You Are Not Your Behavior!


It is common, in the highly philosophical world of social media, for people to have license to say whatever they think is true. Living in America, it certainly is their right! However, not all that is written is necessarily accurate. Some things, while sounding good on the surface, work against people’s best interests. One such conclusion, usually stated in an attempt to confront hypocrisy, is the declaration that people “are” what their behaviors indicate! Are you the sum total of your behaviors? Read on…

To conclude that who you are is based on your behavior falsely assumes you are operating in a vacuum. It does not account for circumstances or the environment. It wrongly assumes that all human behavior is simply the individual acting, free of any outside influence. It does not begin to consider the vast impact of social media which spreads negative messages like wildfire. It summarily discounts your upbringing, your difficulties and your troubles. It reckons in arrogance that all people have the same opportunity to make good decisions completely removed from the situations they find themselves in, whether arduous and perilous or delightful and easy. In short, it fails to take into account the human condition, the foibles, the errors in judgment, the emotions and passions, the capacity to see the choices clearly and therefore choose wisely.

The spectrum of human behavior is vast and wide. What is wrong for one person is right for another. The person who is hurting will naturally hurt people. But, the solution for “hurt” people is not to condemn their behavior, but rather seek to remedy their hurts. People that steal and cheat and manipulate, do so because they have learned to do so, not because they are inherently bad, but because they learned no other way to get their needs met. And while their behavior is assuredly wrong, condemnation and judgment do little to offer a chance of escape. The person that consistently does “wrong” does so for a myriad of reasons. Simply demanding that they do better or assigning more and more punishments, does nothing more than telling a beggar to get a job! Surely the person that begs, whether legitimately or as part of a deception, does so at the expense of their own self image, shamefully begging as a last resort solution or in futility for not finding any other way to make it. Wrong behavior can be remedied, but whether repaired or worsened, is not an indicator of the value of that person.

God’s love for people is never based on their behaviors. God loves unconditionally and he does so because that is what people need the most. God has the ability to see what cannot be seen and understands exactly what is behind the wrong behavior. He is all-knowing and as such knows who the person really is absent all the evil influences. He looks on the heart. And in His provision for man, provided a way for men to escape the confinement of their own past behaviors. He gave man a Savior, a man subject to all the wrong choices possible for a man, yet without a failure to always make the right one. He gave him as a substitute for the man, so that the man could move forward according to the accomplished works of another man, thereby being set free from himself. In that acceptance of the Savior, His precious man could finally have the opportunity, the free will opportunity, to make a different choice. Then, men aren’t simply the sum of their behaviors, but instead a new creation.

In similar fashion, our job as fellow human beings experiencing the human condition, is to extend that same love and acceptance to other people. We must stop judging everyone and foolishly comparing their behaviors to our own in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. Though we cannot look on their hearts, we can at least acknowledge what stinkers we can be at times compete with all of the past behaviors we would like to forget! People that act poorly or rashly or foolishly, do so from a lack of understanding, not an understanding of what is right, but rather an understanding of who they really are or can be. People need your love, not a lecture! People need compassion and understanding and kindness. The kid struggling at school or exhibiting bad behaviors needs love and forgiveness more than an extended restriction! Inside we are all the same. We need lots and lots of love and acceptance. We need people to think well of us despite our wrong behaviors and as such, influence our behavior for the better. We need copious amounts of forgiveness which enables us to start again, over and over again if needed, free of judgment, resentment  and long harbored ill feelings.

Maybe you aren’t feeling so good about yourself right now. Maybe you have made some mistakes and some bad choices. Maybe you have been choosing poorly for many, many years. Well, my friend, that does not define who you are at all. All it defines is where you are at this moment in your personal evolution and growth. Your life is not wasted. It isn’t too late for you. God will give you a new beginning if you want one and it does not matter what you did in the past. It is that big and God is that good! As a writer once noted, “You made a choice in the moment that seemed reasonable in the moment, but to look back upon it in your later years with new eyes is at a minimum unnecessary and foolish.” Let your past be the past even if it extends only five minutes ago.

You are NOT the sum total of your behaviors! You are a person subject to a wide variety of influences, some of which will have assuredly led you astray. The only remedy for being led astray is to rediscover the course. Remaining lost and lamenting is a fool’s game! Know this day and everyday, that you can be exactly who you choose to be without any restriction. “Judge not another man’s servant as God is able to make him stand!”

