My first post for the New Year. 2013. What a difference a year makes. I have had to go through a lot of things I wasn’t ready for, not by a long shot. The death of my mother, the birth of my grandchild. Dealing with drama llamas attached to that. More stress in finances and trying to be a contributing member of the house without it costing us more than I would make. All have been a part of my life.
I have seen all the posts from everyone about their one words for the year. I have chosen 2, because I think with one cannot be present without the other. But in dealing with the loss of my mother and the handling of her estate I have seen the best and the worst in people. Not anything I had not been privy to before, per say, but something that really grated my nerves and heart in the midst of my emotional state. Things that have shown me the true character of some people and how low they can get.
Goodness. As much as we would like to think this trait is inherit in all people, unfortunately, in today’s society it comes with a price tag. Everyone wants something out of it. The ‘what’s in it for me’ generation we have created in our attempts to have more , do more, be more. We have lost the ability to accept defeat wanting a medal for just running the race, even if we came in dead last. We want our recognition, our children expect to receive something for simply showing up. We have failed to teach them that goodness is not something you do to get something . It is just the right way to be. You hold the door open for others, show respect to those who have served, pick up the dropped item from the person in front of you. Goodness, when done with a heart that is simply acting because it is the right thing to do, expects nothing in return. While the thought of Pay it forward in and of itself is a wonderful movement, the sadness that I feel that we have to be reminded to do those things breaks my heart. I am not just referring to the practice of tit for tat either. Many of us do the good thing and say nothing in the moment, but somewhere we tell someone else, ” oh I did this”, waiting for their pat on the back for our overwhelming good deed. We expect reciprocity in some form or another, we can no longer feel good simply because we did it, we have to be acknowledged for it. I don’t usually do a lot of bible quoting on here, though I have never denied my personal beliefs in God or Jesus. But Jesus himself warned of this type of society. The ones who did good or suffered to only receive the accolades of men and women who see us do it.
Matthew 6:1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 23:5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
That last line is where humility comes in. To acknowledge we are not perfect, not even in our goodness. We screw up and fall short. Do what you do with a humble spirit, not to blow your own horn.
In the last year I have found many people who tell of their good deeds, who brag about their kindness. I used to be one who did that. Not all the time but sometimes. Like hey look at me and how awesome I am. I have come to realize that those who blow their horn often do so to make others feel less than. They do it because they don’t want everyone seeing their true nature, which is vile and venomous. I have done the same, I will not lie. Usually after I have screwed up majorly and I want people to not notice my shortcoming and focus instead on the good side.
But in this last year I have learned that any rewards I get from simply doing the right thing are far greater than any accolades a man can give me. The joy I feel when I step out of my comfort zone and do it, regardless of what it is, is better than anything someone could say. I have learned that truly good people are humble. They do not have to announce their goodness to everyone, because when they are truly good and humble, their reputation proceeds them. Their favor opens doors for them that otherwise would have been closed. They step into blessings with no explanation for them other than grace.
So this year I want to raise my kids to do the right thing just because and say nothing. To be humble in their gifts and talents and watch as doors open for them because they don’t blow their own horn. To understand you cannot win every race and you don’t get a ribbon for showing up, you just do it to the best of your ability, and that is honor enough. I want to be the role model in that area. I want them to say of me, “my mother was good, even when she didn’t have to be, even when people hurt her or abused her, she chose kindness with silence. ” It isn’t about winning anything, it is about being more like the Christ I claim to follow. Those are my words for the year.
I have added this as a part of Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out.
I am also linking up with One Word 365
and My One Word
and also with