No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weaknesses, and not please only ourselves. Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to help them be stronger in faith. Even Christ did not live to please himself. It was as the Scriptures said: “When people insult you, it hurts me.

Romans 15:1-3 (NCV)

If you’re giving a compliment, give it unrestrained.  If you mean to say, “Way to go…” just do it. Buts aren’t fair.  In the wake of a loved one’s success, our praise should be unlimited.  You might have done it differently, or not at all; save it, because nobody cares, it’s not about you.  There will be time for postmortems where everyone gets opportunities to take part in “lessons learned.” Somebody else just won the battle.  No fighter studies the replay at the victory party…at the victory party, it’s all about the victory. Training, learning, and analysis will all keep until the morrow.

Trust Me, I Know Whereof I Speak. 

I have been known to put a foot or two in my mouth. I know how to use soft words, Sometimes, I just use too many. We always think we are being helpful.  The point is, when you love someone, you focus on their good…not your own. I let my mouth get ahead of me because I was afraid. 

We are Afraid Because We are Impatient…

We don’t like to wait.  I don’t think anyone does.  Instead of listening and learning, we move quickly to what’s next. Popular culture, including fast food and advertising, reinforces our not being inclined to sit still and let things unfold.  We’re rushing towards what, exactly??

We are Afraid Because Outcomes Trump Processes…

In the conversation I flubbed, like so many other times, it’s the end that matters, not the journey.  I like processes, cooking, knitting, running. I also appreciate the outcomes, but if we can’t enjoy getting to them, we miss most of the fun.  Faith is also about hope, remember, and hope anticipates something to come.

We are Afraid Because We Despise Failure…

We are so obsessed with succeeding at everything that we are paralyzed by the notion of failure. So, if someone looks like they’re headed towards success, do we unintentionally sabotage?  

If you’ve recently made a similar misstep with someone you love, you can relate. If you’re fortunate like me, when you apologize, you might get little more than laughter. My friend used my recent spectacular failure as an opportunity for us to talk about our individual insecurities, whereby feedback is internalized as criticism and personal indictment.  It was a useful lesson.

The next time you want to support someone, do it with no ifs, no ands, no buts. 

Just be Supportive.  Like God.  

God just loves us…despite our best efforts.  And since we’re never perfect, never quite, it surely is a blessing that we get perfect, loving acceptance, even as imperfect beings, without all the feedback.   

Chelle Wilson
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