Saturday, July 31, 2010

Concise...but keepin it 100

Relationships are built on trust, and loyalty. A key component of both of those things is honesty. To trust someone, they have to show their honesty to you, and in turn you reciprocate. The same goes for loyalty. For one to be loyal to someone, there has to be a commonality, even thieves can be loyal to one another, but they have to be honest in their "honor among thieves" with one another.

The context of the relationship doesn't matter, but this point holds true regardless...if you are honest with each other, both parties are much more open to making the partnership work. Honesty doesn't allow for unconscionable contracts in business dealings. Honesty doesn't allow for mistresses on the side in marriages. Honesty doesn't allow for friends to be talking about a friend behind their back and saying they something different to that same person's face. One of the definitions of honesty is 'freedom from deceit or fraud.' That's honesty in a nutshell. Let's not live our lives with ulterior motives. Let's not try to find ways around tough situations by making them tougher. My pastor said this week, "no one has to tell a child how to lie, they are sinners by nature." We all fall short of the Glory. Knowing this is true, make it a point in your life to work to overcome that shortfall. Simply tell the truth and deal with the consequences. The consequences of being caught in a lie are almost always worse, and even when they are not exposed externally, we have to live with that guilt on our conscious every day. It's simply not worth it. Be open and honest, and people will respect you more than you will believe.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What Do We Really Want?

Ok, so this week I had a couple of very interesting moments. Rarely do I have a moment which I can say, "that's the Spirit of God," or "that's God's Divine Intervention." I had two of those this week.

Very similar events. The first event was waking up early in the morning from the 'pop' of a water bottle (contracting or expanding because of air pressure). My room was very dark, so I turned on the TV and I saw a movie pertaining to the apocalypse. The most interesting part of the movie to me was the main plot was not so much about how to save the world, or stop the imminent destruction of the world, but to bring people to Christ before it was too late. This movie featured a character recognized as the Anti-Christ by Christians in the movie. People tried to kill him, but they couldn't. People tried to stop him, but they couldn't. The only thing that moved him in any negative way was for characters in the movie to talk about Christ, and for God to reveal His power.

I had no idea what it meant at the time, but I knew I was supposed to see that movie.

The next day, or shall I say early morning, very close to the same time, I was awakened again. This time it was a noise that literally sent a chill throughout my body. I don't know what it was, it sounded like it came from downstairs, but I couldn't find anything. After coming back to my room, the TV was on, and there was some show interviewing Tavis Smiley. Again, I had a sense of I supposed to be watching this, I need to be paying attention to it. As a side note, I don't really care for Tavis Smiley, most of the time I disagree with how he tries to do what he does, so the channel normally would have been immediately changed. On this early morning, I didn't change the channel. I watched as Tavis talked about how he was raised very poor, one of 13 people in a 3 bedroom trailer. He said he could remember from a young age being determined to give back to his family and his community. He wanted to help get his family out of that situation, and apparently from that he derived his passion: Helping to empower and enlighten people, especially people who he felt were disenfranchised. Tavis said he wants to reach young people with this thought: Find what you would do for free, and do it. Do whatever you passion is, whatever brings you happiness.

Five minutes later, after his interview goes off, I start to read a book I have been reading for quite sometime. I notice the bookmark has been moved, back to a chapter I have already read. Interesting, but I start to read it again. The chapter is about passion and happiness, in your life, in your career, in your relationships. Again, the author talks about finding what makes you happy, what really bring you joy, not necessarily monetary joy, but a sense of purpose and worth. That's where your passion is.

I realized a day later, these things had a meaning for me. Our own personal apocalypse is coming. Also, while the 'end of the world' as we know it will be different for everyone (it's may be the day Christ returns or it may be some random day in your life when you pass before His return), the thing that gives us purpose and happiness while we are here is still out there for us. If you are in a relationship that brings you happiness and you are passionate about it, you are where you should be. If you aren't happy, nor passionate about it, you should re-evaluate your situation. Our lives are very short. We don't have a long time to make our lives what we want them to be. So while we are here, we have to step outside the box and go for what we want. My tenets are preparing for and existing in a relationship which follows biblical principles which protect us, not restrain us. If that's what you want in your life, don't settle for anything less. If you want to be happy where you are, make it so. If happiness where you are is not possible, move on.

The Creator Himself reached out to move me this week. probably something as subtle as one of His thoughts, a twinkle in His eye, or vibration of His breath moved me. The experience for me reaches many areas of my life. My career, my relationships. I want passion and happiness in both of those areas. I have to work to get there, and not let the disappointments and frustrations of this world stop me. I felt my Creator intercede for me. I want my words to intercede with Him, for you. I'm not talking about sexually (unless you are married of course), but find passion in how you view your significant other. Look for, recognize and call out signs of happiness and a sense of purpose to your relationship and your significant other will thank you for it.

One final thought, the movie spoke to giving one's life to Christ as opposed to trying to save the world. We can't save the world, Christ has already done that for us. Christ Himself said, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 The earth has some more "hell" to go through before we get to that point, and there's nothing any of us can do to stop it. What we can do is accept the salvation we have been given through His blood. We can also add happiness to our relationship with our significant other, if we show them to Him, through His word. There is happiness, joy, a peace and a purpose which can only be found in following Him. Submit to His will and His ways, and enjoy the most successful relationship one could hope for: the relationship with Christ.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Are you really willing to ride for me?

A little delay between posts, but the holiday weekend is coming to an end, and here we are again.

I want to speak about a topic which seems to get overlooked a lot in today's society. It's not one of my tenets in my book, it seems to be the last thing we consider in employment, relationships, even in our friends. That thing is loyalty. We as a society have lost our focus on being loyal to one another. In many cases, we aren't even loyal to the people who helped us get where we are. I have seen people show a lack of loyalty for those that hired them to a job. I have encountered people show a lack of loyalty for their significant other in a relationship who was down with them through both thick and then. My associates in Corporate America talk about learning to become a free agent, as the years of loyalty to one company have long passed, and vice versa--the years of a company being loyal to its employees are gone as well.

There is truth to some of this, especially with the changing global economy and trying to climb the corporate ladder. There is also a false sense of independence we have created in believing we don't really need to be loyal to one another. I heard a pastor say, "when you are wearing the uniform of a company, and taking their checks, you need to ride for their brand--you need to be loyal to that company." I agree with this summation. If you are a part of something, you should be committed to that something, you should feel obligated to "ride" for that something. In my observation of our experiences, we are ready to "ride" for our marriages any longer. We definitely aren't ready to ride for one-another in a relationship in co-habitation. The most disappointing point is, quite often one party IS loyal, but the other party has no concept of what being loyal means. Calling to let someone know you are o.k. is part of loyalty. Calling when you are out of town and talking to your spouse is a part of loyalty. Loyalty by definition is to be faithful and committed. When we are committed to one another, we call each other to let the other party know we love them and we are doing o.k. Loyalty is being able to tell your wife you are tempted by a woman around you, and you need to do something about it--change jobs, whatever, because you love your wife, and you don't want to betray her.

The commitment of a relationship is serious stuff. We should not take it lightly. I write about "Love, Honor, and Respect," in the book. If you can't be loyal to your mate, you can't do ANY of these things. The disappointment of life that loyalty seems to be missing in MOST of our relationships can actually work to a person's benefit. If you show you are loyal, you can be seen as being better than people/experiences that your mate has to compare you to. We should all be loyal to our spouse. The fact is, we aren't. Since we aren't all up to the task, show your loyalty, and your mate (if they are loyal as well, and value that commitment) will love you even more deeply because they know you will 'ride' for them no matter what.