Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lessons Learned

I posted a long blog last night that is now off my site. If you caught it - fine, if not ... that's even better. You see ... I'm not much for talking about people on here without their permission, even when I'm absolutely furious at them and don't have much respect for them. It took me about 12 hours to remove it and this was after reading it through several times. I'm glad to tell you the stories, I'm just not glad to have them down so that everyone can see them ... forever.

None of this changes the lesson that I wish everyone could learn.

During the last couple of weeks I have dealt with two women that force the world to be decent to them and treat them well, even though there is no darned good reason to do that. Only because they exist and walk among other Christians do these two women garner any respect and decency. It's not about them, it's about our God. People treat them well, because God expects them to do so.

Yet, these two women insist that they are Christians and insist that they are leaders within their churches. They simply don't act like Christians and their leadership is done through intimidation and manipulation. Both of them are getting up there in years (over 75) and both of them would have strongly complained about these same personalities when they were younger and very active in their churches.

My question today becomes: What can we learn from people that drive us crazy? What can we learn from people that expect to be treated well, no matter what they say or do and tend to say rude things to everyone around them and act only in their own best interest 95 percent of the time?

I certainly hope that I learn to never be that person. I hope that a generous spirit pours forth from me, that I am more willing to give and to be in the background rather than have the world create drama around me and celebrate the fact that I live on this earth.

I complain a lot about the sense of entitlement that our young people have today. They don't feel the need to work for anything or sacrifice to achieve things in this world. They believe that the world owes them a living ... a good living and if they don't get it, they throw a tantrum. There are several generations that are becoming adults right now that are living within this sense of entitlement.

However, there seems to be a similar sense in many people who have lived past the age of 70. I find it generally in women. They have raised children, worked hard (so they think - but many of them never worked outside the home or even lived in a rural area - they were coddled by husbands and older children), participated in activities in the church all of their lives and now ... they believe that they have the right to impose their will on younger generations simply because of their age.

Not so much!

These women no longer give from a spirit of generosity - they expect to receive something back. When money is given, it is a transfer of goods ... for the money they give, they want respect and adoration. Gifts are given with strings attached. Gifts are also generally given with a nod toward the giver - never to the receiver. No thought is given to the appropriateness of the gift, but only to the fact that it is being given and should be appreciated.

I have about 25-30 years before I approach the age of either of these women. Max is under strict orders to keep me grounded. And so are you all! When my suggestions and opinions no longer make sense in the order of things and I begin to concentrate only on my own agenda and it becomes more important than Jesus Christ ... it's time to remind me.

And I'm calling you all out now. Consider why you say the things you do and consider why people speak to you. Is it truly because you are a loving, generous person? Do you draw people to you because of the Spirit of God inside you or do people tolerate you because of the Spirit of God inside them?

That's my lecture for the week. I'm awfully tired of self-centered, manipulative old ladies. I just pray to never be one of those.


Jacqniel said...

I have always thought that working for a church would be extremenly difficult. You have so many people with so many different personallities with so many different expectations - sheese!
Hang in there girl. I am glad you can vent. Hopefully it will keep you from strangling them!

Jacqniel said...

PS - just think what a lonely, unfullfilling life they must lead that they feel they need to be the center of the universe.
Lessons on how (or how not) to live our lives come in many forms.

Diane Muir said...

The worst thing ... one of the women is my stepmother (uh oh!)

Jacqniel said...

Oh Yikes! I thought you were referring to women in the church! That makes things even worse! Hopefully this is just part of her grieving process - feeling sorry for herself?

Diane Muir said...

Well {grin} one of them is in the church. The comparison became incredibly apparent this weekend.