A friend hangs in there with his or her friend. Accept me as I am, then I can change. Accepting others in a nonjudgmental way does not mean agreeing with them. Affirmation brings out the best in people. Biblically, we are responsible for ministering to one another’s needs. Caring is love in action. It is God at work in us. Everybody is somebody in God’s eyes. Failing occasionally does not make us failures. Faith does not suppress fear; what it does is allow us to go forward in spite of it. Friendship and unconditional acceptance bring out the best in us. God can change us from a life of self-centeredness to one of God-centeredness. Hostility and lack of appreciation stifle and squelch the human spirit. If our expectations are unrealistic, we could end up being consumed by rejection. Intimacy is the ability to let ourselves be known. It is easy to love the lovable.
Let our charity begin at home (our friends, coworkers and neighbors). No one goes through life without suffering major disappointments; it is pain that often forces us to change. Poor communication is at the root of most family problems. Real contentment must be based on what we are, not on what we would like to be. Stand firm in what is right in the face of all kinds of opposition. The greatest healing agent in life is love. There is more honest faith in questioning than in silent resignation. Two ears and one mouth could remind us to listen twice as much as we speak. Unless we are loved and can love others, emotional death is imminent. We all need to have a purpose for living; the Bible gives us that purpose. We are children of God, made in His image, and valued in His sight. We can learn as much from failure as from success. We need to practice daily the art of affirming and supporting others. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Self-reflection is always a good exercise. What I believe is a work in progress, not limited to these statements and subject to change. What do YOU believe?
Longtime Parma Hts. resident and educator in the Parma School district.