A Lesson on Nouns

Nouns. A noun is a person, place, or thing. I think we, as a society, have forgotten that not all nouns are the same. Let’s have a third grade level grammar lesson, shall we?

A person is not a place. Mr. Jones is not 5th Street. A person is not a thing. Mr. Jones is also not a hamburger. While all of these words classify as nouns, they aren’t the same.

We have a tendency to look at people as meat, as objects, when they are people. You aren’t a burger, a building, or a kangaroo. You are a person. A special type of noun.

Don’t look at other human beings as objects. No matter how your brain would like to objectify someone else, they aren’t an object. You’ve got a handle on the noun part. Now, you just have to understand that not all nouns are the same.

We cool with that, society?

How to Give Up

Some people just don’t understand how to give up on things. Clearly, there are things to give up on (for perfectly good reasons). Here’s three tips for giving up.

1) If you see something that could use improvement, don’t do anything about it.

I’m sure we can all think of things that need improved on. For me, my Robotics Club needs a lot of help. Maybe you’re involved in an activity that needs reworked, or your youth group needs a fresh start, or your job has a problem that needs solved. Whatever you do, don’t try to help. Don’t do anything about the problems. Find a refutable excuse to hide behind.

2) If someone doesn’t like it, burn it.

Do you have something you’re passionate about? I’m sure you do. My passion is writing. Other people enjoy reading, fencing, singing, helping others. The lists go on and on. What’s very important for you to know is that the opinions of others are more important than anything else, including your own. Somebody doesn’t think you can sing? Clearly, you should stop. Somebody didn’t like what you wrote? For heaven’s sake, burn it.

3) Shrug it off.

Now, there are some situations where you shouldn’t shrug things off: like, when someone unintentionally hurts your feelings and apologizes, or when you get hit in the arm with a basketball. However, if you have a friendship slipping through the cracks, and the person is making efforts to help salvage it: shrug it off. If you have assignments in school that need to be taken care of in order to maintain a good grade: shrug it off. If you have a responsibility breathing down your neck: shrug it off.

I hope these tips have helped you get a better grasp on how to give up on things. Remember, a refutable excuse is the gold of procrastination.

Here’s to never improving ourselves or our surroundings!

Love

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d be cliche and post about love. However, since I have no significant other, and the kind of relationships generally celebrated on this day haven’t even been on my mind lately, I figured I’d share about the kind of love that has been on my heart.

Christians are called to love others. 1 Corinthians 13 says that if we don’t have love, we have nothing. More and more, I feel that we aren’t showing this kind of love.

As human beings, we have the desire to be considered “okay”. That we’re “good”, we don’t have to worry about ourselves. Often, this takes form in our thinking, “Well, I’m pretty bad, but at least I’m not as bad as so-and-so.” This is not a loving thing to do. This kind of mindset translates into how we interact with these people, how we treat them.

Homosexuality. That is a lifestyle choice that is very outward, is greatly debated and disagreed on. And some Christians look at it in the way of, “Hey, I sin, but at least I haven’t committed that sin.” And how do we treat these people, who God created, loves, and designed? We respond without love, without hope.

Psalm 71:14-15 says, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.”

Do we tell of God’s saving acts all day long? Is that how we interact with people? Sharing hope and love? Or do we jump to judgement, comparison, and hatred?

Sin is a lifestyle choice, whether it is outward or not. Gossip is a lifestyle. Lying is a lifestyle. Addiction is a lifestyle. Homosexuality is a lifestyle.

Maybe this Valentine’s Day, examine how you love people within your life. Who has God given you to love? Are you telling of his love, of his saving acts, all day long? Are you offering hope and love?

Romans 5:8. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Magic Word

From a young age, we are told the magic word. I suppose it’s intended to teach manners. But what exactly does it teach us?

When a young child cries for their own way, we say, “What’s the magic word?” And as long as they say it–whether they mean it or not–their wish is granted.

We are raising our children to think they are entitled to their desires because they say “the magic word”.

What does “please” even mean? In one context, it means to be pleased, or to be happy. But what does saying “please” have to do with anything you’re asking for? Google’s definition just says it’s a polite thing to say.

What is that teaching our children? At least “thank you” has an easy explanation. You are thanking someone for their service to you. That is manners. That is polite.

Let’s be careful what kind of generation we’re raising. To say “please” may be polite. But let’s not make it a magic word.