From the September Series Blended
What I’m finding very interesting as I’m teaching on the September Sermon Series blended at my local church is that the same tools needed to make a blended family mesh and become successful are the same tools needed to heal our community and affect our world. It’s hard to talk about trust, honesty, and communication that’s needed to build a proper blended family, without addressing the lack thereof in our community. I pray that as I’m ministering to the needs of families that are blending or have blended, that the parallels are drawn and we implement the lessons learned in September in our local communities. From our school system to our political system, our communities and our nations need to blend and become one. As a local pastor, I’ve been challenged to help the congregants in my local assembly grow their blended families into a mature long lasting infrastructure. Today I want to take it a step further and challenge not only blended families, but individuals as a whole. Take the time and read this week’s blog, then comment and let me know your thoughts. Look forward to hearing from you soon!
Here are 5 of many impactful things you can do to positively affect those around you!
Consider the Grey
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
It’s so easy to forgo the aforementioned quote when dealing with people that exude behaviors that are not socially acceptable. Have you ever watched a talk show based on sexual crimes, and the host interviews a child molester? I feel very certain that you are not considering that persons battle at that moment. You are glaring at the TV, strongly imagining what you would do if he or she had touched your child. Though fully understandable, have you ever considered the many facets and variables that brought this person to such a low place where he or she now “desires” to ruin a child’s life? Though, I am not by any means justifying the heinous acts of molestation, I am wanting to broaden your thinking. I desire to challenge everyone that reads this blog, to not be so linear in your thinking when dealing with people. Contracts, deals, and paperwork are black and white, but when it comes to dealing with people you have to ALWAYS consider the grey. There is a concept called The ‘victim-to-victimiser’ cycle. In short, before someone can become a victimizer, they were first a victim. Let’s introspect: Whose life have you failed to impact because you judged them without hearing their story first?
If They Knew Better They Would Do Better
I heard of a story of a young mother who disciplined her child by dropping him in scolding hot water. Once social services found out, they took the child from her temporarily. During the interview process, they found out that the mother didn’t know that that form of disciplining was inappropriate. In fact, she learned to do that from her mom who punished her that way. This young mother had to go through a series of training to reeducate herself on what proper discipline was. In a more current story, NFL premier player of the Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson was indicted by a grand jury for reckless injury to a child. Peterson states, “He used the same kind of discipline with his child, that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas.” In these two accounts, peradventure the statements given are true, neither one of these parents intended to physically harm their children; they were only doing what they knew to do. These two examples alone should assist us in being less judgmental and more tolerable towards people in their indifferences. There is a growing selfishness in our society that makes it alright to sit and watch another man fail. The African Proverb states, “it takes a village to raise a child” speaks to me strongly as I write this blog. In order to stop the viciousness of The ‘victim-to-victimiser’ cycle, we have to become more community conscious. It is no longer just about your family, your money, your church or your job. If you are reading this blog, I hereby deputize you as a community leader and you must now find someone in your community, that’s less fortunate then you, hear their story with love, and teach them what you know. Knowledge is one of the key antidotes to heal our communities and to break cycles.
Look Beyond Yourself
As a horse with blinkers, our drive to meet personal goals can cause us to miss what is happening around us while on the journey. We are so focused on the race ahead that we fail to realize the ‘crowd’ until there is a crises. Everyone is striving to ‘be right’, ‘do right’, be successful and achieve, but the cries for help from the people we interact with daily are going unheard and ignored. The disjointedness currently experienced in our families and communities stem from a failure to actively tend to the issues in our environment. Our communities require cultivation and not neglect. I use the terms ‘tend to’ and ‘cultivation’ to have you visualize your community as a garden. Whatever pollen blows into the garden has the potential to pollenate and reproduce after its kind. Ask yourself, as you blow through your community on your individual journey, what seeds are you allowing to germinate along your path? Your seeds, as small as they may seem contribute to the overall character of your community. No more can you detach yourself from your environment, but instead ask how did I contribute to this? Come out of your house once in a while and do some gardening!
A Fresh Start
One of the biggest oppositions to healing is resistance. Medical advancements increasingly have to be broadened because even bacteria adapt to resist change. There is a fight going on in all of us to keep away from what is unfamiliar, what we have little experience of and what seemingly goes against our moralistic opinions. For many, this resistance renders us unwilling to learn, unwilling to change, unwilling to question so as to gain understanding and in turn we become unwilling to help. What or who are you resistant to? Are you willing to reach out to someone who does not fit into your ‘norm’? Be the glue in your family and community that promotes cohesion. Break down the walls of resistance, opposition and hostility and give someone a fresh start.
Remember the Golden Rule
Lastly, I think the Golden Rule sums it all up perfectly. Treat others like you want to be treated. The bible says it like this, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” Proverbs 18:24. We must get in the habit of sowing into others what we want to become a harvest in our lives. Think of it like this, if you need more positive affirmation in your life, there is someone in your close proximity that needs it more than you do. This rule should apply across the board, at your local grocery store where that new cashier is slow and now you’re running behind time, as well as, the office janitor who doesn’t keep your office space tidy. Everybody deserves to be treated with the warm care and concern that you would want for yourself.
I want to encourage every reader of this blog to start implementing these 5 points in every area of your life! As you do, it is my strong hope that not only does it bring healing to families, but healing to individuals and communities.