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Posts Tagged ‘#goldenrule’

matthew

There is a trend in our society, that has been making me wonder lately.

The trend is all of the respect yourself advice. Let me give you a couple of examples:

“respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy”

“respect yourself enough to say “I deserve peace” and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it”

Basically, the messages tend to be (my words) “if I am not getting what I want from you, I will erase you from my life”

Every time I read one of these (faux) pearls of wisdom, my mind goes to situations, seasons and people who stuck with me when I was that person.

that person who was selfish

that person who treated another poorly

that person who didn’t make the effort to call, email or contact

that person who took more than they gave

that person who should have been walked away from

You see, we are all that person at times. We all have seasons of selfishness, distraction, ignorance, and pride. We all have been mean, unthinking and unappreciative.

I am not saying we should be a doormat or allow ourselves to be abused … no way. What I am saying is that, maybe, the loudest message today is we deserve only good from others.

The further I go in my life, the more I look back at the ways my grandparents did life.

I remember times when a certain neighbour, fellow church member or relative would do or say something disrespectful to my grandmother. She would shake her head … and move on with her day. The next time she would see them, she approached them with the grace of a blank slate … and usually that was the end of the situation.

You see she respected herself enough to not dwell on those incidents. She also understood the wisdom of the ages, the golden rule of life, that you treat others as you would like them to treat you.

And, at least in my life, I am so thankful for those who treated me with such grace as to treat me as they would desire for me to treat them.

 

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It is said that if you make something personal, actually place yourself within it, that thing will have more relevance for you.

“O Canada!

My home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts I see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee.”

I love to sing O Canada, and singing it, among hundreds or thousands of others is just the best. Some of my favorite memories from living in Canada’s national capital of Ottawa, Ontario, are times of singing our nations anthem at Parliament Hill, among the throngs of others proud to be Canadian.

Canada is my home, by birth, and I take seriously the rights and responsibilities that come from such a birthright.

That is correct, rights and responsibilities, not rest and relaxation (in case that is how you interpreted R&R).

To live in this country of Canada is to be blessed with amazing rights and freedoms, many of which are reminiscent of the Magna Carta (MC) of 1215 (England).

The Rights:

  • free speech (MC)
  • voting
  • move throughout the country
  • equal treatment under the law
  • language (French or English federally)

The fundamental freedoms (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms):

  • conscience and religion (MC)
  • thought, belief, expression (including freedom of the press) (MC)
  • peaceful assembly (MC)
  • freedom of association (MC)

These rights and freedoms make Canada what she is, but not without responsibilities as well.

And what are our responsibilities, as Canadian citizens?

According to the government of Canada, these are:

  • to obey the law
  • to take responsibility for yourself and your family
  • to serve as jury
  • to vote
  • to help others in your community
  • to protect our heritage and environment

These responsibilities are extremely important, if we are to fully know and experience our rights and freedoms. To these responsibilities, I would add one more. This one gives feet to all other responsibilities.

“do to others as you would have them do to you
Luke 6:31

It is said that if you make something personal, actually place yourself within it, that thing will have more relevance for you.



 

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We are just a day, just hours really, away from the end of 2014. Whatever our experience of 2014, these final moments of this year seem to bring us to a state of reflection.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I certainly do not entertain this year end reflection with enough seriousness. Perhaps that oft quoted statement “those of us who ignore history, are doomed to repeat it,” ought to be inscribed in our inner eyelids. History, either that of our world, or that of our individual lives, causes us to naturally run away, or re-live it, but, if we reflect on our days, perhaps there might be a third response …

learn from it.

As we sit on the cusp of the change from the past to a new year, the time is right to take a few minutes and reflect.

People

We do not live our lives independent of others, but with our lives intertwined with others around us, whether connected by birth, marriage, jobs, or buying our groceries. As we reflect on those relationships, whether intimate, or more superficial, are there areas which need more attention? Are there too many memories of harsh words spoken? Are there things that have not been spoken, because of fear? Do we come to the end of this year, having said all that needed to be said, having listened to what needed to be heard, and having kept quiet when to be gracious was of more value than to be right? We have all failed the people around us, and they have failed us.

Perhaps if we could live the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would desire they treat us, this coming new year …

Environment

We live, not only with people, but also with a world that we are Biblically (Genesis 1:26-30) responsible to care for. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that there is anything that we mere mortals can do to increase and alter the number of days that the Earth will exist, but I do believe that if God, himself, has given the care of the Earth and everything on it, then we need to do all that we can to care for the soil, the water, the air, and all that grows because of these.

Perhaps if we could treat the things in our lives as the gifts, from God, that they are …

Activities

Our time gets divided up by so many worthwhile, and worthless activities … and there is time and place for both. For some a game of hockey, and for others a game of solitaire are ways of spending a quiet evening. For some volunteering on a church committee, and for others checking in on an elderly neighbor are ways of giving to others. For some giving tax deductible gifts of money, and for others random acts of kindness are ways of sharing what we have. Whatever activities we fill our days with, it would be good to remember the words of Socrates, “beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”

Perhaps if we could treat the time we have as the gifts, from God, that it is …

Creator

Who is the Creator to you, to me? It has been said that to know where your heart is, look to where you spend your money, or your time, or where your thoughts rest. So many of us say that God is number one in our life, but would our wallets, our time spent and our thoughts show that to be true?

Perhaps if we could treat our relationship with our Redeemer, as He has treated us …

Perhaps, as we reflect on the year that is almost completed, as we investigate our actions and attitudes, we could all learn to treat all that has been given to us with an attitude of thanks, of respect and of honor. Perhaps then we would have learned from our mistakes, rather than running from or repeating them.

 

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