Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 17, 2010

Principles or Personalities?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I always regret when I express a different opinion from my friend.  I never want to do anything to offend a friend or to appear contrary.  I never want to risk losing a friend.

Yet, through the years I have found that I made a stand on some issue that contrasted with a friend or group.  It is not an easy position.  I realize that many people will “go along” with the opinion or action of another because it is easy and comfortable.  None one cares to be the “odd” one.  No one desires to feel separated from friends.  No one chooses to deliberately take a stand that can result in broken relationships.

But the truth of the matter is that everyone must make a choice.  Do I stand for a principle or stand with the majority or a certain friend?  The issue is principles or personalities!

Much of our stress and confusion is because we try to reconcile our living with certain personalities.  A relationship with a friend can dominate our decisions.  Because of our peer, we may act or believe a truth or a lie.  Because of that desire to continue a friendship, we will choose to stand with that friend even if it refutes our convictions.  How cautious we must be in following the words or example of a friend.

What if our friend is wrong?  Then we are wrong!  Everyone I know desires to live a life of truth, happiness, and responsibility.  To fulfill that life desire, we must set our sights beyond a friend. 

Principles are our guardians.  Principles don’t change.  They are never hypocritical.  Principles are sufficient for living a consistent and content life.  The happiness and peace we desire in life might be determined by whether we live by principles or personalities!

I made the choice years ago to live by principles — not personalities!  I assure you it has been costly at times.  But it is still my choice.  As a result I have discovered several things.

(1)  Living by principles avoids my living for myself and relationships.  It frees me from a self-serving lifestyle. I don’t have to weigh  how I might profit or suffer from a position I take.

(2)  Living by principles helps me escape the stress of wondering what to do in certain situations.  Rather than trying to see how a certain decision will affect a relationship, I just stick to my principles.  I don’t argue with myself of what to do — based on how it will result in friendships.

(3)  Living by principles allows for my friends to always know where I stand.  If I am a person of principles, then those who know me will know my decisions will not be influenced by the stand others make.

Principles must be my standard.  My standards are principles given me in God’s Word and they are sufficient for living a consistent and content life.  Not only does God’s Word provide principles, but the living Christ in me is the ultimate Principle.  He was a man of principles!  May I likewise be!

” . . . we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.”  (Matthew 22:16)



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