I judge people. Christians aren’t meant to judge people according to the popular understanding. Of course what this means is you’re not meant to come to a negative judgment. If you come to a positive judgment it’s all good. Some Christians don’t even believe you’re meant to judge other people despite the fact that we may well end up judging angels and the rest of the world to boot. What is at issue isn’t whether or not we judge but the manner in which we do so.
I’m obviously interchanging different definitions of the word judgment here. And were this a blog whose purpose was to fill the world with my ill-informed, half-baked, lacking a clear purpose of thought on theological musings I would flesh it out more. But the purpose of this blog is behind the couch somewhere and when I find it I’ll let you know. For the purposes of this post it is sufficient to acknowledge that people make judgments – for various reasons and I merely hope that my reasons aren’t as bad as the rest of you beard-wearing, stone throwers gathered around.
Psychological testing has taught me that I am very much an all in type of person. When committed I can often stay much longer than is necessary and often to the detriment of my mental health and sanity. As often as I can I make sure I mean what I say. This is an odd temperament for an individual in my profession but it’s the way I am. So despite my best efforts when a person says something like: “I’ll call you”, “I’ll email you” or “I’ll pray for you” I know that most of the time they won’t. I know this and it still wounds me not to receive said email or phone call – much more than it should.
I’m all about reaching out. I like to connect to people and I know that I come across in a rather intense fashion. I recently undertook a little experiment. I stopped saying hi to people on Gmail or making an effort to chat to them on their terms online. People know where I am and how to find me. Net result is that people don’t chat to me a lot. There’s intellectual knowledge of an issue and then there’s the reality which brings home intellectual truths in a way you’re not always comfortable with.
I knew I was lonely. I didn’t need a psychologist to tell me something I’d known for the past four or five years. The whole non-initiation of internet chat has just brought that home. What bugged me was how there was always this part of me that had this illusion of hope: “Well, they said they’d email so it’s alright to expect it any day now.” The days pass and that little ray of hope which can brighten your entire day often merely heralds the coming despondent storm. Jesus put it simply Let your yes be yes and your no be no. That’s how I try to do it.
One of the things I know I’ve done in the short-term (and probably long-term) is that I’ve made a conscious decision to go for a career that is stable but doesn’t offer great financial reward in comparison to other organisations. I think I’ve made the right decision but suspect there’ll be moments I wondered what could have been. Here’s hoping that she who eventually gets to put up with me makes millions ;-) But I guess I wonder the same about the woman in the two videos above.
You can’t deny her talent. Is there something superficial and shallow about pop music that makes it seem like she’s sold out? I don’t think so. The song Electric Kiss in the second video definitely speaks of a racier persona than the gown would initially lead one to believe. I suppose it touches me on the basis of what decisions were made to arrive at where she is right now. You make choices. You accept consequences. I have no clue as to how she ended up where she is. I just see the contrast in the two videos above as something that hooks into my own thoughts and draws the lines for my mind to be caught up in a musing.
Is it simply a case of using what you’ve got? You have your own personal brand. And it’s up to you to use it to its best advantage. The stereotype of the tall, dark, handsome man, and ooh if he had a villa or two it’d be nice, is one that is well known. I’m Irish. I’m not meant to be sallow skinned with deep brown eyes that smoulder with the embers of a thousand fires captured against the slow setting beach-side sunset. Do I worry about that? No, not really. I just concentrate on being better than that archetype by playing up my good side.
I feel I’m being true to myself when I do that. There are always regrets but mine are comparatively few and hopefully will remain so in my life. Maybe Lady Gaga is being true to herself. I don’t know but I thank her for making me think.
P.S. – If this video is any indication she’s become the new Kylie Minogue for dancers: “We’re wearing what in the video?!?”
January isn’t even over and ahead of me is the following:
Workload increasing at the office
Moving to a new premises with work
Taking on new staff and managing that change in tough circumstances
Idea I had for work has been accepted and they want to move forward on it. Welcome but creates more work for me
Masters to do at night
Parents moving out of house and helping with that
House still for sale and could theoretically be bought at any time. Conceivable I’d have to move three times this year.
Brother’s wedding at the end of May
Close friends’ wedding start of August
At least two other weddings I can think of right now
Soccer issues continue with new pitches and keeping the teams going
Church stuff that needs to be resolved.
Then there’s the friendships, the wanting of a girlfriend and the faith struggles that I’m sure will squeeze their way in somehow. Joys :-)
Read this post recently. There’s two things that strike me about it. Firstly, how David is obviously guilt ridden over his actions even a year on. This much is apparent from a cursory reading of the passage in question. When David is confronted with his sin he confesses and repents. One imagines it would have stuck with him after time. One can be forgiven and still labour under guilt.
Secondly, how David screwed up even at the height of his earthly success. In one sense he had really made it and it was in his self-perceived strength that he fell. When we disregard the grace of God that is when we are most vulnerable. When we refuse to acknowledge how he has sustained us and provided for us that is when we delude ourselves.
How is this relevant to me? In the first instance, I don’t really feel guilt about sin any more. I’m referring of course to the sins that used make me feel guilty; the sins I was aware of committing and specifically sexual sins. This excludes all those other sins that we fool ourselves into thinking we don’t commit. There is no desire to engage with them any more or repent of any actions. It’s simply a limbo land. The devil may be pulling a variation on his greatest trick by making me apathetic about stuff that I should really be striving to eliminate. That’s not a good place to be. And secondly, I wonder how much stock I’m putting in my career above my calling. That is not to say that they are mutually exclusive but more to say that while the latter can be above the former the former should never take precedence over the latter. Money, time and effort are all waning towards my church.
We come once again to how a person defines success. Is everything merely a vanity? Or can I be successful in my job, i.e. in the world’s eyes, and truly humble in God’s?