People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
A poem by Mother Theresa? A writing from Dr. Kent M. Keith? It really doesn’t matter. These words have spoken to me throughout the years, and this morning I am thinking deeply about their meaning.
Getting to a place of peace is different for all of us. In my personal life, the many obstacles have provided numerous roadblocks within the path of getting to that place. Peace, defined in its noun form as, “freedom from disturbance; tranquility,” or “a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended.” These definitions, according to Oxford Dictionaries, are the place I am speaking of. That place of tranquility. A place where the war ends.
Yesterday I met with my therapist. It was a break from the regular joint meetings with my loved one. Within our conversation, we had talked about the consequences of actions. It has been an ongoing task of mine to relearn how to not let emotions, the negative emotions, dictate how I choose to respond in certain situations. For a great majority of my life, the emotions would conduct the recklessness of my mouth. I would just let the emotion control pour out through the tongue. The consequences were sometimes very destructive, to say the least. A guy who is full of bitterness, anger, mixed with prolonged acute anxiety, can be a real jerk. A very abrasive individual. I blamed my parents for my conduct up until a short time ago. Through many different methods, I had learned a lot about what was really going on within me, and continue to. I am learning about pausing before responding, “responding” before “reacting,” observing my own emotions, becoming a better listener and many other areas that I know I need to work on. The consequences of my past actions have definitely spoken, and I’ve listened.
Most importantly, I keep God at the forefront of all of it. He’s the strength I cannot find within this flesh.
Many people never deal with the realities of who they truly are. The fear stands between them and the unknown. They are ‘okay’ within their reservation. ‘Just fine’ within their misery. The life is spent in opposition to what the poem reads: Not forgiving. Not kind. Not successful. Not honest. Not happy. Not really okay. Not really in a healthy relationship with God, or themselves.
I love to share how the place of peace within me has developed and is developing. If I can help just one person see a glimmer of hope, then I’ve done what the Lord has put on my heart to do. It is the power of God that sums up the poem. It is the power God which defines the “anyway”. It is the power of God that removes the “Not” from the front of the descriptive words. It is the power of God that gives us the push to become as Christ. It is His power that cleans up the mind. It is His Word, the Bible, which shows how. It is He who places us within the “Be anyway, do anyway, Build anyway, Give anyway, Forgive anyway.”
I noticed in the poem that the writer used “the world,” and “people” with some pretty shady characteristics. “Illogical, false, cheating, non-forgiving, unreasonable, jealous, destructive.” These things that fill people are easily accessible when the “world” (i.e. the Devil) fills their minds. Their hearts. The voids of a person without the Lord are temporarily filled with a pleasure within the world (without God through Christ) that quickly falls to the wayside. They quickly resort back to the emptiness that becomes filled with the illogical, false, cheating, non-forgiving, unreasonable, jealous and destructive ways that the devil delights in. That’s my experience. But truly, it is also my personal reality. My personal lifelong battle.
I’m constantly fighting the spiritual battle, so I suit up in His armor daily. I really do my best, through Him, to “do it anyway,” because…
“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
The life, mind and even the heart is filled with many things. In all of those things we can have real peace. We can be on the ‘anyway’ side of things instead of being on the opposing. It takes work, focus and will. But let’s take heed; we can do ALL THINGS through Christ (Philippians 4:13). My prayer this morning is that we all simply “do it anyway.”