Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 5) Mercy … January 3rd. 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Our greatest fear is having our weakness exposed to others. To avoid this horror, we pursue positive attitudes, lies, anger, defensiveness, deceit, prayer and self-righteousness.

Yes, the absence of candor is the open door to deception. And when we are dishonest about our true selves, we have the ugly by-product of prejudice, which robs us of our better nature.

Why do we become prejudiced? In order to keep the attention away from the beam sticking out of our own eye, we try to bring focus to the speck in our brother’s eye.

So I can tell you of a certainty, honesty has a little brother and its name is mercy.

Without honesty, we feel no need whatsoever to be merciful, but spend all of our time drafting plans to escape notice of our vice. And maybe it’s not even a vice–perhaps it’s just a piece of us that requires grace instead of criticism.

It is time to become reasonable.

If the Gospel of Jesus does not afford us the humanity to confess our faults one to another, then it merely is a temporary pain-killer, or worse, a dangerous diversion.

Here’s a beautiful process–maybe better phrased, a way of thinking that actually produces thought:

  1. I have a weakness.
  2. You have a weakness.
  3. We have weaknesses.
  4. Therefore, we choose mercy.

If I do not believe I have a weakness, I certainly will not tolerate your peccadilloes. And if I discover that you are weak and I am unwilling to admit my weakness, then I will focus on yours and attack you for having it.

Thus, mercy is avoided, ignored and cast aside.

A world without mercy is always a lie, ready to be prosecuted.

For it will only take you a few moments after you meet me to discover that I have weaknesses, whether I confess them or not. It will not take me any longer to uncover yours.

So the only advantage we have is to get in front of these revelations by admitting that we have weaknesses, encouraging others to make the same confession, and then humbly allowing mercy to do its healing work through understanding and the passage of time.

Nothing happens until we realize how weak we are.

Strength is not owned; it is given by humbly admitting weakness.

 

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Confessing … December 12th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XXXII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

This will be my last installment of “Confessing.”

When I began this category eight months ago, I did so for two distinct reasons:

  1. To clear the air–to simply explain that imperfection does not eliminate me from the game.
  2. To open the door to allow myself to be even more forthcoming in the future.

Over the weeks, I have received many comments. Most people were surprised with my candor.

Yet I will tell you–I learned a long time ago, for every story I can tell about myself, there is always an available bystander who can make it seem worse.

Truth is not an option, but rather, a protection. It allows me a circle of influence which cannot be broken because I’ve already allowed the information to set me free.

So as I close this off, I encourage you to pursue the wisdom of allowing yourself to be transparent.

Of course, I have committed many more than thirty-two sins, but I have given you a great cross-section of my iniquity. Details and names were often changed to protect what innocence remains.

Here is one simple fact: the only way to stay a sinner is to try to believe you’re not sinning.

You can do terrible things and repent, or you can do little stupid things … and look terrible because you didn’t.

 

Confessing Jon

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Three Ways in Three Days to Escape the Maze… September 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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maze

Feeling trapped.

It brings out the worst in us.

Once we have the sensation of being a mouse caught in an endless series of twists and turns, we very quickly turn into a rat, clawing at our surroundings.

Perhaps it is a flaw of human character, but we have a tendency to blame others for our limited circumstances in an attempt to avoid the inclination for self-destruction.

It usually falls into three categories:

  1. I don’t like what I’m doing.
  2. I don’t like who I’m doing it with.
  3. I don’t like doing it here.

If you think about it for a moment, these three statements can become the descending path that plummets us into inactivity, depositing us at the bottom, grouchy and unproductive.

So what can we do?

Take three days of your life and try to generate a GPS to escape your maze.

DAY ONE

Set in motion a culture of candor. You will be astonished how much freedom and peace of mind you can achieve simply by stating the facts or trying to live up to your press release.

In a twenty-four hour period, if you will be completely honest about your desires, as long as you’re not attacking people, they will appreciate the revelation.

A culture of candor relieves at least half the burden.

DAY TWO

Show what you mean. Don’t explain what you want, demonstrate it. Create a prototype for your heart’s desire. Even if it’s crude and not exactly to spec, let people know what you want to do.

Let me say, working in the music industry over the years, I have run across two types of individuals who dub themselves “artists.” There are those who believe they are camera-ready and studio suited and they’re just waiting for the big break. And there are those who are tired of waiting for the big break and have found a way to use their talents every single day, to demonstrate their ability, while improving.

If you’re not going to show what you mean, don’t expect people to understand your explanation. We all need a visual.

DAY THREE

And finally, move towards the movement. If you’ve had a day of candor and a day of showing what you mean, a bit of movement will come your way. It may not mirror your final preference, but if you always move toward the movement, something is always moving.

When you feel trapped in your maze, trying to reconnoiter your environment is exhausting because you never know if you’re going in the right direction.

But if you’ll take three days to create a culture of candor, show what you mean and move towards the movement, in no time at all you will begin to understand that there is a way to escape the mundane. 

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Tame the Shame… November 7, 2013

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I come to you today as a reluctant writer.

I rarely have apprehension about expressing my feelings, but there are two nagging pieces of silliness that have garnered great acceptance within the American public which I feel compelled to address. As always, I would like to do so by pointing the spotlight at my own inadequacies instead of others.

One of the reasons I hate to be referred to as a “blogger” is that the reputation of such a creature is that of an attack dog rather than a contented puppy. While recently reading an article on the Internet by an individual decrying the action of “shame,” I became conscious that our society is trying to expel all introspection in deference to self-acceptance, which unfortunately, neither helps us find self nor is accepted. Let me explain:

Last night I was trying to make a point. Thinking that my intentions were being repelled by those in the room, I kicked into a gear of vehemence. I felt justified. After all, what I was saying was grounded in truth and relatively important. But my words were crude, my attack vicious and the result was an acquiescence by those who heard me–due to fear of my temperament rather than understanding of the principles.

So when I laid my head down last night to go to sleep, I felt shame.

If I followed the psychology of today, I would reject that sensation as counter-productive to my self-confidence. I would have rationalized my deeds as being correct because they brought about the proclamation of candor. But I would be wrong.

I felt shame. And instead of rejecting that shame, I tamed it–embraced it, if you will.

For I will tell you, my dear friends, there is a difference between shame and ashamed.

  • Shame is thrust upon me because of my conceited, unbowed head, which forbids any notion of lacking on my part.
  • But ashamed is when I take the time to evaluate my own actions and realize that I was “weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

If I have to become angry to relate the beauty of love and truth, I am a bastard in the human family. The end does not justify the means. Hell, the present doesn’t even justify the means.

Without allowing ourselves to be ashamed, we fail to recognize the repentance which is necessary to create the change that we insist is the goal of a progressive society.

So how do I know if I’m experiencing the brunt of shame, or if a necessary amount of “being ashamed” is graciously applied to my life? If I am ashamed:

  1. It’s my idea because I have taken truly holy time to look at my actions instead of justifying them.
  2. If I’m ashamed and it’s to my benefit, it brings about the amazing mixture of good cheer and tears.
  3. I want to do it better next time. If I’m ashamed and it is born of a spiritual instinct, my desire will be to have another opportunity to show more excellent results.
  4. And finally, if I’m ashamed, I won’t be afraid to speak it out and admit it to others–because it was MY idea, and necessary to expel from my body.

Shame is when somebody else forces conclusions on you. In that case, pop culture is right–the scenario is useless.

But ashamed is opening the door to a repentance that allows us to become a person that we don’t mind lying down with and going to sleep.

So that’s Number One–shame.

Tomorrow we will take on bullying.

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