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Today’s post is after reflecting on something that good friend Kirk Weisler posted over at T4D http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2012/03/01/do-you-need-to-close-the-account. I understand the risk Kirk presents and wanted to reflect on this myself. A picture he posted effuses “If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in ur (sic.) life, You will be out of balance and in the negative! Know when to close the account” ~ christie williams
… unless you do all you can to ensure your bank always has enough funds.
For me this one is always a tough one to process and comment on as it can sound very self righteous and I also believe Kirk is reflecting on a certain type of person who seems to have made up their mind to never be reached, never be encouraged and it seems those types may well need to have their ‘account closed’ as that may be the best wake up call to actually help them change. Please understand my reply is not and never intended to be finger pointing. As always, we journey together and I share about this to get us thinking and to be challenged. Read on…
I think we always need to stop and ask the question – what is under the surface of these people (one reply referred to them as ‘energy vampires’ and it’s true we’ve all come across them) – and can they be loved to ‘angeldom’. And even if they can’t, shouldn’t I still love anyway.
I believe the only place to begin is always, at the beginning. The beginning for them, what is their story and why do choose this behaviour. As life-giving people, dare I say ‘Christian’, I think we need to take care that we don’t turn our backs on those who truly need the life we have to give. “I can do all things…”. Yet, as Kirk has illustrated, we also need to be so careful about our own attitude lest we fall ourselves. Particularly hard for those determined to ‘suck’, excuse the expression.
I heard it put beautifully the other day by a very wise man Richard Rohr. Let me try and put it here. He said when we respond in a way that confirms behaviour in someone who is down on themselves, down on the world, angry about it all, we simply confirm their condition. We give them the right to continue that way and we say “Yes, the world is a bad place and I have nothing better for you.” Which of course encourages them to repeat the behaviour. When we can show that despite the way they are treating us or talking to us, we can still love and completely ignore the ‘test’ they are giving us in their attitude and behaviour, we communicate that there is actually goodness in the world and I have some of it for you.
I don’t deny that exposing ourselves too often to too many people like this can be a tough gig and we need to be so careful that we remain with a full cup of goodness to share and be poured out for all – other positive AND negative people. I think this is the essence of what you are saying Kirk. But the lesson I’ve learned and seek to live from all those who have done this in great ways is that it is often the least of those around us that need us to be with them the most… and not to give up on them. But wow, it’s hard sometimes and I wish I were stronger for the challenge and better at it. What did Jim Rohn say “Don’t wish that life (insert: or other people) were easier, wish that you were better.”
Which is why we need to visit the well daily to replenish so we can go out and give again. The well of our family, our friends, our quiet time of contemplation.
I just wanted to also include a reflection that I read just the other day that possibly has a link here, see what you think. Understand that I share it as much to challenge myself as anyone. And whether you ‘believe’ or not I don’t think matters if truly here to be challenged and grow. If you don’t believe, then replace the word ‘Christians’ with ‘good people’ and it will work for you ;) .
It gets a bit heady, just so you know, but my understanding is we are here to challenge ourselves and I found it a wonderful personal challenge. It’s also an example in the ‘extreme’ but it’s all degrees of brokenness for different people…
From: “A Presence that Disturbs” Anthony J Gittins
“Genesis House in Chicago is a place of welcome and support for women trying to escape from prostitution. It is a place where many volunteers and employees first began to understand how unjust and unforgiving some Christians and a certain type of Christianity can be. If human beings do not experience love and thus are not yet able to love others, then to judge them guilty of sin is to be guilty of sinful judgements oneself. In fact, if due to abuse or abandonment a person ahs not experienced love, such a person cannot be morally guilty of failing to love others. The axiom ‘nemo dat quod non habet’ (“One cannot give what one has not first received or possessed”) applies as much to love as it does to anything else. To condemn victimised and unloved persons because they do not meet public standards of behaviour is to add insult to injury…
… only when one of the women of Genesis House, “Teddy Bear” by name, broken by abuse, drugs, and prostitution, discovered that she had found a sanctuary where she was accepted unconditionally could she begin to find the peace and healing she craved. But in her case the ravages were too deep, and her broken body could not live with her rekindled spirit. Yet when she died at thirty-one, she did know what it was to love her neighbour because she had at last begun to love herself.”
Share some of the love you have to give with those who need it most, then get around those who can fill you again … then go back for more and…