Archive for September, 2014

God is Not a Sugar Daddy

Posted: September 3, 2014 in World On The Edge


Sometimes as Christians we get a little smug, especially when we’ve been blessed with some good fortune.

We may think we are favored more than others by God.

We may even think that those who suffer from something caused by their own choices are not as good  or as righteous as we,  because WE have followed the will of God, and THEY haven’t.

That kind of thinking is prideful, and judgmental.  It puts others below us—and those others, no matter what they have done, or didn’t do, are equally loved by God.

Sometimes, we have the idea that God is some kind of  Sugar Daddy.  that God is saying “You do this for me, and I’ll do that for you.” In other w0rds, if we’re good, He’ll give us what we ask for, and if not He’ll pay us back with suffering.

If we think this way, we’re deceiving ourselves.

God does not always give us what we ask for, but what we need.  And what we need may be hard to take. We may even have to suffer because of it.

We have in our heads that God is a good God. Of course, He is. But He is also a wise God who sees us as we truly are–after all He created us and He knows us intimately.

What we think is good for us is often the opposite of what we need. Remember our goal is eternal life. Only God knows what it will take for each of us personally to achieve it.

So how do we come to grips with the fact that God has allowed suffering in our lives–not because we are less than good,  but because we are meant to be more than we are?

The only way is through Trust. A total surrender to God, knowing He loves us as a parent, as our Creator, and not as our personal Sugar Daddy.


Have Integrity?

Posted: September 2, 2014 in World On The Edge

living-our-values-dailyGood values create virtues, which are the content of our character, and the essence of our  human spirit.  I’ve listed the virtues before–according to the ancient Greeks like Plato who came up with four:  Courage, Temperance, Prudence, and Justice.  To these, Christianity added Faith, Hope and Love. And so we have seven cardinal virtues .

Truly great men and women are virtuous men and women.   Don’t we want our children to be the same?

Except in today’s society academic achievement and performance are often put ahead of character building . We often appear more engrossed in  grades, sports, and other extracurricular activities,  rather than imbuing positive values in our children, which will build their character, enabling them to make the right choices in their future lives.

So how do we instill values and virtues in our children?

An obvious answer–because children mostly follow their parents– is to be examples of virtue ourselves. Children don’t learn the values that make up good character simply by being told about them. They learn instead through observing and then emulating what other people are doing and acting out around them.  Parental modeling is the best way.

According to most experts, a child’s character must begin at a very young  age. In preschool age,  children can be shaped and guided to learn about what is right and what is wrong, and to learn to live a value-filled life. They can easily absorb and emulate what they see and hear from the adults in their surroundings.

Every day offers countless opportunities for children to emulate what their parents say and do in upholding the values they are teaching their children.How parents do and accomplish daily routines can show children every value in this life. They can set examples of courteous acts to children like respecting people with different cultures, religions and races, valuing honesty and showing compassion and care when others are grieving.

A note of caution, however, needs a mention here. Consistency in upholding values as demonstrated in what parents say and do every day is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Parents may teach the importance of valuing honesty, yet never keep their word when they promised children something, like having a picnic on a weekend. They may tell children the value of fairness, yet treat other family members unequally.

If parents do this, their children are likely to emulate and eventually develop these attitudes as well. Reinforcing positive values can also be done through something that captures a child’s interest. Fiction and nonfiction books, folk tales, poems, plays and television shows are some resources that may draw a child’s attention.

These resources can exert a considerable influence in building kids’ character both negatively and positively. However, with parental guidance and a careful selection of children’s literature and TV programs, parents can direct their children to be critical in discerning what is good and what is bad for them.” — Evaries Rosita, Contributor, Jakarta Post


Just Look What He Did to Me!

Posted: September 1, 2014 in World On The Edge

grudges2Some of the happiest people, I think, are those who accept  life as it is. They look at the good things around them with appreciation.  They let go of the less than ‘good’ things with the idea that they learned something from them.   They do not walk backward toward past hurts.  Of course,  this is hard to do. We have a thing called–the grudge.  And sometimes couples carry it around all day long.

Many of us are disposed to holding grudges about what he or she did to me.  We can’t let it go. We have to have some recompense–to balance things, we say. We let the ghost of yesterday take over today. And some of us allow that vindictive ghost to run our lives.

This will not bring harmony to family life.

Pope Francis questioned pilgrims about the harmony of their home lives at the Sunday Mass held on October 27, 2013,  during the “Day for the Family” in Rome. “I would like to ask a question today. Everyone – how will you carry joy home in your heart? How’s the joy in your home? How’s the joy in your family?”

What is our answer to his question?  Harmony denotes peace. Holding a grudge is hardly peaceful. Real joy comes when we accept that not every one has our best interests at heart, but that some do. And shouldn’t we focus on the ones who do, rather than the ones who didn’t?

What he or she did to me is in the past. No one can change the past. We have only the Present. And  we can  most assuredly make our Present, and possibly our Future,  worse when we concentrate on a grudge. We may even destroy what is good in the here and now by our vindictiveness.

So let’s turn our backs on those ghosts. Let’s get out of the rut of the grudge.  Let’s look around to those family and friends who bring us real joy, and concentrate on them for awhile. Then, I think we’ll be able to see ourselves in the Present and not the past.  And that might very well bring us to forgiveness and a brand new harmony with those who’ve hurt us.