Dogs, Human Behavior, Pets, Uncategorized

Wimpy Dogs & Egos

wimpy dogs

It took a few times to work it out, but eventually the realization struck that I was gaining discernment into some people’s psychological and emotional states by how they reacted to various types of dogs. There have been nearly a dozen instances, such as when one man showed absolute disdain for a very small dog that was quivering. He so despised the poor little thing for its weakness, that it became evident something more was in play than simply a preference for a more stalwart pet.  People possessing a character opposed to his, usually act in a caring manner—more inclined to protect the helpless little creature, even comfort it.

I supposed correctly that this man has a character flaw, and yet the root from which it thrives is where his psyche’ breaks down. He considers weak areas in himself. Anytime he sees someone, even an animal that resembles what he believes to be inside himself—he wants to turn away, and if he cannot do so, he lashes out. He has a deep sense of inadequacy. Unable to love himself, he cannot love something that reminds him of his own weakness, ugliness or flaw. But this is usually on a subconscious level. Many times the person has no idea that their dislike of things appearing weak stems from their own low self-esteem.

There are millions of us out here who tend to automatically dislike such a man, and dismiss him from any future contact. But knowledge always changes our actions. Love changes our responses. God changes the way we interact with the world around us through the wisdom He teaches us. Compassion is not only for the weak, but for all, even for those we think do not deserve it. Ah, I believe we’re now talking about mercy, which is grown from love.

Submitting to Jesus Christ’s Lordship changes the way we interact with the world around us.

Please don’t take this as some sort of formula to psychoanalyze a person! There are several reasons why someone may respond in a similar manner to a tiny dog that trembles at shadows. We have healthy young men who are still trying to convince themselves they are real man. Walking down the sidewalk with a cute, but wimpy little dog is just not masculine. At this stage of their development they avoid anything that might be construed as feminine. Toy dogs are for sissies, is the mindset. For such a young fellow, under the right circumstances, his thinking will be outgrown unless there comes a fracture in his identity, and then he may become like the first man.

When we begin to understand the difficulties people face on the inside of themselves we can better perceive how to help facilitate their healing.

My own response to the same dog was the opposite of that man I spoke of. The furry little ball of cuteness which he hated so much, drew me right to it. I picked up the puppy and spoke softly to him, stroking its downy soft fur. Mine was similar to a paternal reaction to the dog, because it was afraid, and yes, I began to not like that man at all. But then, the Lord began to show me this stuff, and everything turned around. Instead of disliking the man I began to pity him more than I did the dog. The unfortunate guy was miserable. Some past trauma had robbed him of a deep need of the heart: the ability to like and love himself.

Every good counselor, psychologist or social worker can tell you, “You cannot love others until you can love yourself.” Yes, there’s a lesser type of love we can have if we do not like who we are (by the way, that’s our cue to change). But it’s far from the kind of love God wants to make us capable of employing. When we don’t like ourselves, in every single one of our relationships we will eventually come to a barrier standing in the path of loving as we should.

Consider for a moment Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We cannot love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves. We’re not talking about egotism, or being prideful and arrogant. On the contrary, every soul was created by God, in His own image, and has tremendous value. We were created to love God and to love one another. When we don’t like who we are, we should go to God and ask Him to help us change. As we communicate with God we begin to understand how much He loves us, and that’s a huge boost to our sense of self-worth.

The world is filled with deluded people, not knowing their own worth or value, and the world perpetuates their fallacious thinking by putting them down ever further. Let’s not be a part of that cycle, creating injured souls. We are to be a part of God’s construction crew building people up, rather than on the devil’s demolition squad tearing them down. Be nice. Be loving and kind. Be the light of truth in this dark world where there’s already far too much hatred. It’s not easy sometimes, but that’s why we must also encourage one another as we work towards the time when hate shall be no more.

With Eternity in View…

 

Standard
Growing in Grace, Persecution, Uncategorized, Video

Life is Not Fair

Dealing with the injustices of life

What are we to do when things in life just aren’t going right? What about when others do us wrong? We all know that life is not fair on this third rock from the sun, planet earth. One day God will balance out the scales of justice. But until then… Here’s a tool God has given us to use in coping with it all, and to deal with it all.

 

 

I pray that you will position yourself to receive every gift and blessing God has planned for you. Satan wants to steal it all away from us. But we don’t have to allow it. Trust God, and respond with grace. The Lord will work it out in His perfect timing. “Let go and let God…”

Standard
Growing in Grace, Jesus Role Model, Uncategorized

Me Time

me time

Early in the morning before my time alone with the Lord and my usual coffee and breakfast, it is difficult to respond graciously. Yet each morning from the moment my feet hit the carpeting, demands are placed upon me.

My wife needs her pain patch put in place at the small of her back, and then needs help with this and that. But then, unnecessarily, she rehearses all of her schedule for the day. Can’t this wait until after my coffee? I silently think. Then she feels the need to remind me of all I had shared with her the day before—all that I need to accomplish today. My flesh wants to scream, Yes, I’m well aware of what I need to do. Please leave me alone so I can do it! Meanwhile, I’m tripping over the cat as she blocks each step, rubbing against my legs, insisting that she is ready to die of starvation any second. The dog trails close behind. The telephone rings incessantly. Everyone is demanding something of me, and I haven’t even taken care of me yet. Once everyone is fed and medically pampered, and promises are made to perform various extra duties, a slight grumble escapes my lips. That’s when I reach for my bible—Jesus will help to adjust my attitude. Matthew chapter fourteen…

Again, our Savior’s example is filled with grace as His love is disseminated to all. The news came to the Blessed Nazarene: “Your cousin, John the Baptizer has been beheaded in prison.”

(verse13) “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” Obviously He wanted to be alone, just as I do every morning, for just a few moments. The details of John’s death must have made the news all the worse. As most anyone would do, Jesus sought out solitude that He might mourn, or at least process the loss. But the crowds were rather insensitive to Jesus’ plight. As soon as the boat Jesus occupied landed, there was a large crowd waiting for Him. This effectively robbed Him of the “Me-time” that, personally, I surely would have demanded, having just lost a loved one. But Jesus’ response was different. “He had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Verse 14).

“Oh Lord Jesus, please teach me to respond the way you do! I can’t even respond graciously to my own family’s needs until mine have been met.” As a minister of the gospel and bible teacher for the past ten years, one would think I have all this stuff down pat. But every good theologian knows that ‘self’ is an ogre which needs to be crucified on a daily basis. I am thankful and encouraged that the Apostle Paul recorded in Romans chapter seven: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Yes, even Paul had to submit again and again, putting himself under Christ’s Lordship anew every day. It is a daily walk, and God’s mercy is brand spanking new every day. No wonder we sing Amazing Grace how sweet the sound!

I am pleased to announce that I have now had my coffee and my time alone with the Creator of the Cosmos. I’m feeling the love again and acting graciously, ready to serve others until bedtime rolls around again. I hope to handle tomorrow morning a little bit better than I did today. Of course, I’ll have to rise a bit earlier than I did today. After all, it is a growing process.

Standard