Friday, June 01, 2007

Two Viewpoints

It occurred to me today that often we fall into one of two types of flawed behaviour, when it comes to how we live out our lives.
The first type are "the grass is always greener" crowd. People who follow this path, have little conviction when it comes to commitment and loyalty, if a better offer comes along... they are off to pastures new.

The second type are the "you made your own bed, lie in it" crowd. I know all about them! In the past, that is the group I have most closely associated with. These are people who value loyalty and commitment so highly that if they make the wrong choice, they stubbornly refuse to get out and instead try to make the best of a bad deal.

The sensible people are those who fall in between... but I wonder in reality, how many people that actually amounts to. It would come as no surprise to me if they were in the minority.

I have a problem with the first group I mentioned... I don't like it when people act like locusts, especially in matters of friendship and relationships. I find it unacceptable that a person can come along, strip mine another individual for all their goodness and then leave them when the next best thing comes along. It is wrong. How does a person justify such an attitude in their own heart? Of course the truth is that it probably never crosses their mind... and for that... if it weren't for the terrible damage they cause to others by their behaviour, perhaps they would have more of my pity.

However the second group, the one I have followed in the past... don't believe in hurting others, they don't understand that there are times when it is OK to get out... that sometimes staying is the wrong option. If you are slowly being devoured in body mind or spirit through a friendship or relationship... I think it is OK to escape.

True friendships and relationships are built on symbiosis (two or more separate individuals working together to benefit one another). Too often we can fall into the trap of parasitic relationships - where one party takes advantage of the other.

I strongly encourage you to think carefully before making a big decision either way about your relations with others. If you are thinking of walking out on someone, ask yourself why. Ask yourself is it really worth it. Ask yourself if you are thinking of what is best for both people, or if you are just trying to have your cake and eat it.

Similarly if you are on the receiving end, if you are in a relationship with someone where you feel obligated to helping them, ask yourself if you are really helping them by spoon feeding them. Are you losing sight of yourself, do you feel like you are slowly dying inside? Don't needlessly commit yourself down a path from which there is little or no escape.

Essentially all I'm asking you is if it is a two way thing. There is an old Korean parable of a soldier who dreams he dies and is shown Heaven and Hell. In Hell, he sees men and women wailing in despair because they are given impossibly long chopsticks with which to eat. In Heaven, the people have happy faces... and yet they have exactly the same chopsticks. the difference is in their attitude. In Hell, the people are trying to feed themselves... in Heaven they are feeding one another.
Are you getting fat off what other people feed you, whilst neglecting to return the favour?

Or are you being fed at all... or are you giving all your food away without receiving nourishment?

Please think about these questions, your long term future may one day depend on it.
Regards and blessings

1 comment:

  1. I remember this Korean parable about the chopsticks. Oddly enough I was thinking about it the other day. I was 14 and a new Christian when a guest Pastor came and shared this at our School - I never forgot it. Thank you for the reminder, also the importance of our conduct and behaviour in relationships.


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