Variable ethics

supreme court

During a a recent conversation a friend and I were having he made a comment about one of the political figures that had been very aggressively pushing for the investigation of the Supreme Court Nominee and how that person and people closely affiliated with that individual had been proven to have done far worse than the nominated Justice was accused of doing. I made a statement that it was interesting to me that these individuals attacking the nominee had variable ethics demanding essentially puritan behavior by one person while they were doing or had done far worse. How they expect others to behave one way, while engaging in activities they criticize and how I didn’t understand how they had one set of standards for themselves, but another set of standards for everyone else.

I suppose, using the expression variable ethics is another way of saying double standards or being double minded. That concept has always been confusing to me, at least the way most people are where they are willing to excuse their own behavior while being intolerant of similar behavior in others.

A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.  James 1:8

I will admit that I have been that way at times. I would be stunned if anyone has not been guilty of that but the majority of the time when I have been guilty its because of the way I was raise, which was to be more critical of myself than others, accepting their faults and expecting better behavior of myself. I have always been far more critical of myself than of others; when I have a project and finish it I often see the things I could have done better. I intentionally look for flaws and imperfections in what I did so that when I do similar projects in the future I do it better. Case in point: we had a house built but did not have them finish the basement, partly due to cost, partly because I wanted to do it myself. I planned the layout, framed walls, hung and taped the sheet rock and did the rest of the finish work. After it was all done my neighbor and his wife had stopped by to borrow some supplies for reloading ammunition for hunting. I took him to the room I use for that so he could get the kind of powder he needed. As we did so he commented that the basement looked good and asked who I used to do the sheet rock work. I told him I had done it and he was surprised and told me that it was better than what had been done by the professional contractor he hired when he built his house. I pointed out some areas where I had seen fault and he said that I was being too harsh with my work and that the things I pointed out weren’t noticeable until I pointed them out and I should look at his house because the work done there, while better than he had seen a lot of places was still no where near as good as what I had done. I was flattered and thanked him for the kind words. We do need to be self critical, for only through such actions do we improve.

 

BUT, we also need to be forgiving of others, accepting their imperfections but if those imperfections impact their Christian walk, we should try to help them. Always with the love of Christ and not for other reasons.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians 4:29

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.   Galations 6:1

It is easy to see the faults in others, to judge them and for humans it is also easy to not see our own faults. I try not to do that, at times I have failed, but I always try to see my own weaknesses, imperfections and faults while either accepting those of others or if trying to help them, do so gently. I have failed in that at times as well but God is working with me on those issues. He is working with me on a lot of issues.

So, even though being double minded is not a good thing at the same time it is good to be that way. BUT, only if we use the higher standards for ourselves and do not expect better of others than we expect of ourselves, if we do not criticize or judge others as we all have faults for which we can be criticized. We as Christians cannot be examples of Christ if we do not try to improve ourselves. Be harsh and judgmental but only ourselves. Don’t be the unstable person that holds others to higher standards than those to which we hold ourselves. We can’t demand excellence from others and accept mediocrity in our own walk.

Lord, I thank You for helping me see places in my life that need improvement. I do try to see the good in others and find the bad in myself that I need to improve but I don’t always succeed. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to show me what I need to remember, to not be harsh, critical and judgmental in regards to others. That if they need help seeing things I do so gently and with love and kindness. Help me improve myself and my Christian walk so I can be a better vessel in Your service. I ask that You draw me nearer to You and that You draw my loved ones nearer that we all may be the people You want us to be and that we walk the path that You have set before us and not part from the true path. That we all learn to be kinder towards one another and treat each other as we should. Help me be an example of Christ’s work in a person and use me to help bring others to You.

Amen

Well, it is a cold morning here today and I suppose I need to make sure that I bundle up before heading to work. I hope all have a blessed day, that if you are not physically warm that you are warmed spiritually and have the chance to share that warmth, that blessing with someone else.

Advertisements

Who Loves ya baby?

telly-savalas-who-loves-ya-baby

No, I don’t think he does, but with the catch line that was used on that show, I thought maybe it would be a “clever” start. Although, what I think is clever often leaves others (my daughters for some) shaking their heads or rolling their eyes at my dad jokes and attempts at humor. BUT, as at many other times, I digress.

