In What Do You Believe? (3) ⋆ Politicrossing
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In What Do You Believe? (3)

you’re free to believe what you choose to believe, but not to interfere with others who might not share your beliefs

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Jim Cathcart is a long time professional speaker; the author of 19 books on achievement, business strategy, and selling; and a leader in the field of personal and executive development. Here is Part 3 of his article on the power of our beliefs and belief systems:

Everybody maintains some kind of belief system which signifies what is good and right, versus what is bad and wrong. All belief systems have their “sins”– that for which you are condemned for doing or for not doing.

Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and many other religions organized around the teachings of great thinkers and philosophers. The difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christ is accepted as God in the flesh, whereas the other gurus were great teachers and guides without being considered the deity.

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A Force for Good

More people have been inspired by Christianity to do more good for others and to become responsible citizens, of any country, than by any other religion. Haters of Christianity will immediately challenge this assertion by pointing out bad acts by Christians through history, and there certainly are some: The Crusades, the Inquisition, and corrupt regimes publicly identified with the church.

Those who caused great harm in the name of Christianity clearly were not Christians, despite using it as their cover. (Remember, Satan is the Great Deceiver. Not a horned monster with a tail, not some ogre, but an entity who seems entirely admirable at first.)

All religions are abused by some people who use the respective religion as their cover, and much pain has been caused in this way. That doesn’t mean one should reject all belief systems. Reject the hypocrites, not the faithful.

The reflexive deflection, “Yeah, well, your guy did bad things too!” is called “extra-punitive.” It means blaming others or blaming circumstances. “Intra-punitive” is taking the blame upon yourself. In any case, don’t focus on blame. Focus on right versus wrong and fix whatever requires it. Offer your apology, correct your behavior, and move on.

Correction yes, punishment no. Remove the threat, repay the debt, make things better, and get over it. Note: This doesn’t apply to the behavior and deeds of dangerous, deranged criminals and sociopaths. They must be segregated from others to avoid further harm. Still, don’t punish them, simply block their ability to do harm.

Focus on What is Right

The historic belief systems comprised of evil doers includes Nazi-ism, Fascism, and Marxism. Such belief systems resulted in the murder, internment, and starvation of multi-millions of people, exterminated by the few who were able to take control, while led astray by the charismatic leaders who guided them.

A recent tactic by evil doers is to perpetrate behaviors that they claim to loath. For example, “Antifa” claims to be anti-fascist, while their actions are totally fascist. Over the past several years abundant video proof is available.

One true indicator as to whether your belief system is valid and just is to look at the faces of your compatriots. If they are wearing hoods and masks, chances are good you are with the bad guys. If they are spewing hatred, destroying property, and hurting people, you’re with the bad guys.

If they contend that, “My outrage is so great that it justifies taking what you have, destroying property, and hurting people” …run from them! No matter what their intention might be, their actions speak louder.

Intentions and Actions

We’ve established that everyone has a religion and you ought to know what yours happens to be. If you don’t, then you are blindly following others. You are a serf until you precisely define your own beliefs and declare your freedom.

The Leftist religions each are based on an underlying assumption: How you feel is more important than what you do. Leftists, however, do not view you merely by your actions. They manage to find harm in what you do. “You said he; you didn’t say he or she. Therefore you must be a white male, closet sexist. Now we know the real you!”

Characteristically, they judge themselves only by their intentions. If they didn’t mean to do harm, but in fact did much harm, that’s okay to them, because they didn’t mean to do harm. The Right’s view is that your actions are what count the most.

In a courtroom video available on YouTube, recorded years ago, the late George Floyd had been caught hijacking a woman’s car and injuring her in the process. He told the judge it wasn’t his fault. It was because she resisted, and he needed her car. He said she shouldn’t have resisted. Floyd’s father sat in the gallery and shook his head in shame.

Freedom for All, Not Merely for Some

Clearly, I’m Christian. I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the chance to improve oneself, and the existence of a Loving Creator who intentionally gave me life. I do not feel compelled to make you believe what I do. Indeed, you’re free to think and believe what you choose to think and believe. You certainly are not free to interfere with others who might not share your beliefs. If you have well-grounded assertions, then openly and honestly debate the issue. Be convincing and prove your case. Otherwise, please go your own way.

Without trampling on the rights of other people, we all deserve the freedom to make our own choices about how we shall live.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Faith

Decrease in Marriage Continues a Spiraling Wave of Problems, and Churches are AWOL

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Over 60 years after the decline of marriage began in the 1960s due to the rise of the “free love” mentality, the results are more dismal than ever. In 1960, only 28% of adults were single. Now almost 50% of adults are single. Marriage rates are at their lowest ever in U.S. history. There are eight times more children born to unmarried parents than married. 

 

This is a problem. While progressives love to tear down the traditional nuclear family, they can’t argue with the increasingly negative facts coming out. Cohabitation arrangements break up around five times more frequently than marriages, and unplanned pregnancies occur three times more often with cohabiting couples than married couples. Unmarried couples with children are three times more likely to split up and have lower incomes. Children without fathers are more likely to suffer an “Adverse Family Event,” which is abuse, neglect or other trauma. Disregarding the old saying “Marriage tames men” is why we are seeing a spike in bad behavior by men.

