Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What Makes Us

Characteristic qualities are a huge part of what make up individuals. They are what define us more than anything. They are what influence are thinking, our feelings, our concepts of life and the world.

For most of us, it seems we adapt to those around us. We carry on the traits of family and friends with out meaning to or wanting to.

It's quite ironic that for many people, their negative qualities are normally very similar to those that they most despise.

I'm not quite sure what encourages natural positive traits in people(besides the obvious: God). It seems, deep down, a lot of it is driven by selfish desires to be loved and respected.

But I do think it is possible to be truly practicing good works with good motives: the more we are in tune with God and His words and ways, the more this is possible.

I think it is also very important to truly understand what some of these concepts are, and how to implement them into our lives.

The following are ideas of qualities that strike me as truly important. I am not using a dictionary to define them. And as you will see, a lot of these words do not follow the standard thought pattern of what most people think.

These are concepts I try to live by, or admire in others. The words are simply letters to express the ideas and feelings I think and try to act upon to the world about me.


Some of these traits are not admirable, in my opinion. Such as self-made, powerful, and compromising. Well... sometimes compromising can be good. But that is a very complicated one ;) 



Honesty
To me, truth is the most important thing we have. I don't necessarily believe in the statement of being black and white.

Because life is obviously not just black or white. Color is huge. And life is complicated and intense. There aren't just two ways of looking at things. There are TONS. But despite that, I still believe in absolute truths. I believe there is only one way to be saved.

I believe God is the one and only way, and His son makes that possible.
But I also believe in perceptions, in cultures, in influences. And so, after that first absolute truth, truth becomes a little harder to discern. And life presents to us this intricate colorful journey that lasts forever as we try to follow God's will and calling for each of us individually as we learn to express who we are meant to be while submitting to God's perfect plan.

I sometimes (quite often) am accused of being blunt. My reply is, “I'm not blunt, I'm just stating facts.”
I don't quite understand this. Why must one who is honest be called blunt? It's not blunt to state what is true.

Another thing that is almost equal to honesty in meaning, is communication. To be able to communicate honestly and completely is priority, to me. 




Love
Love is not a feeling. It is an action that may or may not result in feelings. It is sacrificial. It is self-less. It does what is best for others for no logical reason whatsoever.
Love is a verb.
That mean if you truly love, you will be constantly doing.
Doing for God.
Doing for family and friends.
Doing for strangers.
Doing for enemies.
And you won't be doing out of feelings of guilt or because you have to, but because you want to.
Real love keeps doing and wanting to do even when things look awful and the other person you are performing love toward is super hateful, hurtful, or horrid.




Love is such a big word, that I have several side characteristic words to help me better grasp what it really is:

Loyalty
Now I am not talking about being cultish. Because that completely goes against being loving or honest.
Loyalty is when you remain true to those God has placed in your life. It is when you continue to act on things you would rather not do because those people mean something to you.
Loyalty involves:
Commitment
Love
Unity
It does not involve:
Wrong over truth
Violence or indifference toward those outside of your “circle”
Thinking the one you are loyal to is always correct, or being afraid to rebuke that person.




Generosity
This can actually be a very self-centered quality, because being generous with money especially can create feelings of “I just did something great” within ourselves. And that is not good.
Really, when I speak of generosity, I mean mostly time. Because time is way more important than money – most of the time.
Time is proof of love. And when you are not stingy with it and give it to those that you'd rather not, when you make time for those that need you over something that you'd rather be doing, that is generosity produced from love rather than selfishness.

Serving
This is really important. Especially if we can make it to be a part of our normal life. It is important that we as believers remember that we are not meant to be at the top of the world.
We are meant to serve God first, then those around us next.
Never should we serve ourselves.
Everything we do should be for another.
Submission. Following. Acts of service(love).
Serving honestly helps keep pride down, and lets us see life as it is – a journey to glorify God.




Respect or Honor
This is where we remain civil even when we are right. I don't think we should ever be such strict followers of respect that we can not speak the truth or even do opposite of what another asks.
But even in the midst of doing whatever we do, we should when at all possible, remember to respect those around us, even if that means doing something that we don't quite like.




Kindness
Along with honesty and love I think this is the most important character trait one can have.
Side note: I don't mean kind as in wishy-washy, whatever-is-good-with-you-is-good-with-me.
Kindness is an off branch of love. It is always being nice even when you are grumpy. It is smiling, not because you feel like it, but because you want to make someone else have a good day.
Kindness is listening to a friend rant. It is remaining silent when you'd rather speak, or speak when you'd rather not.
It is being there for another.
It is rebuking, gently, when rebuke is needed.
It is feeling sadness for another when they have committed sin against God or themselves (rather than feeling self-righteous or indignant).
It is being gentle, peaceful, loving, encouraging, and pure.
Kindness is being nice, but allowing God to rule your kindness so that you are being kind in ways that are beneficial for others, and not just yourself.
Real kindness is extremely hard as it can sometimes feel like you are being mean to another when you are lead to tell them how they are wronging God or being unwise.


There are many more, of course. But these are what I find highly admirable. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these. And what are some qualities you think of as important? This is something I really love discussing... helps encourage growth. 

And growth is essential :D 

3 comments:

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  2. Hi, it's Hannah (the girl with the questions lol)
    I really liked this! I will definitely try harder to use these! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Oh, hey! Thanks for checking out my blog :) I'm glad you found this helpful!

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