Kindness and integrity are something that are rarely seen today. I know the answer to the why question is sin. It still astounds me however, that even as “cultured”, well rounded, and advanced we are as a society and in our understanding of the world and one another we seem to lack kindness and integrity. Lost somewhere between the “all about me” and “life is good” mentality.
Last week I received an invitation from a former doctors office (of which I left 3 years ago). The invitation was for classes that were coming up called “Eliminate Bottom Feeders”. The minute I saw the title I was stunned. Reading more of it I was flabbergasted at the “all about me” instruction I was invited to. It read:
How miserable are you with the toxic people in your life? ARE YOU READY TO BE A BETTER YOU in every life situation no matter who is in front of you?……..instructions to transform your life into one of simplicity and freedom……Best of all, you’ll learn the proven methods to attract positive, loving, and inspiring people into your world
I cannot write any more of what is on this flyer. I’m frustrated just writing it. Seriously? The all about “me” worldly viewpoint once again protruding off the page. Call me old fashioned, call me old or call me anything, however, this is down right what is wrong with our society and world as a whole. We fight for ideology, we fight for justice (as long as it benefits us) and we fight for happiness (our own). What ever happened to fighting for others for no good reason or for justice just because it’s morally the right thing to do. Our culture seems to enjoy reality shows where people are glamified in their sins and any redeeming quality that does exist is overshadowed by laughter, criticism and hatefulness.
Is this what is wrong with our youth? Is the next generation going to serve a purposeful place in society? The questions should be considered.
There are several situations that have recently transpired in in the last week where I’ve had to look around and consider how to handle individuals that have taken the “me” attitude. In dealing with those situations, with those individuals I have considered just turning them away because as the class title states, they were bottom feeders. Anyone who knows me however, knows that doing that is not in my personality. I have had to consider in each situation the attempt to overshadow the “me” concept with love, forgiveness and kindness. I’ve prayed over my own heart and asked for guidance in my reactions. In order to understand more clearly I also looked up “bottom feeder” and this is what it said:
bottom feeder – leech, or in other words a total lack of responsibility to provide for oneself. Relies heavily upon friends, neighbors or anyone really for sustenance.
This of course allowed something to lay upon my heart with great pressure. That if someone is a bottom feeder, and they are going to rely on others for sustenance, can’t we assist them by being a good example and steward in what it means to give back? I mean, if they are going to rely on us, perhaps that is God’s way of blessing us with opportunity. Perhaps, that is where He will use us in our service to Him. Just maybe, that person is someone that needs to see kindness so that they too may go out one day and bless another with the same. What if we as a society, stopped watching all of the “me” media and reality shows with our children and rather, began to outsource our energy to brighten someone else’s day with a kind gesture, a kind word, or a smile. What about a meal for someone who is unable to cook, weeding someones garden because they aren’t able, taking in a neighbors garbage can when it blows in the street or even opening a door for someone who is struggling whether it be due to little children or a disability? What about a prayer and an email to someone you know needs the encouragement? Most of all what about forgiveness? The posibilities are endless. Remember, bottom feeder are also the ones that are cleaning the tanks. They are of value and they could be your blessing.
Our culture also tries to make our children and one another believe that every relationship is a fairytale. That every day you wake up you should be singing, laughing and never complaining. I’m sorry to say that you can read self help books till the cow’s come home and you will never find that to be true. If all that is taught is what is in the movies or on reality TV about what they call “true” happiness, one is surely to be disappointed. In fact, maybe that’s why so many people are on antidepressant drugs. Perhaps, rather than instructing one another on how to rid ourselves of people who drag us down, maybe we should begin sharing with one another how we have dealt with struggles in our own lives. You never know, it just may assist in the mind set of someone who has a lack of coping skills. Life is full of challenges and we cannot escape them, we need to learn to cope with them.
John 16:33English Standard Version (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. There are boundaries to everything, and there are priorities. We should not be forsaking our families attention for that of others. We do not put our families on hold so that we can attempt to “save the world”. However, we should be able to balance our families and others who maybe don’t know what it means to not be selfish. Even the example of serving our families can be seen by others. When I was in College, one of our classes required us to read a book called, Give A Man A Fish and He Will Eat For A Day, Teach A Man To Fish and He Will Eat For A LifeTime. A concept we have long forgotten.
As I ponder this week how I may assist in showing that which I know to be good stewardship to all those I encounter, I consider also what it means to be content. Content with this life on this earth. Contentment with illness, with family, with friends, with volunteering my time and with contentment in all things. I hope that you too will consider where our society is today and the culture that is vastly becoming all of our reality. How can we play a part in transforming just one person from being a “me” thinking individual to being a “difference maker”.
(I personally would like to have my own class…6 weeks in teaching others how to go beyond themselves in behavior and in thought.) ha ha ha
ESV — 1 Timothy 6:1-10
6 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants1 regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
False Teachers and True Contentment
Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound 2 words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and3 we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.