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April 24, 2017, 9:27 AM

Stealing is Bad


There's a no-brainer statement for you.  We've been brought up knowing "Do Not Steal."  Its right up there with "Do Not Murder." 

We're not going to spend time on petty theft, or even grand larceny in this blog entry... Instead, we're going to hit on something much, much worse than the theft of something physical.  Our topic is the theft of "Joy." 

Now, I'm pretty sure you're thinking: "I don't even know what he's talking about... Joy Theft?" Yes, I'm talking about stealing another's Joy. So now I hope you're thinking: "I don't even know HOW to steal Joy."  Yes, you do.  We ALL do. 

Complain.  Criticize.  Judge.  

Use those as a weapon or tool to get your way or tell someone else exactly how you feel and you are guilty in the first degree. Am I saying that we should put a fake smile on our face and say "Fine" every time someone asks us how we're doing and we're not "Fine" but falling apart inside?  Nope. 

Am I saying that there are better ways to communicate to someone a displeasure or something we're not content with? Yep. 

Too often (WAAAAYYYY too often) we fall into a routine of just blurting out what we don't like and throwing that weight on someone else's shoulders. We may think we're being helpful, even improving a situation by letting someone know we're not happy. At no point does sharing the weight of complaint, criticism, or judgment on another person lighten ANYONE's burden.  NEVER. EVER. 

Complaining, Criticizing, and Judgment doubles the burden.  

Instead of making yourself feel better, the burden is still yours to carry AND someone else's. So what am I proposing? Do something to change the situation BEFORE it's too late. Don't sit back passively waiting for something to go wrong, jump on the opportunity to discuss options in advance.  If something happens that you don't like, work towards making a change. Crossing one's arms and telling anyone within earshot that you didn't like something helps no one, especially yourself. 

The environment I'm writing this from is (ideally) the one place in which ALL other options are tried before complaints are levied. In fact, we operate in the one place in which judgment should be withheld because we all know exactly where we stand in the grand scheme of things: for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).  

Today, make it your goal to lighten someone's burden... Don't double down on the weight they are already carrying. 

Philippians 2: 12b - 16   Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.13For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 14Do everything without complaining and arguing,15so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.16Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

 


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