A Short Self-Analysis


confused-babyPost #1: A Short Self-Analysis

Do I resent giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my grace.

Do I fear giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my faith.

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explanationPost #2: Children Will Give a Straight Answer to These

Do you like being forced to do what you don’t want to do with your own stuff?

Do you like being forced to be around people you don’t want to be around?

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What, then, does the Golden Rule tell you about the laws you should write, vote for, or uphold?

12 Responses

  1. Tim,

    You’re a funny guy with those pictures.

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    • We’re supposed to become as little children, and they’re just as cute as can be, don’t you think? By the way, my answer to question one on post two is easy. I have very little stuff and we can’t take anything with us so I’m not connected to what I do have.

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      • Tim,

        Was your answer “yes” or was it “no”? Also, your body counts as yours, too.

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  2. I don’t think anybody likes being forced to do anything. We usually don’t mind being asked, especially if it’s good for the community, but forced? Don’t think so.

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    • True, but the question was about you. Or, really, about anyone who reads the question, since I suppose strictly speaking very few people actually know what someone else likes. That’s why the Golden Rule, like all commandments, is not for us to judge others, but for us to judge ourselves.

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  3. On post #2, NO and NO. So, the golden rule rules.

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  4. A few thoughts on post one:

    “Do I resent giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my grace.”

    I am asked to give of myself in many ways, every day: my time, my money, my expertise, my sympathy, my knowledge, my experience, my physical presence, my emotional support, my efforts to solve a problem, my compassion, my encouragement, my help, and the list goes on.

    I can measure how filled with grace I am by how I feel about a particular request, especially if it comes on the heels of another request I am attempting to fulfil or have had to put on my list of items to do. In other words, I deal with stress every day, at times enormous amounts of stress.

    In my job, when a major network failure occurs, such as the loss of an Internet connection and therefore the loss of email, my fellow employees freak out. Email is critical in our business as it is in most businesses these days. My job is to keep the electrons flowing, especially to the world.

    That’s why I have redundant or backup circuits on hot standby. They are not as expensive and therefore not as fast, which causes stress in my fellow employees. The calls can come in fast and furious: “When are you going to get this fixed, Tim?” Eventually they escalate to the CEO.

    On one recent occasion, while in the midst of resolving yet another Internet failure – from AT&T no less – I was in between phone calls when the CEO walked into my office. The CEO has only visited my office three times in the ten years I have worked there. He was not a happy camper.

    He wanted the problem fixed NOW. I was doing everything I could. He had me get our account rep on the phone, read him the riot act, threatened to sue and within twenty minutes, our link to the outside world was back up. I had been working the issue for six or seven hours already.

    Did I resent giving him what he asked for – to get our AT&T rep on the phone? Not at all. I was happy he got involved. Was I resentful he was able to solve the problem in twenty minutes? Not at all. He had greater power and authority than I did. He could threaten to sue, while I could not.

    Was I embarrassed by not being able to solve the problem quickly? Yes. To me it was a failure of my relationship with my AT&T account rep. Why did he move heaven and hell to get the problem fixed when my boss called, yet kept me hanging for hours while “checking things out?”

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    “Do I fear giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my faith.”

    I assume you asked these questions from the point of view of a stranger approaching you on the street corner asking for money. Or perhaps even a family members asking for assistance when you would rather not, for fear it might make them dependent on you instead of self-reliant.

    When my son was much younger, he asked his mother and me for a car. Now he already had a car, but it was not a “hot” car. He wanted a particular kind of car, known for being easy to soup up and go racing. It was low to the ground and cornered well, especially on mountain curves.

    I did not want to give him what he asked. I feared the results. I did not believe he was mature or experienced enough to handle such a car. I said no. His mother said yes, and proceeded to buy him the car. He spun out on the test drive and caused some minor damage. Warning! Warning!

    A mother’s love knows no bounds, especially for an only child. I still feared giving our son the hot car. In fact, I was a little resentful when his mother proceeded to ignore my judgment. Our son was ecstatic, but soon the tickets started racking up until the car was impounded for racing.

    Bailed out each time, we employed the services of lawyers to get his driving privileges back. I remained fearful. He moved out, stopped making payments on the car, yet we still paid for his insurance until one day, he and the car had their last joy ride, leaving a trail of damage behind.

    We took the car back, had it repaired, managed to sell it for the same as we still owed on it and decided our son was on his own to get through the legal process of getting out of jail and getting his license back. It took a year or two, but he did it on his own. He is now a responsible driver.

    Did his mother have greater faith than me? I say yes. She did not fear the results of giving our son what he asked for, even though she grew up with four brothers and witnessed them wrap cars around trees and other objects numerous times. I learned a lesson. Faith does not mean control.

    Thanks for the thought exercise, Log.

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    • Well, Tim, thank you for the sincere response.

      “Faith does not mean control.”

      That is true. We simply give as the Lord commanded and trust that his will shall be done.

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  5. Do I resent giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my grace.

    We should never allow resentment to fill our hearts, nor should we simply grant everyone’s requests. Both would be sin.

    Do I fear giving others what they ask? That is the limit of my faith.

    We shouldn’t fear anything, faith sometimes requires not granting others requests.

    Do you like being forced to do what you don’t want to do with your own stuff?

    This question in and of itself implies a misunderstanding by the questioner. What stuff is my own?

    Do you like being forced to be around people you don’t want to be around?

    I have never really felt forced to be around anyone I don’t want to be around. I think another version of this question is to ponder on “who is my neighbor?” Which neighbor should I not like to be around? Who is God not hanging around?

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  6. I agree that it is the way we treat our friends and neighbors that can determine whether we are Zion like or not. It’s always the little things, so it seems– the nasty contentions or the little annoyances that sometimes destroy the peace in a group. Here’s what happened to me recently.

    Earlier this week, an associate of mine asked me for a favor. It was for some rhinestones to use on a costume belt that we all were making for ourselves for a performance. I didn’t want to share any of my left over rhinestones with her, because she doesn’t like me and I don’t really enjoy her either. And she gave me a lot of negativity about the whole group decision of which costume to get.

    She also didn’t pay for any of the group rhinestones, because she said she had plenty of her own at home, and wouldn’t need any. Then when it came time to actually decorate the belts, I found that we didn’t have enough stones–but to buy any more would put us out of the projected budget. Not wanting to make the others pay out more money, I secretly donated about $40.00 of my own stones so the four of us could have the belt look very sparkly and snazzy.

    When she saw our belts–she realized that she didn’t have the same color of stones at home after all, and she asked me if I had any left that she could have. Grrrrrr, that was my reaction. I told her I had to wait till I finished gluing Leslie’s and I would let her know. I could have told her that they were all used up. But they weren’t. But as annoyed as I was with her, I still forwarded on to her about 10.00 worth of rhinestones.

    I realized that I had passed a little test that had been presented before me. She wasn’t the beggar on the street, but she was asking for something that I had. Keeping it to myself, when I had plenty was the spirit of hoarding–and hardly treating my neighbor as I would like to be treated.

    As an epilogue to the story–she never once acknowledged that I gave her the stones, and never thanked me for them. I guess the test goes on!

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    • Yay for passing tests!

      35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

      36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
      Luke 6:35-36

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  7. As I ponder these things, I realize that keeping God’s second commandment is the hardest one of all of them, and the one most often broken. And here we thought that if we didn’t murder and commit adultery that we were so awesome.

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