Several years ago I read a book that changed my life. It shined a light on the importance of unconditionally respecting my husband, and thus enabling him to love me in a more effective way. James and I don't always get it right, and sometimes we're sent spinning on the "crazy cycle" of no love/ no respect no matter how hard we try. We don't always see things from the same perspective, but in spite of the setbacks that come along in life, we now know better how to get back to the right place. (Read the "crazy cycle" article or you can have the short definition here. "Craziness is when we keep doing the same thing - again and again - with the same ill effect.")
This weekend has brought up the subject of honesty and I'm thinking that being honest comes with a "crazy cycle" all it's own. We've all been taught and encouraged to tell the truth. No one wants to be lied to, but I find that expecting honesty from others comes with a requirement from me. Being honest necessitates making oneself vulnerable, vulnerable to the reaction of the recipient. As one seeking honesty from others, I have to understand that honesty can be extremely fragile, and often painful. As one seeking to be honest, I desperately need others to honor my efforts if at all possible. When my honesty is trampled or dishonored, future efforts to be truthful are much more strained and sometime even avoided altogether.
Thankfully, there is One with whom I can always be honest. He doesn't mock or belittle me, I don't have to worry that He will share my secrets. When I fail, I know the judgement for my sins and shortcomings has already been taken care of at the cross. He stands ready to love and forgive, and if I will accept His forgiveness, I find it much easier to love and forgive those who hurt and disappoint me, loving and accepting those whose background might be a little different from mine becomes a little more natural, and maybe, just maybe that will help me to make a difference in the world too.