I’m back North for a second stint of babysitting for
my four grandchildren. The first day we readjusted to each other-a little
testing on their part, me determining how strict to be.
The last time I was here, in June we played four square with a red rubber ball. If some pushing or other roughhousing kept going on, I’d step in and tell the offender to sit on the porch and count to 120 while they composed themselves.
A few days later, the oldest came running in and said his sister needed to chill and count to 120. The others rushed in to tell their side of the story.
daughter quieted them down and said, “Use your words.” They all got a chance to
out his sister didn’t need to count to 120. I thought, that was handled well!
Please excuse the bragging on my daughter. I think following the Lord and being a Special Ed teacher helps her in raising her children. I’m back to reading Proverbs again, along with some other Scriptures. Not every day, but there’s so much meat in Proverbs, lots of good advice for relationships, for managing life, for handling money, and getting to know God.
Do you keep on when times get tough? Do you keep on when maybe it’s time to make a u-turn? How do you know the difference? What processes do you use to make decisions?
I thought of these questions because sometimes I look at all the time I spend on writing and reading and sticking to people when occasionally I’d rather end the relationship and wonder what makes me keep on? With the writing, I get a lot of joy out of it even if it’s hard work sometimes and even when others say it needs work. I don’t think I’m as thin-skinned as in the past.
Reading is important for intellectual reasons and for entertainment and to learn through others’ experiences for my emotional well-being. I also read to get an idea of what works in the craft of writing. I can’t imagine not reading. I don’t read indiscriminately though. Books impact and I guard my heart when possible.
Relationships are a different story. Because of God in my life, I really do love people more than before choosing to follow Him. Rarely, I’ve ended a friendship or an acquaintanceship, (is that a word?) because it was causing pain and it was out of my control.
After praying, the ability to stay in touch ended. The pain of miscommunication and wrong behaviors got put behind me and I had to forgive them and/or myself and move along with life. With God’s help, I made other friends and hopefully learned from the uncomfortable interactions. Now I may say, “Hurting people hurt others.”
I don’t avoid people in pain, but I’m aware that they may lash out from their deep wounds. I prepare myself and keep healthier boundaries.
Decision-making comes from past experiences, asking my husband or experts in a field, weighing the options and trying to pick the right one, praying for God’s guidance, researching, and asking friends and family. Once a decision is made, I try to accept the consequences – especially when it turns out bad – and figure at the time it made the most sense. What else can a person do?
I hope these questions stimulate your thinking. I like the fact that we’re all unique and see the world in our own way. That adds depth to life.
Iron sharpens iron is what I call “Christianese” type of talk. It’s from Proverbs 27: 17 (LEB) : As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (LEB) is Lexham English Bible.
When I’m at a function and someone talks about something that I disagree with or don’t like or that stretches my thinking, so I have to really ponder what they’re saying, I might quip, “Well, iron sharpens iron.”
In some of the other versions it talks about “as iron sharpens iron, a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”, or “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens his friend” – this last quote is from the Bible in Basic English (BBE).
God wants people to think and seek wisdom and knowledge. The first universities in America were founded by Christians – Harvard and Yale. They provided courses to train ministers.
Proverbs is filled with admonitions to seek wisdom, and it states in the KJV-BRG in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” is in the KJV in Proverbs 1:7a.
Proverbs also states in verses 27:6 in the KJV that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
To me, that means that sometimes my friend will tell me something that hurts but I need to hear it. It’s for my own good. I remember two ladies that attended our church many years ago. One began eating a lot of fresh garlic because she heard it was good for her health. The garlic smell started to come through her pores when she perspired and her friend told her that the odor was strong and unpleasant.
I know it caused a rift for a short time, but the lady forgave the other one and she cut back on her garlic. 🙂
I began to notice that the twenty-seventh chapter in Proverbs had a lot to say about friendships and relationships.