Sunday, August 26, 2012

Six Ethics of Life

I saw this picture on Facebook (yes, I am a Facebook addict, and I could probably write a series of "The Sins of Facebook" sermons, but side note finished, allow me to finish...)...

When I saw this, I immediately hit the "Share" option. This has six very important lessons I think many of us ignore, but shouldn't. It touches on several issues we've all run across - issues which could have been avoided had we listened to these simple six ethics of life.

Before you Pray - Believe: This should be rather self-explanatory, but, I see it on a couple different levels. First, you have to believe in the entity to whom you are praying. Now, I'm going to just go out on a limb and assume this entity is God. You must believe in God to pray. But, you must also believe in what it is you are praying for. For example, I've recently learned someone I love dearly has cancer. Now, I don't believe a cure will be available for this man in his lifetime, so praying for that seems to be rather pointless. However, I do believe that God is capable of miracles, and at times does grant such miracles. So, to pray that He would can make one of these miracles happen, and fix my dad so the cancer is gone, would not be pointless. You have to believe.

Before you Speak - Listen: This is one I haven't always been very good at. I often speak before listening, or before thinking. But one truly must listen to what another person has to say before opening their mouth. It makes life so much easier for everyone.

Before you Spend - Earn: I know too many people whom have this problem. They are more than happy to spend money; but not as eager to earn it. However, I think this goes beyond just money. Before you ask for favors of any sort for any one, be certain you have earned their kindness (or are willing to). For example, I once had a "friend"... every time I was sad, or just needed someone there, she was always busy. After being turned away a dozen times or so by her, she came to me wanting me to drop everything and be there for her. While I did drop everything because it was the right thing to do, she hadn't earned it. I could have very easily told her no (and, eventually, I did have to do so). So earn it before you spend it.

Before you Write - Think: There used to be a time when this lesson wasn't quite as crucial - the time before texting and email. This one is similar to "Before yo Speak - Listen" in that if you don't follow this advice, you could very easily make life more difficult for all involved. For example, I have a habit of getting angry quite quickly. I used to not have too good of control over this anger, and would send the object of my anger a very nasty email. Once that send button is hit, you really can't undo it... you can't take back the words you've written. I have lost some good friends this way.

Before you Quit - Try: The other day, I was talking to someone, and the subject came up about me not having my driver's license. I made the comment that I didn't do bad on the test, because I haven't even taken it. The person I was taking to said, "If you don't try, you've already failed". Essentially, I have already broken this rule. I quit driving without even trying to see if I could do it. How many of us do this? Spinning this back to religion, I know many people whom have given up on religion and church and God. Sadly, they haven't even given these a try. Maybe they could find something that would work in their life, but they have already quit.

Before you Die - Live: This one is so incredibly important. So many people live in fear of dying, they don't give themselves a chance to truly live. They don't give themselves the chance to experience beauty and joy and love. Living is about both laughter and tears. It's about memories and dreams, and especially about living for the present. It's about love, and hope, and overcoming fears. It's about walking in the rain, or staring at the stars, or being at peace with nature as you sit in the middle of a quiet meadow. We are not guaranteed a certain life span... and we aren't guaranteed to have our loved ones in our lives forever. So we must take it upon ourselves to make every moment worth living and worth remembering. Let yourself love, and love strongly. You only get one life. Make it count.

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