Haven’t written in a while. Perhaps I might be able to conjure up something soon…
Haven’t written in a while. Perhaps I might be able to conjure up something soon…
Love has very little to do with feeling and very much to do with commitment, at least in this particular context. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is kind of an oxymoron when taken literally, and it’s difficult to understand if you think about loving yourself and loving another simultaneously. How is that possible? If you read the common biblical description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13, it talks about quality of relationship, listing everything that love should exhibit. It lists ACTIONS. We have a natural inclination to put ourselves first. Can we extend that practice to others? Surely you cannot if you can’t do it with yourself first. However, if you have the ability to put yourself first, then you can and should put others before yourself. The fact is, everyone can put themselves first, it’s natural! “Love your neighbor as yourself” means that everyone can do it. Love is centered around relationship and it’s power is found in commitment. This is a common theological explanation for the Trinity. God is love, therefore, God is a relationship practiced in perfect unity (3 in 1). Once this commandment is practiced, I believe that Tyrone is most accurate; make yourself worthy of being loved. Extend the relationship of yourself to your relationship with others. Selflessness, it’s not about you. If you’re a jerk you’re not loving yourself, you’re praising yourself, and if you’re committed to loving others, then you’re failing yourself. Just like we make up the body of Christ, our relationships make us. Tyrone said “self love is overrated.” I agree. I don’t think self love exists, more like self addiction. My view: Love others as yourself, not because of what you can receive, but because you were first loved and have been blessed with the ability to do so. Make it your biggest commitment, first to yourself, and then to others. This is truly living.
This past weekend I went to a conference in Tampa that my friend invited me to. It was random, but I was desperate. I’m glad I went because I found what I was looking for.
Here are some things I learned:
- We can all relate to the prodigal son in life, when we make mistakes and humbly come back to Father afterwards. However, sometimes I struggle with being the older brother, who doesn’t rejoice in such things but rather feels alone and angry. Father’s reply to the older brother is that he is never alone, and that they share everything. It’s easy to take it personally when the way someone chooses to live their life hurts you. It’s natural to feel alone, insulted, abandoned. But, it’s mind blowing to see how God’s grace is sufficient. By the same way we receive it, we should extend it. Being like the older brother is hard, but it’s living, and who said living was supposed to be easy?
God’s grace waits, transforms, and then extends.
- There is a major difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. First, we should define what “peace” really means. Many would make the claim that peace is the absence of conflict, and that they are peacekeepers. It might sound good but it’s not productive. Who said that conflict is always destructive? Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the resolution, that’s what a peacemaker does. A peacekeeper is someone who will avoid conflict, confrontation, and in turn, resolution. A peacemaker is someone who respectfully confronts and resolves. Jesus was a peacemaker.
- Faith is work. It is visible and tangible. Grace saves, faith sustains life.
Something I firmly believe that will never change: I need Jesus.
Disclaimer: This is a good old fashioned vent with some rant and no censorship whatsoever.
This weekend was epic. It was also quite difficult at times. Let’s begin with the planning. On Thursday, we planned the events of Friday and Saturday night to be an overnight beach party and a night downtown. I was excited for both, but more so the overnight beach thing because I was pretty sure you were not going to be able to be there (not that the event was planned by my friend and I to purposefully make it difficult for you…of course not). Anyways, Friday rolls around and you’re there! I’m not going to lie, it was quite the surprise and I wasn’t exactly ready for it. How were you able to be there? That’s easy, a lie of course! However, this lie was epic. It was a whole weekend ordeal and required 3 other people to also lie to pull it off. Oh, and apparently this has been happening every weekend, if not most, for the sake of a drunken good time. You’re getting good at this. So, since Friday’s attendance wasn’t expected, I was doing pretty well at first but then I had to get away. Looking at you, being around you, and listening to you are not easy things for me to do right now, especially when you’re drunk and significantly more superficial than you already are. The night was pretty fun nonetheless. I consider all of this to be very valuable learned information, I’ll explain why in a bit. Then came downtown Saturday night. This night was different because I was prepared for it. I knew that you were most likely going to be in attendance for this one so I had a plan and my plan worked perfectly. The plan was simple, distraction, which is really easy to have when you’re clubbing downtown for halloween. Have a good time dancing with all the other girls in the group constantly, and I would never have to pay attention to what you were doing. Worked like a charm, especially since my ate was there, she’s a SICK dancer. Epic night.
Now, in retrospect, I think what I learned this weekend was very valuable. I had 4 key conversations with 4 different people. Two of the people know you quite well, one doesn’t know you at all, and the other was my parents lol. The first conversation happened Friday night walking on the beach when I learned about your wonderful new lifestyle. However, this friend loves you very much and tried to justify it with “She’s doing now what you did before. you can’t really blame her.” Smooth move, I wasn’t buying it more so because of pain than reason, but the reason came later when I talked to my dad, which was the second conversation. Pops very sternly had a difference of opinion saying “you never had to lie about it, you were always honest and you never hurt anyone.” Sure, I partied a lot when I was a little college kid. Sure, I don’t really do it anymore because I’m over it and it’s not fulfilling. But something I never did and never would have done is walk away from a true relationship just to hit the clubs, not to mention the whole lying thing…I’m sure that helps your situation a whole lot… My mom had fewer words, she just said that you are selfish, and that’s sad. It makes sense, being selfish is easy, and you like taking it easy. The next conversation was on Sunday after all the events. I finally got some one on one time with my friend/brother. This conversation was just comforting because he always understands me. He said he was just worried that one day, you would regret everything. I’m not really worried about that, selfish people typically don’t regret, at least not for long. I’m just worried about the day you get caught. Believe me, you will get caught, and in my opinion, it’s worst if you don’t. The last conversation had nothing to do with you, but it reminded me to always keep in mind the commitment I’ve made to myself to be a good man, and that brings me to the following conclusion:
I deserve better. You could be better, but for some unknown and most likely incredibly stupid reason, you choose not to be. That’s fine with me, NOW I KNOW. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting myself on a pedestal here, I’m just taking you off of yours. I’ve had you on one for quite some time because of my feelings, but now it’s time for you to come down. You’re still a girl, not because you can’t be a woman but because you’d rather be a girl. Your friends condone your behavior because you’ve made sure of it. They either agree, or are “understanding” and don’t want to be insensitive. Anyone with real balls probably ends up like me, and that’s only if they’re dumb enough to deal with it as long as I did. Nonetheless, I think moving on will be easier now. You’ve chosen to be like any other girl, just don’t complain when guys treat you like what you are.
I’m sad because I care about you and I know that you’re better than this. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m happy because I was blind and now I see.