Friday, October 4, 2013

Syrupy-sweet maggots still grow up to be... flies

To teach us to be tactful, they say, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"
But I'm thinking, who wants to attract flies...?  Flies like poop & roadkill.

I know, the principle is geared at getting us to be nice by not unnecessarily offending others.
But that can seem so fake at times.  I know you shouldn't say everything you think, but being disingenuous rubs me the wrong way.

I know that in my life, I've never been good at "playing the game" or at being political.  It's cost me, to be sure.

Maybe I have some rough edges, though some have been blunted too though a few hard life-lessons.
I have learned a most important life lesson though.  I don't have to see eye-to-eye with you to have a healthy relationship.  In fact, you & I can hold strong opinions and exchange our perspectives with each other , and we can both grow in the process.  That's called tolerance & dialogue -- essential keys to communication and all healthy relationships.

I don't have to feel defensive, and I don't have to "fix" you.
It feels good to not have to try to manipulate or coerce others into sharing my opinions.
Scripture says, "speak the truth in love."  Therefore, we can be honest, but we don't have to be hurtful.
I think people are hurtful when they feel defensive, and usually defensiveness is a sign of insecurity.

I don't want to be surrounded by flies.   I want to surround myself with healthy people who are going to seek my best interest and bring out the best in me too -- not because of manipulation, but because of our mutual concern for each other.  That seems healthy enough to me. I want to be selective in who I am vulnerable with, and who I allow to influence me.  As Paul wrote, "Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”" (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV)

At the end of the day, I think that flattery for personal preservation/gain is reprehensible.
Either at work, in church or in your family, you should be honest & loving.
Ask yourself, who are you trying to impress and why is their attention so important to you?

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