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Two authors with extensive backgrounds in marriage and the Christian church have written a book, Endgame: The Church’s Strategic Move to Save Faith and Family in America, outlining the crisis and showing how the church has failed to address it — but also providing specific solutions to fix it. “Endgame” refers to the crumbling of marriage. 

 

Co-author J.P. De Gance, a Catholic who came from the political sphere working for Americans for Prosperity, pioneered a marriage relationship project called Culture of Freedom — later rebranded as Communio —  which had tremendous results. He launched it in several cities, working with churches and faith-based organizations. In Jacksonville, Florida, which had dismal marriage rates, divorces fell 24% after the three-year project, which focused on 58,912 couples.

 

Similarly, John Van Epp, an evangelical relationship expert, ran his own Christian marriage relationship service, Love Thinks. In one area in Indiana that he focused on, divorce rates dropped 20% over 10 years. 

 

What the authors found is that churches are lacking in marriage ministry. Three out of four churches don’t provide any substantive relationship courses or resources for married couples. And even though singles make up almost 50% of heads of households, more than 90% of churches don’t have an adult singles ministry. 

 

What should be most alarming for Christians is the decline of relationship health is now the most significant factor in disrupting a relationship with Jesus. This is why church attendance is at its lowest rate ever on record in the U.S., 47%. In 2000, it was 70%. Church attendance is largely determined by one variable — parental marriage. Both children with unmarried parents and divorced parents were equally less likely to attend church.

 

Marriage crumbled because of the decoupling of sex, romantic partnerships and parenting. Today, the majority of couples have sex before starting a relationship. The authors point to online dating as one of the culprits — it’s made it easy to leave a relationship the instant a problem arises, because you can find a new romantic interest right away.

 

They found a correlation between atheism and lack of married parents. Millennials who were the least emotionally interested in attending church were also the least likely to report having a positive relationship with their parents. The 30 most well-known atheists in the world had a defective relationship with their fathers. 

 

Progressives may pretend that Christians are no better off than the rest of the population, but the authors found that churchgoing Christians have sex more frequently and are happier in their sex life than those who don’t attend. While one quarter of couples in church have a struggling marriage, 39% of couples in general do. 

 

Unfortunately, pastors don’t realize they’re not doing a good job in this area. While 93% of pastors counsel couples in crisis, 57% of them do not believe they are qualified enough. A “marriage 911” is lacking in the church. Churches spend lots of money on youth programs, but that’s not helping people stay in church. 

 

The authors say we need to go out into the community to find couples to help, not expect them to come searching and find these services. It needs to be portrayed as something everyone needs, in order not to scare people away thinking it’s only for couples who are on the verge of breaking up, otherwise people will be afraid of the stigma.

 

The authors reveal what works as successful techniques. They teach couples to address problems early on in relationships. It’s a myth that good relationships don’t require work. The “balanced relationship” is an illusion. What is normal in a good relationship is this: About the time a couple feels that they have a routine that is working for them … life comes at them fast. One of the most valuable tasks the authors have couples do is to make a top 10 list of what they think their spouse wants and needs from them.

 

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ) is key to a good marriage. This means both interpersonal, which includes communicating with your spouse, and intrapersonal, the ability to monitor your own emotions and actions. Studies of people doing tasks who have somewhat higher EQs but also somewhat lower IQs than others reveal that the former perform better, shattering our traditional views of IQ. 

 

The authors also emphasize the importance of both skills and virtues. Secular counseling focuses on skills, whereas Christian counseling tends to focus too much on just virtues. Skills include discernment, appreciation and expectation, self-control and commitment. 

 

The authors conclude by saying the church needs to make marriage ministry and relationship outreach normal. Marital problems shouldn’t be left up to social agencies to handle. The secular world is going to continue to disparage marriage and continue the downward cycle that the misnamed, so-called “free love” brings, so the church has to step up and stop the leak in the dam. 

 

 

  

 

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Faith

Seek Out the Good in Others

If you try, you can find at least one thing admirable in everyone you meet.

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Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Something Admirable

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can actually say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.” Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery?  Guess again.

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You’re on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Finding the Good

Try thinking of and listing five people who you may not have a good relationship with but can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write what is good about them. Do they maintain a nice garden? Here are some ideas for you in case you’re drawing a blank. This person…

* Is kind to the receptionist at work.
* Turns assignments in on time, and hence, supports the team.
* Walks softly past your office, so as not to disturb you.
* Greets you in the morning when you arrive.
* Maintains his or her office well.

Away from work, here are some ideas for finding the good in others:
* Keeps the street in front of the yard free of debris.
* Is respectful of others’ needs for quiet.
* Dresses well.
* Has well-behaved children.
* Drives safely in the neighborhood.

If you try, you’ll find something good!

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