658: Personal Ethics and God

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Most of have a system of personal ethics we try to live by – a set of foundational beliefs. We try not to be hypocritical, even though sometimes we are. For example, most of us believe telling a lie is wrong, and then, we tell a lie anyway – when it is convenient, to get us out of a sticky situation, to save face, to avoid punishment, to avoid social discomfort (so-called white lies)….we actually DO lie, even though we philosophically believe that telling a lie is wrong. That is the essence of hypocrisy, and most of us are guilty of it.

Once you realize that you are actually a hypocrite in some situation dealing with one of your personal ethics, you have a conscious or unconscious choice to make – and either way you go, realize that you have actually made a choice. You can change the behavior to match your foundational ethic, and tell no more lies, OR you can change your ethic to match your actions; lies that benefit you are OK. Even if you just keep doing what you have been doing (being a hypocrite – telling lies and thinking yourself an ethical person who believes that telling lies is wrong) that is still a choice, and arguably, that is the worst choice of the three. It is also the choice that most of us usually make, because the other two choices (both clearly ethically superior choices that align your beliefs with your actions) mean that you will have to make some changes, and change is difficult. People are lazy, and change is difficult, involving work and thought and effort, and most of us are not up to that challenge, sadly.

If you believe you are a servant of God, just being an ethical person yourself isn’t enough. God expects you to put action to your beliefs (not just private philosophical thought) and actually do some work for the Kingdom. Sitting on your butt in your reclining chair might mean that you are doing no harm, true, but you also are a pretty useless servant of God, sitting there doing nothing but being harmless (and useless, too). Are you waiting on God to miraculously drop opportunity into your waiting, prayerful lap? Well, yes, He CAN. He usually DOESN’T. Get up and do something. He will let you know if you are not on the right track, what with Him being God, and all.

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And for the love of aforementioned God, don’t take pride in your character flaws. If you recognize a character flaw in yourself, guess what? God, in the form of the Holy Spirit’s conscience within you, has pointed out that area of your life and personal ethics (or lack thereof) that HE wants you to work on. That’s why you have come to recognize that aspect of your character and personal ethics as a flaw. The longer you go without correcting that flaw, the more difficult it gets to fix it, because you get really, really good at justifying your behavior to yourself, explaining to yourself why that flaw is not such a flaw, and how you aren’t really supposed to expend the effort to fix it, because, after all, God made you that way. That is the essence of disobedience. God didn’t make you that way – you did that yourself. You KNOW it’s a flaw. Flaws need to be corrected, especially once you have recognized this is a flaw you possess, and the fact that you don’t want to give up this flaw that you possess is part of your disobedience.

Whatever this flaw that God’s finger is on – you know it. You know it is something that you need to fix, you are just lazy, and possessive, and comfortable with it, and you don’t want to give it up, and do the necessary work, put in the necessary effort, to correct it. Realize this,  if your motivation to improve needs a little kick start: you are denying yourself blessings because of your willful disobedience. God knows He told you about it. You know God told you about it. God knows you know. You are being disobedient in not addressing this thing He wants you to give up and correct. Disobedience separates you from God and His blessings.

Prayers not answered? Be obedient to God’s prompting. Struggling? Pray and ask for the will and the strength to do what you have been told to do. Let go, and give up what you have been asked to fix. Yes, it’s work. Breaking any bad habit is work. But, you can do it.

And the blessings of obedience are worth it.

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612: Division of the House

American political parties stand-off

The conflict in the US over policy goes far, far beyond Democrat or Republican. In all actuality, those two surface divisions are far more alike than they are different. No, it goes far deeper and far more fundamental than political party affiliation.

Where we fundamentally agree is on “what’s best for America and her citizens.” Where we fundamentally disagree is on what exactly that “best” consists of.

To me, it boils down to two camps which are not necessarily identified by party affiliation, and this describes the two and the primary difference between them.

The difference, as I see it, is between those who  want people to stand on their own two feet, to be responsible and mature, and to provide for themselves and the progeny they produce: in effect, a limited government. This refers to the vast majority of able-bodied citizens, not those honestly and deservedly unable to care for themselves through advanced or young age, physical or in limited cases, mental defect. I get it, some people need AND DESERVE help. Unfortunately, there are far too many getting help currently who do not deserve help – they are where they are because of choices they themselves have made, and this camp believes that bad choices should have consequences.

The other camp believes that people actually born and breathing deserve all their needs, nay even their wants and desires (apparently irregardless of practicality or worth) met by a government that cares and provides for them from cradle to grave, in every aspect of life, economy, personal responsibility, decision making and bad choices totally irrelevant. Cost apparently irrelevant as well.

That appears to be where the division of the house occurs. I guess you can tell on which side of that fence I pitch my tent.

602: Stubborn

I understand that things can get difficult. Even when they are first world problems (which means they are issues of privilege), they are still problems. True, mine are generally insignificant ones, compared to life and death problems that many people the world over are struggling with each and every day, that is quite true. But they are still problems, even if they are insignificant ones (when viewed through that realistic lens).  Let’s be real, nobody is holding a gun to my head, literally (even if I sometimes feel like that figuratively). I still have choices (even when it feels like I don’t).

Understanding that most of my problems are small ones (nothing life or death, here!) SHOULD make it somewhat easier to suck it up, buttercup – and MOVE ON. *sigh*

Time to find my inner stubborn, and kick that ass into gear.

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584: Decisions

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Before I knew you

I made decisions

that can’t be undone

now that I know you.

I would like to be able to give you

what I can’t

because I made sound, logical choices

before I knew you

that I cannot undo.

