I absolutely adore my kids! I was feeling pretty defeated earlier today, but over the past few hours I have been able to spend time with each of my children individually and I am filled with peace. They have such an inspirational outlook on life. I not only love them, I really like who they are as people. A calm and peaceful evening was exactly what was needed to gain a fresh perspective.
I searched for that elusive fresh perspective throughout the day, but it was as hidden to me as the answer to a trigonometry question. Communication is the challenge that fuels the majority of disputes, or should I say the lack of effective communication. If there isn’t talking and listening and understanding there isn’t communication; and by default there isn’t a fresh perspective. I experienced a breakdown in all three aspects of communication today and as a result inappropriate expletives collided in my brain like a bumper car ride. At one point I blurted out “Son of a biscuit eater!”. Yep, biscuit eating was my save in lieu of the bumper car that came flying from my mouth. The tension was building so finally I decided to try to handle it like a mature adult. I asked others to talk because I wanted to listen so that I could understand, but as with anything it all starts with the first step – admitting there is a problem. Until a problem is acknowledged it will never be fixed. Nothing got “fixed” today.
I think too often, society as a whole believes that “step 1” only applies to addictions. It actually applies to any and every problem. Without admitting that there is a problem, the problem will continue to have control. How often do people huff around, sighing and closing cabinet doors louder than usual, stomping back and forth through the house and basically acting like a child all so that they don’t have to come out and address the problem? I’m sure that I’m the only one who has ever done this, but in my immaturity I do tend to get a little irrational when I find dirty socks on the floor … NEXT TO THE HAMPER!!!! <sigh> But I digress. The point is that if there is anything wrong; regardless of how big (or small) of an issue it is; the best way to deal with it is with truth.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
Truth and love cannot be separated. If truth is not present, that means that selfish motives have taken the place of love. I know that may sound harsh, so bear with me for a moment as I explain. A popular reason for not telling the truth to someone is to spare the other persons feelings. For instance, we don’t want to be honest and tell someone that their new haircut looks horrible or that their outfit is unflattering. Why? Maybe it’s about the other person, but odds are that the underlying reason is that we don’t want feel uncomfortable ourselves, so we dress up our lies and call it “sparing the other persons feelings”. What about when it’s something bigger? Are there different levels of lying that make some lies acceptable and others not? I teach my children that lying about anything is wrong. I have been lied to myself in the past, and I can honestly say (no pun intended) that it is one of the most difficult offenses to recover from.
When we don’t tell the truth we are extending an invitation to the enemy to wreak havoc in our lives, and the lives of those around us. That’s why everything feels so tense in those situations. The enemy brings discord. As with all sin; and yes, lying is a sin; confession is the only way to bring peace. Truth, with love, with compassion and with humility.