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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stanley’s Inner Strength

Stanley Admonishing Me at Quaker Lake

When was the last time someone “read you the riot act”?  What had you done wrong?  How did it feel to be soundly rebuked?  Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1720.

For the answer to this question I like to picture the typical reaction of several dogs to being rebuked.  One dog will typically put his tail between his legs.  Another will lash out in anger.  While a third, like my dog Stanley, forgives me for my anger and goes on happily about his business.  My earnest desire is to follow the example of Stanley.

When rebuked the first response on my part should be one of forgiveness.  This is essential for (whether in the right or wrong) I will reflexively want to assume the stance of righteous indignation.  This is a bad response for if I am really in the wrong this shields me from beneficial correction; and if I am in the right a “holier than thou” attitude will totally confound my ability to be in anyway persuasive.  I love Stanley most of all for his ability to carry on happily while under attack.  Somehow this gives me great confidence in knowing that his self-image is sturdy and is not dependent upon being constantly reinforced by my unrelieved approval.  His maintenance of cheerfulness even while attacked (again, no matter how justified or unjustified) profoundly reassures me of his inner strength while giving me permission to honestly express myself not fearful that he will crushed on the one hand, or unduly influenced on the other.  This, and on many other points, Stanley outshines me in moral fiber and inherent integrity.

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