It’s never too late


A People Pleaser.

I was brought-up to be polite.  I would have preferred to have been brought-up to be kind.    Being polite includes not saying what I really think, and also saying stuff I really think is untrue.  The problem with being polite is that it is all about “masks”.  Wearing a mask that fits a particular scene.  That hides a certain something.  That projects something that is not.

Increasingly it becomes “don’t make waves” as its watchword.  Except not making waves is always being the wave-maker.  Making waves or not making waves … ?  Always needs a wave-maker.

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Kindness is a wave-maker.  Waves that are ripples.  Mini-waves of love.  Ripples that empower each.  Mini-waves of love.  Making (mini) waves is not so bad.  If they are of kindness and love.  No masks required.  Wave-makers always.

Making “waves” is not about the “waves”.  It never is and never has been.  It is about the “wave-maker” and the choices I make as to what kind of wave-maker I am.

The bible tells of wave-makers.  Of people pleasers like Herod.

Herod the tetrarch: Matthew 14:1-12

A polite person of power.  Someone who had to please people from all directions.  Which required wearing a mask(s) for all occasions.  A ruler who was ruled from every direction.  By Rome.  By Jerusalem.  By his advisors.  By his enemies.  By his heart.  By the “mob” and popular opinion.

People pleasers are chameleons with nowhere to rest and nowhere to hide.

So I wish that I had been brought-up to be kind rather than polite.  I wish I had been taught a bible of kindness rather than a God-pleasing-people-pleasing bible.  I wish I didn’t have to look back and wish.

But you know what they say … “it’s never too late.”

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And THIS is a far more restful place to live.

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5 thoughts on “It’s never too late

  1. As ever, much food for thought.
    I must say, though, Paul that I think you are twisting the meaning of ‘polite’ to mean ‘softness’ or ‘without backbone’. And you are right there is far to much of that around. OED says the word is about ‘being considerate to and respecting others’. I don’t think that is ever misplaced. In fact most of life’s problems , global and personal, stem from a lack of such politeness. The wishy washy ‘niceness’ (of which there is too much in the church) needs to be banished. It’s a sham and downright deceitful a lot of the time. We would be far better off if we showed true consideration and acted kindly in the ways you say.

    To stretch your wave analogy in another direction: I think it’s rather interesting that when the two sets of waves comes by from two wave makers meet, they interfere with each other either constructively (which massively magnified the effect), or destructively (which just cancels everything out: nothing remains, good or bad).
    Interesting stuff. Thanks for the stirring!

    Good. Ok I’m reading at the moment “The Invisible Church – learning from the experiences of churchless Christians” by Steve Aisthorpe. a book every church goer should read and wake up to.
    Blessings, brother.

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    • Thanks Keith. Perhaps not twisting “polite” too much, or the rest of your comment would not be necessary? 🙂

      As for “churchless Christians” we seem determined to keep those walls high and not see “church” (people) beyond them. We should have another pint and chat about this book. 👍👍👍

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      • Your point about “the walls” is exactly the author’s point . Having done quite extension research through (shock horror!) ‘speaking with people’, he is aiming to get rid of the many myths that exist in all sorts of places on this issue. ‘Adjust or die’ seems to be quite a good mantra.
        Reading this at the end of a very hot Sunday having gone through over a dozen locks in full sun, a pint sounds like a dream! It would be good. I’ll check the proverbial when I get home, rather than double book.( I know how you like that idea!).
        All the best. Take care ( or as auto text transcribed yesterday: ‘take cake’! No bad thing.

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