 

I suspect that many, if not all of us have asked ourselves, Who loves me? When dating, does the boyfriend or girlfriend love me? When engaged, does the fiancé? When married, does our spouse? My children? My pets? My parents and grandparents?

And, the list could go on and on, depending on the amount and type of love to which one refers. But, does anyone ever truly love another unconditionally? How much will someone sacrifice out of love? Some will and have sacrificed everything while others may sacrifice time or money. But, just because one sacrifices money does that mean they love you? Because they buy gifts does that mean they really care? If you do buy gifts for another, do they love you only because of what you have given them and not because they love you? Does having sex with someone mean love? Are any or all of those things done out of devotion and love or are they done because one or both involved wants something and they will show love as long as they are given what they want, be that attention (physical or otherwise,) gifts, money, or any other possible “reward” for showing love, or a semblance of love.

All those questions are difficult to answer and I could come up with many more about how humans show love. But, how many times do humans pretend to show emotions. Sometimes those emotions are genuine, sometimes they are not. How can one tell? Well, I really don’t know the answer to that. I have been in circumstances where I thought someone loved me, but then realized later, no they did not really. Love requires sacrifice and humans, regardless of what they say or do otherwise, are inherently selfish and greedy and have personal motivation for almost everything they do. I am not saying that there are not some genuine people, but that even the most genuine has some sort of personal agenda. I am not criticizing human nature, just recognizing a fact. We do things for those we love, partially out of love, but also because we receive something in return. Whether that be joy in seeing a loved one happy or if it is because they give us something in return. But, the underlying truth is that human love always contains an element of self service. We show love to receive. And, there are many who show love but not true love because they receive something in return that is more beneficial and valuable to them than what they show. Buying gifts does not mean one person loves another. Not buying gifts doesn’t mean one doesn’t love another. I will be honest, trying to understand the human heart, including my own, is a confusing matter. The more one tries to understand, the more confusing it becomes.

As one tries to understand human love, particularly the one writing this, one begins to realize that yes, the scripture is correct about the human heart. But, I do know someone that loved me, loves me, and will always love me. Not because of what I do, but IN SPITE of what I do for I will, we all will, eventually do some sort of wrong. Not intentionally, but we do. We all fall short, we all slip, we all sin in one manner or another. But, despite any sins, failures or shortcomings. Someone loves me. He loves me so much that He sacrificed His only Son for me. God sent His Son to die for me. Christ loved me so much that He suffered pain and torture and was executed so I could be forgiven of my sins and have life eternal with God. I suppose one could argue that God loves us in order that we can worship Him, so He gives love to get love. If that is true, I still receive rewards for worshipping and praising and loving God. The joy and comfort He provides as part of His love is amazing. Regardless of why God loves us, He does and has done more for us out of love than we could even begin to repay.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3: 16-17

 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  Deuteronomy 6:5

 

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  Matthew 22:37

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 

The last two verses especially say a lot to me. I have seen soldiers die for their friends and brothers in arms. I have seen examples of one person dying while struggling to try to rescue another. Those are noble examples of love. But, the most loving, noble, gracious thing I know of is how Christ suffered and died for me. I am so unworthy of His love and sacrifice and the gift of life eternal with Him. But, He loves me so much that He did so.

 

No, a guy with a lollipop does not represent love to me. Saying the words does not prove anything. Money or gifts don’t either. Only truly giving of oneself proves love.

THIS represents love to me!

 

holy-cross-on-calvary_ey0rhaxz__F0000

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all You have done for me. For Your unconditional love and the unimaginable sacrifice Your Son Jesus gave. I stand in awe of such great love for one as unworthy as I. I pray in Jesus’ Name that You work on me, work in my heart to help me become that which You desire of me, that I follow You as I should, that I be an example of Your love. Help me know the path You plan for me, Show me what You wish me to do and teach my how to see and feel towards others as Christ does. Please draw me and my loved ones, as well as others, to You so that we may enjoy the blessings You give and that we are able to stand in Your presence to worship and praise You.

Amen

 

Well, I hope that all have a blessed day. Thank you for your time and I do hope that all have a chance to be a blessing to others.