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Posts Tagged ‘Relationship’

The One Time a Christian Might Have to Sacrifice Being Friendly

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 24, 2018

Christians are told to be peacemakers. The Lord Jesus Himself said that this is a very important trait that defines a real child of God:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

If children of God are called to be peacemakers, is it wrong for a Christian to be not very friendly?

Let’s talk about that.

Wisdom before friendliness

Many Christians today think that friendliness is a trait that must be present in every Christian. As such, they do their best to befriend as many people as possible, believing that it’s a good thing to be friendly.

Of course, friendliness is a good thing. Webster’s dictionary defines being “friendly” as “Having the temper and disposition of a friend; kind; favorable; disposed to promote the good of another.” If our being friendly can be described this way, then it’s good.

There are some times, however, when we have to be careful who to be friendly to. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said that He sent us out as “sheep among wolves” (see Matthew 10:16). While we can be friendly, we shouldn’t be naïve. We must be very careful as to who we will befriend, who we will allow into our lives, and who will have a place of influence over us. Remember,

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.“” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

When friendliness competes with the Great Commission

Many of us, in an effort to reach out to others, make the big mistake of just being friendly, fearing possible rejection. We tend to replace the Great Commission with making a great company of people, in an effort to be accepted. We make friends, not preach the Gospel.

What we forget is that the message of the Gospel will always be an offensive message that points out our sinfulness and desperate need for the Lord Jesus. This message will be received by some, but will be ignored by others. We need to accept the fact that we have an enemy who hates us, and he will cause others to react unpleasantly to our preaching of the Gospel.

Does this mean we shouldn’t be friendly? Does this mean we should be harsh towards people? No, it doesn’t mean that way at all. What I am trying to say is that making friends is not at the top of our list; obeying God is.

And His will is that all men will be saved through the Gospel of Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:4).

In closing

Friendliness is a great asset, a character trait that should be seen in a Christian. But it doesn’t go before being wise and prudent, and it certainly must not overtake the preaching of the Gospel. Our goal is to be like Christ, not to be everyone’s pal.



Posted in Curiosity, Faith, Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When Men Shouldn’t be in Want of a Wife

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on February 23, 2010

SOME couples come together for love, others for money, pregnancy or because they’re told to. Whatever the reason, socially prescribed monogamy and its ultimate cultural expression, marriage, may have emerged because of the evolutionary benefits that both offer.

By providing men with increased assurance that their wives’ children are their true heirs and women with the confidence that their kids will benefit from a decent inheritance, monogamous marriage is a win-win situation, argue Laura Fortunato at University College London and Marco Archetti at Harvard University.

Their view challenges theories of marriage that emphasise the role of religion and the societal benefits of keeping men from fighting over women. Such theories also contend that by giving up multiple wives or partners, men sacrifice their interests for those of the group.

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Yes We Can…

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 17, 2008

…Learn From Dogs!


Presence, Unconditionality, Acceptance and Connection

Lock a dog in a closet for three days and, when you let him out, he’s overjoyed to see you. He’s overjoyed not because you let him out, but just because you’re there. A dog has no sense of time. He can’t get trapped in the past or lost in the future. He is right here, right now, fully, completely and without quarter — always. Were that it were so easy for us to be the same.

A dog is present. He lives for this moment, and this moment alone. He responds to what is around him, yet understand consequences. Without the burden of memory or prescience, he does not – cannot — become imprisoned by his history or his future. We struggle with this, because we think.

I am sitting in front of my laptop right now typing this article, yet my mind is in a thousand other places. I am thinking about this, that and the other thing. I am roiling in regret about things not said and deeds both done and undone. I am planning. I am rehearsing. I am suffering. I am rejoicing. I am here, but I am not here. A dog is mindful. We tend to be full of mind.

A dog’s allegiance is unconditional. We won’t go so far as to anthropomorphize him, and say his love is unconditional – but it is clear his allegiance is indeed that. He comes when he’s called. He walks next to you off-leash. He looks over his shoulder to see that you’re coming as you follow him down a wooded path, and sometimes even waits for you to catch up. He has no agenda other than maintaining his connection to you.

Our attention is often divided. We are here, but not here and, so, our allegiance is also divided. We are married, yet we cheat. We are invested, yet we tell half-truths. We are committed, but the grass is always greener. We speak, but we do not listen. We know, but we do not feel. We are just not there.

A dog’s acceptance never wavers. He takes you as you are, with all of your flaws and imperfections, your idiosyncrasies and your nonsense. He recognizes your basic goodness and revels in you for you, giving himself over to you 100% and never questioning that choice.

All too often we judge. We are more apt to think and re-think than to hold space. We do not trust. We are suspicious. We assume an agenda on the part of others because we ourselves are operating with an agenda. The failure of relationship that we have with ourselves causes a failure of relationship to those around us. We create our own disconnection.

Presence, unconditionality and acceptance in concert lead us to connection. Setting aside the filters of attachment to past and future, the divided mind and our tendency to judge provide us with a stage for establishing true community and true connection that is based in our own authentic relationship to ourselves.

Love yourself like your dog loves you, and settle into the pure unfettered joy of the sense of community that creates, then take it outside yourself and into the world. Think like a dog.

Posted in Love, Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Monogamy In Your DNA

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 4, 2008


If you are wondering why some people find it so hard to keep monogamy in their relationship, well, they probably don’t have it encoded in their genes.
There has been speculation about the role of the hormone vasopressin in humans ever since we discovered that variations in where receptors for the hormone are expressed makes prairie voles strictly monogamous but meadow voles promiscuous; vasopressin is related to the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin. Now it seems variations in a section of the gene coding for a vasopressin receptor in people help to determine whether men are serial commitment-phobes or devoted husbands.
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