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Friday, April 18, 2014

False Diplomacy

How has failure changed you?
a. I'm more caring and empathetic.
b. I'm more determined.
c. I'm more humble.
d. I'm more realistic.
e. I look out for myself more.
f. I'm emotionally fragile.
g. I don't feel I can serve God again.
(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1481).

Some lessons in life come very slowly.  One lesson I am just now learning at age 70 is that weakness and fragility can be disgusting sins and affronts to God.  I have been emotionally weak and fragile in that what I thought of myself significantly depended upon what each and every person thought of me.  Because of this, I strenuously avoided conflict for I took any aggressive confrontation as a bad reflection upon me, period.  I would, in a word, always strive to be "diplomatic" in an attempt to control how others reacted to me.  My efforts "at diplomacy" were in fact bald attempts to manipulate others.   The Golden  Rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It doesn't take a moment's reflection to realize that I do not want to be manipulated or hoodwinked so that I appear to agree with whatever is said even it it offends my most basic values.  Thus during conversations by being more straightforward and honest I am actually being more caring and empathetic, more determined, more humble, more realistic, and more filled with love and respect for myself and others.  Spontaneous straight talk given in a spirit of helpfulness in which others feel free to give frank responses is--while occasionally more confronting--actually in fact more loving and respectful.  Diplomacy as a means of avoidance and manipulation proves to be a very unchristian practice and even signals weakness and fragility.  I trust that people will feel free to passionately disagree with me should they feel led to do so--only in this way is my own strength, sturdiness, and faithfulness tested and proven .

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