the point of the story is that God can use anyone, the underlying theme is that the person is somehow ‘less.’ The disabled population calls this ‘disability porn’ (Goggle it) and they hate it. It is condescending and shows that you have taken no time to actually get to know anyone in their situation, yet you are willing to use them to make yourself feel good… The Bible shows that God can indeed use anyone, but the anyones in the Bible that need to overcome are sinners….

So, let’s try to focus on what is right and good and ask ourselves if we were Simone, what would we want people to say right now.

How about- Great job! That was AWESOME! Thanks for all the hard work and your amazing representation of our country!

You get the idea…

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