Just some good thoughts…

You Can’t Fix What You Can’t see…


615928784Whenever you speak of solving problems or repairing broken parts of your life, there is always the assumption that you actually know what your problems are and where your life might need some repair. To rashly conclude your life is in no need of any revisions or improvement makes you a dummy.  But, if you are willing to at least consider that there may be something better out there for you, there are some things you have to get clear about first. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

I’m sure by now you are fairly clear on the reality that there is a right way to go and there is a wrong way to go. When you go the right way there is no downside to you or your life. There’s no negative price to pay or some sacrifice of something that is needful. The right way feels good and is good. There are no strings attached, no hidden snares, no “gotcha” waiting to get you. Conversely, the wrong way sooner or later makes itself known by reaching up and smacking you in the face! The cause may seem far removed from the effect, but the effect is always there as it necessarily must be. However, the wrong way carries with it another deleterious effect which you may not be aware of, namely its capacity to blind your eyes to its existence. In the same way that “right” clears your vision, “wrong” obscures it!

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” There’s no walking the fence when it comes to right and wrong. Choosing right is going to bless you and choosing wrong is going to hurt you. The method in which wrong seeks to harm you is by hiding its effects on you. If you have a disease hidden in your body, the sooner it is discovered the better. The longer a disease process has to work on you, the deeper its influence on your body and the worse your chances of surviving it. Wrong, of which “disease” is a member, works the same way. For wrong to continue to have access to your life, there has to be some principle or maxim or belief you are unknowingly perpetuating. The wrong way is often a very subtle distinction. The glutton eats himself to death because food is to be enjoyed. The rich man loses his health and family and eventually his life because life is supposed to be prosperous. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

The first step in getting results is not only to choose right, but also to stop choosing or allowing wrong. Wrong is not the excitement or spice of life it purports itself to be. Wrong isn’t the fun in life that you’ve been missing or the sin God doesn’t want you to do because He isn’t into your enjoyment. Instead those things are simply wrong’s commercial, advertising a claim that isn’t true. God not only treasures enjoyment, He wants you to find that enjoyment in your own life. Again this is part of how wrong hides itself in your logic. In its true essence, right is all of those things you are seeking, even if you cannot see that at the moment. Right is the love, the joy, the peace, the abundance, the prosperity, the health you are sincerely after! But for right to have its way, you have to lay aside the wrong…

Perplex yourself no further in futility trying to figure out why the good things you want in your life aren’t happening for you. No, no, no don’t start there. Begin by identifying the wrong things you are clear about and put them all aside. Stop doing them. Stop indulging them. Stop putting up with them. Now don’t you get all religious on me by refusing yourself nachos or wine in the evening or having sex with someone you love. That bondage is more wrong. I’m talking about those things you know in your heart aren’t right. Those habits of thought and action that have been promising you the same results for years; good feelings, peace, happiness, yet consistently giving you something else; bad feelings, guilt, general unrest; those are the things of which to rid yourself. If every time you do a certain behavior you feel bad about it, for the love of God stop doing the behavior. Don’t ignore what is, in favor of what you hope might be. You can’t fix what you can’t see…

Deciding you are going to forever stop a pattern of thought or a behavior on its own is like putting yourself on a perpetual, strict diet. It only works as long as you remain determined or until a delicious cheeseburger keeps showing up. Instead, the better way to stop something is to replace it with something else. Replace that obvious wrong with a new behavior or a new approach. The best of the best would be to see the wrong for what it is – wrong, and stop putting up with its lies. Decide to see for yourself the error and deeply consider the negative effect it has had on your life; if the effect is only that you no longer like yourself. That’s enough on its own.

The more you adamantly decide to put off the wrongs in life, the more clear your vision will become. Like the former drug addict or alcoholic, you will see maybe for the first time the stupid things that have been plaguing your life. You finally get a glimpse of the wrong beliefs you have been harboring in your heart for years and years. Glory, hallelujah you can see! And in seeing you can change or repair any aspect of your life that wasn’t the best and get on a new course to victory, love, peace, joy and abundance. Or said another day, get on the right path. You surely can fix what you can see! I promise you.

Just some good thoughts…