I can’t regret

but I am sorrow full

over what I cannot do for you

and eternally grateful

that I know you

now.

578:Random sh…..stuff.

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The government has married many, many women. These women marry the government when they choose to stay at home and have children to support themselves on the government dole. Many actually refuse to marry their children’s father(s), and raise those children in a nuclear family, because they are unwilling to give up the free government money. When they can obtain benefits that are sometimes more than they can earn working a no-skills job at minimum wage (all many are remotely qualified for, if that), where is any incentive to work? There isn’t any.

Our government is enabling addictive behaviors among many, dis-encouraging them to get jobs and support themselves. The trouble is, cutting them off also disenfranchises the innocent children they have spawned to earn their living upon. How do you provide benefits to children while not encouraging their deadbeat parent to spawn more children to get an even bigger government handout support check?

Is it just me, or does anyone else absolutely despair at the fact that either Clinton or Trump will win this upcoming election? They are both awful candidates – how did we sink this low, that these two are our choices? Boggles the mind, for those who have one – which means not many Americans, evidently.

IS anyone actually campaigning to do away with police? Seriously? That isn’t a country I want to live in. Yes, I understand that not every single police officer is ethical. Guess what? Neither is every single practitioner of any other profession: medical doctors, politicians (duh), lawyers, judges, presidents, preachers/priests, scientists/researchers, sports athletes, you name it. We are routinely and frequently advised by the news (if you can trust journalists (:-() that people of all professions fall short of the glory of God, or even of basic honesty. Still – I think we are far, far better off WITH a police force than without one.

Learning to live with another human being is hard work.

I have discovered that getting thin takes hard work and dedication that I do not possess on a continuing, daily basis – and THAT is why I continue to be fat, despite intermittant and dedicated short-term willpower. One slip undoes DAYS of good behavior – sometimes weeks. 😦

Whether someone is gay (which lifestyle I personally disagree with) or chooses to abort their offspring (which choice I disagree with) ultimately does not affect me in any way whatsoever. What those persons do affects them and their lives – and you know what? People have the choice to throw away their lives in various ways, including suicide (which I also disagree with) and their decisions are their own. Their decisions are between themselves and their God (or lack thereof) and YES, they may be ill or mentally unfit when they make those decisions. It isn’t always apparent that they are unfit when they choose to do themselves harm with drugs, food, alcohol, gambling, sex, or any number of other life-destroying choices. YES, we should do what we CAN do to encourage people to do better things and make better choices. NO, it isn’t my fault when they make those choices anyway, when there are programs and options they can take, and don’t. For the love of God, I have enough to do trying to live my own life in an ethical and caring manner. Enough, already.

I dislike out present cradle-to-grave government. I do not believe this is what government was supposed to be doing. I want OUT. Repudiating my American citizenship is an option, but I also don’t know another country to go to and at present there is no such thing as “citizen of the world.”

Our government pushed native American Indians onto the worst land possible as their “reservations.” Now that they are discovering those lands have resources and are not as barren as was originally thought, Americans should PAY them for the use of those resources. Plus, we need to GO AROUND their reservation lands when we have some project for the nation, like the pipeline. We stuffed them onto those lands – now, BACK OFF. Respect what we made them accept in the first place!

A teacher has a huge influence on their students. But nobody can save every kid. It has to be a two-way street. I can choose to reject every overture you make. I can refuse to learn, and some students do choose exactly that. Maybe later they will gain some interest and motivation. Maybe another teacher will try again and reach them next year. Maybe school isn’t for everybody – imagine that. Not everything is a teacher’s fault, like not every cop or politician is a bad one. Heck, there are even a few competent and ethical used car salesmen out there.

Enough, already.

542: Mother

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Mother

does not stop.

There isn’t a day off. No vacation. No holidays.

Even when you are wrong, it does not stop.

No respite. No time outs for you.

You pick up the pieces of your shattered confidence, and you make dinner.

You say you are sorry, you cry about it in your pillow, and you go on.

At the end of strength and endurance, you go on.

Your choices have already been made.

You go on.

Even when you are wrong.

Especially when you are wrong.

 

And you will be wrong.

That you will get, even if you don’t get a break.

Go on.

You can’t stay here.

They are waiting.

540: How do you KNOW?

When there is a decision to be made, how do you know which of the available options to choose? HOW do you know? HOW are you sure? HOW do you know which option among the possible options is the best one to choose? HOW do you know that you are not making a mistake?

The fact is, you don’t know.

You can make the best possible choice among the available options, and still have things absolutely blow up in your face. You can make a very poor choice, and God can still arrange things to turn out right in the end, anyway. You might be the committed one, honest, and sincere in thought, word, and deed. If the other person (people) are not of the same commitment, something that is entirely beyond your control, BTW, things stand a very good chance of not working out positively.

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The cruel fact is, you don’t know. Life was never promised to be fair, equitable, acknowledging of your efforts, or affirming. Happiness is not promised. Fulfillment as an individual is not promised, either.

So – do you give up? Many do.

Giving up looks attractive, especially after yet another major defeat. Giving up guarantees one thing – you won’t win. You have to be in the game to win. You can’t win if you sit it out. Plus, realize that not everyone who is in the game wins.

If fulfillment is your goal, you must be stubborn as a mule and not give up. Even when you are slapped down once again, you cannot, ever, never give up. Be the ethical and moral person that you know yourself to be and keep going. Rest when you must. Recharge your spent batteries. But don’t quit.

How do you know you’ve won? Making peace with all that went before is one clear indicator. Being at peace with yourself is another.