"He's not playing nice!"
"It wasn't her turn!"
"That's mine - give it back!"
"I called it first; make him move!"
Sound like your house now that school's out for summer?
I remember those days. But eventually, children DO grow out of their fierce sense of fairness...............or do they?
Actually, I hear phrases like this pretty often. Not from children but from adults!
Their verbiage is more mature. More acceptable. More politically correct.
But it still stems from the same root. The root of selfishness.
Attitudes and behaviors that we accept (even expect) from toddlers, creep along behind some people their entire lives. Sabotaging relationships right into their adult years.
It's like the impeccably groomed business woman. She marches out of the marble tiled restroom. Dressed in Gucci. Clicking along the hallway in her Jimmy Choo stilettos. You want to be just like her.
UNTIL you catch sight of the three foot piece of toilet tissue fluttering behind its secure location on her heel!
(I saw you cringe when you envisioned her!)
When I encounter someone living selfishly I want to hug them and say, "You don't have to live like this! It's not necessary to constantly play head games and try to look out for yourself! Don't you see the pain this causes you AND everyone around you?!"
But if they don't wake up with the hug, my human nature kicks in. Then I find myself wanting to shake them out of the stupor of stupid behavior and choices!
(I know, a little harsh coming from a mild-mannered pastors wife, right?)
But if you could follow me around one day seeing all the people wounded by the selfish choices of others, you'd be a little indignant too.
And it gets worse. When people live focused on making life better only for themselves, they typically end up being the most unhappy individuals you've ever met! Trust me, I encounter them routinely.
Have you heard the phrase, "People wrapped up in themselves make a very small package!"? Good one, right?!
A long time ago I heard someone paint this word picture...........
"What I hold out to others is of great importance. I try to avoid filling my arms with judgment, unforgiveness and harshness. Instead, I try to intentionally reach out to both friend and foe with love, acceptance, encouragement. Then, even if the other individual shoves my "offering" back in my face, I'm covered with love instead of judgment. Acceptance instead of unforgiveness. Encouragement instead of harshness."
That's a picture I want for myself!
And when I don't trust my own heart to honestly reveal selfish behavior, I go to a friend. A true friend will tell you if the toilet paper is trailing behind your shoe!
If you find yourself yelling out the back door, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!" Stop for one moment and ask, "Am I practicing what I preach? Do I treat others with the respect and appreciation I feel I deserve?"
Odd post for a lovely summer's day, I know. But just one that bubbled up out of me today!
Hope your response is "AMEN!" And not, "Oh, Me!"