God Doesn’t Make Junk

Theoretically, most of us agree that God does not ‘make junk’, that we are all created in His image, endowed with His Spirit, and equal in His sight.  But, when we are low and not feeling good about ourselves, we may start to harbor feelings that He does create junk, and we are that junk.

Fortunately, what we believe drives the train, and what we feel is the caboose.  To be led by our feelings is foolish since feelings are fickle.  There is rarely wisdom in our feelings as they blow to and fro, triggered by every whim of mankind, manhandled by our very own egos, and embellished by our need to be right and to be thought well of by others at all costs.

What we believe, on the other hand, is usually a steady force in our lives.  Sometimes our beliefs may be in error, but usually they are built over time through trial and error and our attempts to improve our lot in life.  As such, what we believe is more likely to be an accurate assessment of the truth.

What we believe can become our reality over time so we need to make sure our beliefs are pointed in the right direction, that they are grounded in truth, verifiable, and validated by our very actions.  It is also a good idea to have a mentor for each of the major areas of our lives to help us along the way to form good judgments based on our beliefs.

As we grow older and begin to grasp the reality of God’s love for us, we see that we have a God who sent His very own Son to die for us so that we may live, both in this world and the world to come.  Thus it becomes easier to believe that He does not create junk or disposable human beings.  Each creation, while in His image, is still unique and worthy of all the best and it is therefore up to us to make sure we treat one another as worth our best for them.

God has a special affinity for those whom the world casts off as worthless & disposable.  If we want to please Him there is no better way than to treat them as He treats each of us.  And yes, we too, may have to die a little for others if we are sincere about imitating Him.  He does not make junk and we should not treat others as junk.

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A Time To Receive And A Time To Give

It is important to know when we can give attention and when we need attention.  Often we are inclined to give, give, and give without ever asking anything in return.

We may think that this is a sign of generosity or even heroism.  But it might be little else than a proud attitude that says:  “I don’t need help from others.  I only want to give.”

When we keep giving without receiving we burn out quickly.  Only when we pay careful attention to our own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs can we be, and remain, joyful givers.

There is a time to give and a time to receive.  We need equal time for both if we want to live healthy lives.

Henri Nouwen’s Wounded Healer

Beware The Adulation Seekers

Complimenting others is a worthy ministry and one we should all actively incorporate into our daily lives.  Lord knows there is enough negativity in the world so why not counter that trend with compliments where they are due.  “Where they are due” is the operative phrase.

Nothing perks up someone’s life, like receiving well deserved compliments.  It validates their need for a meaningful life, and encourages them to compliment others.  Like ripples in a pond, that single effort can multiply throughout the lives of others.

Sadly, all of us have friends where compliments are not enough.  More is needed for them, indeed, more is required.  If it is not forthcoming they will press you for something approaching adulation.

Often the pressure on you comes in the form of doing really good things for you and then telling you over and over how hard they worked on your behalf, waiting for you to thank them, over and over and over.  You may feel guilty about not being able to satisfy them.

At this level, you can actually feel life being drained from you as you try to satisfy their exaggerated needs for not just approval, but for something approaching what should be reserved for God Himself.

What to do?  Be aware, first and foremost.  Only the Good Lord can truly satisfy their needs.  Try hard to continue the relationship without allowing your life to be drained from you.  Pray for them and continue to give them earned compliments, stopping short of adulation.  Hopefully, in time, they will grow beyond their exaggerated need or understand you are not a good source anymore.

Jesus said, “Give to God the things that are God’s, and to man the things that are man’s”.  Adulation belongs to God alone.