Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Hidden Among Us

I wonder what it would be like, if people literally wore their hearts on their sleeves. If you could tell what a person was feeling, just by looking at them - if you could read their struggles like you read a book. Wouldn't that be something? To be able to see past the fake, pointless smiles, and know the truth about what people are really thinking.

Unfortunately, that's impossible. Depression is often hidden behind a smile, and sadness is bountiful where there seems to be happiness. Unless we're ultra super-sensitive to the sorrows of our fellow man, we can't just look at a person and know their life story.

Everyone wears a mask. Everyone wants to appear like they're doing OK - even when they're not, and they're actually really struggling. That's why, today, I want to just write this little post to remind you that there are sufferers in your presence.

They are the Hidden amongst us, the ones who seem to be handling everything fine. They are the secret grievers, the invisible mourners. Their physique proclaims to their family and friends that all is well - while the "inner man", as Plato once called the soul - is drowning and overwhelmed.

The lesson is: Don't ever assume that the person you're talking to, the person you're mad at, or the person you passed by at the mall is OK. The smallest rudeness on your part could wound them more than you know.

Be kind to everyone - because you never know who's fighting a battle for their lives.

You might just be crossing paths with one of the Hidden.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

My Post Is Better Than Yours

I happened upon my blogger dashboard the other day and became depressed. Why? Because this little blog called "Daughters of His Love" has apparently gone cold and unwelcoming, with signs of abandonment. I'm convinced that no good blog should have to undergo a stagnant state for as long as my good blog has, thus, I will mimic my dear friend Caro over at "Pasta and Waffles" and make this my new years resolution, if you will: Blog.

Writing this, even now, makes me happy. It's my little place to ponder, and deduce. It's my place to write freely about struggles, circumstances, and miracles. A lot has happened since my last post, and I think it's a good thing that I take the time to write about it. It helps me think it all out, and to come to some conclusion.

Here is my most recent mountain to climb: Competition.

I do competitive debate. There's a thrill in convincing an audience, of arguing a point, and defending a position (even if you don't agree with it). It's my favorite thing to do in all the world, and I'll speak in front of a crowd any day. I love it. I love that I could hone crucial skills while doing what I love most: speaking to influence a change in heart and mind.

I'll tell you a secret of mine...

I'm not competitive. At all. In my personal life, I don't think I have the capacity. I hate arguing with others, and I'd rather just avoid difficult situations than confront them. If you want to fight, you'll see me resign quickly from your company - I don't like going back and forth about things that won't really matter in a few years, anyways.

This mindset, for me, translates into the debate round. It's not about slaughtering the other team. I can beat them in words, sure, but will I win the heart of the audience? Probably not. I don't want to be a debater, I want to be a performer. I'm not here to debate . . . I'm here to win your heart.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. In an atmosphere that heavily promotes competition, the debate realm tends to promote personal irresponsibility with words. The louder you are, the better... and saying things that really are worthless end up being praised. Arguing for arguments sake, in other words. Plato once said, "a wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool, because he has to say something." So here is another New Years Resolution: I won't be competitive. Yes, I'll definitely try to win - but only in a debate round. Winning does not mean being competitive.

Scripture makes it clear that careless words, even in jest, must be accounted for.
As Christ said, " will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-38)

Isn't that enough to make us watch our tongues?

At the root of being "competitive" is the desire to be better than our fellow man. Not only that - but to let the other man know that you are better than him! ;)

Galatians 5:25-26
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Proverbs 16:18-19
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

Proverbs 26:12
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 27:2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

2 Corinthians 11:30
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

This is my New Years Resolution, to remain joyful in humility. It's an uphill battle, especially in the "debate atmosphere" I so often find myself in. But I am encouraged, knowing that in Christ himself, the one who was born into poverty, suffered, died, and was hardly the competitive type.

I am happy to walk in his footsteps, instead of trying to be the best.

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P.S. My post is better than yours. ;)

Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. --Pearl Strachan

Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so he is. --Publilius Syrus

Words are plentiful; deeds are precious.-- Lech Walesa

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