Is Never A Waste
With fast paced schedules and relentless demands, life can be hectic. Battle, chaos, tumult all round. Overload! Confusing!
It’s easy to get lost in the melee and feel the ground slipping at the end of each day. But all is not lost. In fact, very little. Your sense of frustration, your lack of accomplishment may be more a matter of perspective than reality.
The way to feeling a sense of balance, if not accomplishment, requires nothing more than a map. Include the following four items in your daily life, in no particular order, and your sense of accomplishment will improve.
When it comes to relationship nature, we are all different, but when it comes to relationship needs, we are all the same.
Everyone needs acceptance and affirmation. But to receive that, you must give it.
But what is that, other than two sides of the same coin. Can you affirm a person without accepting them? Can you accept a person and not affirm them? Acceptance happens when:
- Agreement isn’t required. People are more important than the argument.
No two people agree 100% on anything. Requiring absolute agreement as a condition of relationship is anti-relational. We love idiosyncrasies. We’re drawn to individuality.
- Abuse Isn’t expressed. Acceptance allows each person the same right to their opinions, that you allow yourself, without abuse.
In an accepting relationship, questions are tools for gaining clarity not making statements.
- An equal hearing is afforded.
You can’t agree or disagree with an opinion till you’ve heard it clearly. When each person allows the other an equal hearing, that makes a statement of acceptance.
Agreement and acceptance are not synonyms.
When you’ve accepted a person – really accepted them – you’ve also affirmed them.
This runs parallel to what the Bible teaches. There’s little difference between accepting and loving a neighbor.
The Real Question
But here’s the real question. Who are we talking about? Below are four levels of relationship and how each is accepted.
The answer to the question, “How do you love a neighbor?” starts with defining who the neighbor is. We always talk about loving neighbors conceptually and generally rather than specifically and practically. We see the big picture, but we don’t break it down into the small parts.
The first person on the list is God.
We don’t usually think of God as a neighbor, but the Bible does talk about loving Him. Is there a way we can do that regularly?
Yes, by doing or saying something every day that sends the message, “I’m aware of you.” Praying, reading your Bible, being mindful of His purposes are ways to acknowledge God.
The second person on the list is your Married Partner.
No neighbor is closer. We must do or say something every day that says, “I admire you.”
Third on the list are Children.
The next closest level of relationship. Do or say something everyday that says, “I believe in you.” It means biting your tongue or checking your responses. Critiques and rescuers aren’t believers.
The fourth and final group of are Friends, Neighbors, Workmates and Clients.
Do or say something every day that says, “I see you. I hear you.”
Do something you enjoy doing everyday. If possible, follow the 80-20 rule – meaning 80% of your positive outcomes result from 20% of the things you do to produce them.
That can be applied in many ways, one of which is spend 80% of your time doing what you love. Spend the other 20% doing what you must.
Do some things every day.
In one sense, maintaining your health feels a little selfish. It requires an investment of time and money. Time exercising, which you might spend with loved ones.
Money spent on gym fees, sporting equipment and healthy foods. Money you could invest in others. Watching the diet and staying active is a self-focused activity.
Some think it selfish. Some think it wasteful.
But ultimately, these activities save resources and improve time spent together. Medical costs are far more expensive than healthy foods. Nursing loved ones inflicted with preventable diseases is relationally less rewarding.
Do something every day to improve or maintain your health.
Thinking! Another waste of time!
The Age of Doing doesn’t allow thinking, but every major breakthrough in history was a product of reflecting.
Isaac Newton didn’t invent the laws of motion, he discovered them. He did that by observing, thinking, mentally digesting.
Read, reflect, think and analyze every day.