curiosity killed the cat.

maybe in a sense that means i should be warned myself. but i can’t help it; i’m curious.

[ it’s about to get real up in here folks.]

here’s what i’m pondering. is it possible to interact with and love and grow with people and only inherit the good they have, or by doing those things is it inevitable that you also gain some of their limitations and unknowingly submit to some of their weaknesses?

i’m wrestling with this now because originally i would’ve shouted an emphatic “no” at you for even asking, but unfortunately i can see the latter suspicion i suggested occurring in my life.

for example, if there is a confident person who becomes friends with someone who struggles with self-worth, but has a heart for the Lord. is it at all possible for person 1 to learn from and develop more deeply that heart for the Lord without developing issues of self-consciousness and self-worth? OR by living life closely with them will person 1, INEVITABLY be affected by–cultivate their own versions of– and be forced to face those issues?

it’s possible to be affected, i know that. i think i’m experiencing something like that. but my struggle is the “is it inevitable”? because if the answer is “no” and it isn’t, then does that mean i’m just weak? or maybe i’m not loving people rightly? or i’m really bad at relationships?

i don’t know, but i know i’m driving me a little crazy. Job 4:6 says, “is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?” and in the spirit of keeping it real, friends, i’m frustratingly losing sight of the me who knew and claimed that truth, more often than i like admitting.

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5 thoughts on “curiosity killed the cat.

  1. I don’t normally comment on these things, but your question is too good for me not to. Short answer, yes I think the phenomenon you describe is inevitable in the context of a loving relationship, but two sets of terms need defining.

    First, by a “loving” relationship I mean a relationship in which you are committed to a mutual interaction–that is, you are willing to teach the other as well as be taught yourself. Anything less is dishonest.

    Second, I think it’s important to consider the qualities that we label as good and bad. I can’t love a self-conscious person while hating their self-consciousness; eventually we have to learn that those qualities are an indissoluble part of the person we love. That’s not to say we shouldn’t seek to correct others when there is wrong, but again the key word here should be MUTUAL correction–we learn and grow together.

    Finally, your citation of Job 4 is tricky, but I think it’s important to define what you mean when you say you want to fear the Lord, and whether that act of obedience entails loving others. Also, you may want to avoid these kinds of questions if you don’t want me blowing up your blog.

    Jacob

  2. I think relationships are messy, jpeyt. And whatever you, or the other person, comes out of it with at the end, is all part of the relationship phenomenon. I do think it is inevitable to be changed by a person you are in relationship with, whether it is mutual or not. That’s how God designed relationship, I believe, to change us for better or worse. As to your comment about “loving rightly,” please do not worry about that love, for the Lord is your heart and you are loving people in the exact way He would have you love them.

  3. I’m fond of both of the comments preceding this one, but in addition, it’s important to recognize that whether or not the negative qualities of another will inevitably transfer, you are certainly no more limited by those qualities than they are. If as a Believer we truly believe in the transformative power of Christ’s love (a), and the renewing of our mind (b), then such qualities are quite possible to overcome (c). It’s important that we recognize that Christ came to free us from these things, He sent the Holy Spirit to counsel us and guide us. I say this not to imply that you aren’t trying hard enough, and not to imply that you’re bad at relationships, but rather as encouragement that there is no affliction to which Christ is not the remedy; no conflict to which responding in love to Love is not the solution (d).

    It’s not that you should restrain or limit yourself from being influenced by others. Such influence is natural. It’s that you should allow Christ to be the primary influence on your life, which I believe is your intention, if you recognize that then you’re already on the right path. In the old covenant way of thinking, contact with the unclean was like an infection, just one blemish makes your whole self unclean. In the new covenant way of thinking, it’s the opposite, contact with Christ is like a medicine that makes your whole self clean. In this framework we see that God’s love is the potent cure-all for what ails us, and when embraced it can’t be limited. If God’s Love is in you, then contact with the unclean, makes them clean rather than the opposite.

    And this directly addresses issues of self worth. What more worth could be found then to know that you are valued by the Creator of all things? We wouldn’t know what love is if He hadn’t valued us enough to show it to us (d). He didn’t consider HIs Son too dear a price to pay for our salvation, for our freedom. That’s beyond compliment, that’s flattery, it’s a Love that is more than we deserve, and the least we can do is reciprocate.

    (a) John 10:10 (b) Romans 12:2 (c) Matthew 19:6 (d) 1 John 4:19

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