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

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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.

599: Criticism and Karma

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You know, I got a lot of chiding when your candidate was ruling the free world, and my posts and comments expressed my personal dissatisfaction with his methods and morals. I recall being labeled “petty,” and “vindictive,” and “patently and obviously unfair and biased.”

The shoe is on the other foot, now. What are you posting, that you derided me for posting? And what have I NOT had to say to you about it?

I’m going to just leave this here, for those who are able to think, and those who understand the definition of irony, and those who might comprehend when someone else has taken the higher road.

And that won’t be very many peeps, now, will it?

 

589: Choice

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I love you.

I do not want to continue seriously rethinking that statement.

I empathize with your frustration when I challenge your belief statements. Making personal attacks against me does, at least temporarily, achieve your objective: I lose interest in the intellectual debate and focus on the hurt instead, and you are no longer intellectually uncomfortable since I am no longer challenging you, and indeed, I usually withdraw to lick my wounds.

This is infantile behavior on your part, and it is beneath you. I would like to believe it is beneath you. It has happened often enough that I am seriously rethinking that statement, as well. I do not deserve personal attacks from you, I do not accept them from you, I will not continue to receive them from you. If you are incapable of indulging in intellectual debate without resorting to such remarks when the water begins to heat, that is your own personal failing, and not mine.

After reflection, your choices are two. You can stop engaging in intellectual debate with me, and enjoy the fact that I love you, with all that entails. Or you can choose door number two. When it comes to personal attacks, I do have, unfortunately, some small experience upon which to draw.

I do not need you. I love you, and that is another kettle of fish entirely. At the moment, these fish are smelling pretty rank. I am, as yet, unwilling to scuttle the kettle, but it is always an option. I am not threatening you, I am merely stating some facts for your consideration.

Your choice.

576: Penthouse Episode

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If you are in a committed relationship, your man thinks he has finally given up his last chance at ever having a Penthouse Episode. You know the ones….they used to appear in the pages of that magazine,  and factual or not, they were a glimpse into the fantasies of the average man. To have a woman so crazy for him that she would pretty much just attack and overwhelm him with her physical desire and her deep, inescapable need of his amazing, devastating masculinity.

Ladies – if you are in a committed relationship, give this gift to your man. Choose your time and place, since nobody wants to be arrested by the law (major passion killer, that), but pick a time and place and let him know in no uncertain terms how much you want and need him in that basic, elemental female-to-male way. He will be amazed, surprised, incredulous – and grateful, proud, and manly. Show that man you love above all others that you want and desire HIM – above all others.

Trust me, even if you are bashful when you do it, he will be thrilled. Every man wants to be loved and adored – show him that you are the woman who does love and adore him.

Give him his very own, personal and private Penthouse Episode. Doesn’t he deserve it?

341: Useless

Did you ever go into work on a day when you KNEW before you got there that you were going to be virtually useless for the day?

That’s today. So – you (actually I) are faced with the decision of whether to go anyway, and fill in the time doing whatever you can manage to get accomplished anyway, knowing that it will be completely bogus and will all probably have to be re-done all over again when you return to work on a day when all of you can actually be present to work, and not just the physical, empty shell of a body that showed up today, OR do you phone in to your boss and fake that phlegmy-sounding cough while you lie about how sick you really aren’t, taking a sick day because you never use them anyway, and you have, like, nearly a hundred saved up that you know they are never going to pay you for anyway, but you keep showing up to work when you are sick anyway, thinking morbidly that maybe some day you will have cancer and you’ll have five year’s worth of sick days saved up, so everything will be just fine.

OR, do you (I) show up for work and do something sneakily bogus, like, visit everyone in the company personally, asking for their feedback on some nifty new project you brainstormed, so it looks like you are industriously gathering DATA while you are actually just visiting everyone and wasting the eight hours so they will pay you, because let’s face it, that’s the real reason you show up for work on ANY given day, and not just this useless day?

OR, do you just blow it all off, phone in and take a personal day, claiming you have vitally important errands you absolutely must accomplish today, even though you only get three personal days a year, as opposed to the 12 sick days you get that you never use even when you are sick, and you already know that the most important, vital thing you might actually get accomplished today is a long-overdue pedicure, where you meticulously trim, buff and polish your toenails a trendy shade of blue or lime green or yellow that you bought at the mall because you were standing in a long check-out line and they had this display of ridiculous nail polishes bearing no resemblance to anything life-like, but you were stuck there in line for over 40 minutes with nothing else to do but stare at them, so you bought one of each?

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Yeah, well – this is one of those days.

338: Personal Motivation

People all over this world accomplish things large and small though their own personal motivation. Motivation can be a powerful force for both good and bad. Unfortunately, like a great many things that matter a great deal, personal motivation remains a nebulous, abstract concept that is fluid and flexible, and not remotely the same (inspiration or results) person to person. It’s complex, even though we all recognize it when we see it in action.

To make motivation even more confusing a concept, it is even fluid and changeable within a single individual, depending on  the circumstances.

I saw this in action in Harrison Ford’s movie “Bladerunner.” Ford’s robot-hunting police officer character is interviewing an individual in order to determine whether she is, in fact an individual (human), or if she is, instead a cleverly programmed human-imitating, life-like looking, android robot.

He asked her a series of questions that illustrate the changeable and sometimes contradictory notion of human motivation. He asks her what would she do if she found a neighbor’s child abusing an animal. She answers she’d report him to the authorities. Then he asks what she’d do if she discovered her own child pulling the wings off of flies, and she answers that she’d take him to the doctor to get help. Then he asks her what she’d do if she discovered a wasp on her own arm, and she instantly, with no apparent recognition of or concern for the inconsistency of the logic of her own motivation, answers “I’d kill it.”

People are like that. Which way I am gonna jump in any situation depends on a great many things, including the mood I am in at the moment, how others have treated me today (or even yesterday/last week/anytime in my previous life history), and even maybe what I had for freaking breakfast – let alone the enduring moral or ethical values I govern my life by.

Some of us make an honest and sincere effort to govern our lives by motivations of enduring moral and ethical behavior, grounded in a profound personal sense of ultimate truth and values.

Others go into politics, or become criminals – but then, I repeat myself.