Friday, March 3, 2017

Lesson in "Stupid" Moments

Did you miss a step that eventually causes you to fall either buttock or head first?  Did you lost a grip on something that you are holding, leading it to fall, or worse than that break into pieces?  A notch higher: have you been outwitted, outsmarted, or worse than the first two, conned by someone?  Then we have “stupid” moments.  I did.  To describe this as “stupid” may be an offensive to some of you, opting to describe it as “tricked”, “fooled”, “conned”, “had an accident”, but believe me, “stupid” is the word used by some. 
Speaking of the last clause, let us go to this specific direction regarding “stupid” moments: why it happens when we least expected it?  Specifically, why does it happen to those wittier and smarter than us?  Let’s cut the chase: some people will really emphasize your “stupid” moments when it happens, using it as a joke or an epitome of stupidity, at the “stupid” person’s expense. There are people who always have the last words in the conversation when it’s not even necessary.  There are people who are really in the art of winning an argument.  People who will point that these things will not happen to them, but will happen to some people they know.  Then, voila, their stupid moment occurs. 
This is not about vindictiveness. The tendency is to focus more, or even correct, people for viewing things this way under the ground of revengeful, vindictive attitude, rather than the people who exhibited pride and arrogance.   Instead of vindication being highlighted, there are really some people who cannot admit nor apologize over their pride and arrogance for one reason or another, especially if they have the feeling that these people with “stupid moments” deserve such a “lesson”.  Thus, life itself gives them their own “stupid” moments.  If you happen to be that person, it’s not too late to admit it at least in your own self this: you had your stupid moments because you were mean to stupid people or people we dislike. You were arrogant in pointing out that stupid moments will not happen to you, but it can happen to some people you know.  Of course, these statements are refutable, rebuttable, and even discreditable especially when treated in an ad hominem fashion.  However, when people who will do so suddenly have their “stupid moments”, it’s at least one of the life’s lessons for them, especially if an apology is less likely.

We have our stupid moments because we are human beings who must be appreciative when he achieved an intellectual achievement, but at the same time, considerate to people who had his or her stupid moments. If we saw angst, rage, or in a Filipino pop culture term, “hugot”, then we took home the germs rather than the gems. More than the angst, rage, or “hugot” against arrogance is a message of encouragement: that, as a person who experiences “stupid moments”, serves as a person of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to people, especially when they had their own “stupid moments”.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why Only Us?

“Don’t read other theological book; only read the Bible”. 

If you grew up, attended, or currently attending in a Fundamentalist Christian Church, whether by affiliation or by practice, those words or similar to those words are mentioned behind the pulpit. Depending on the extent, a speaker or a pastor advocating this is reminding the congregants to read their Bible both in the church and at their respective homes and minimize, if not avoid, books on theology.  I understand Pastors for doing this kind of control measures, at least its positive intention.  The church where I am a member experienced the effects of misguided study and zealousness towards particular Biblical doctrines.  It almost divided the brethren.  Hence, pastors and church elders are using that first sentence to protect the body of Christ.   

As I grew up, this has been the mantra of leaders who grew up experiencing the “almost division” event.  There is even one pastor who stated that authors of theology books are just advocating their doctrines just to earn money.  Funny thing though, he is a graduate of a seminary, top of his class, and benefited one way or another to these books (that’s another story, and I understand him for that). 

What makes that first sentence problematic is the Bible, in order for people to understand, must at least be read or listened.  Speaking of listening, in order to “listen” to the Bible, one must have a speaker of God’s Word. Read Romans 10:14-17.  They are called preachers, pastors, and elders.  Human as they also are, these speakers speak based on the reflections on specific Bible passages.  Typical of public speakers, they incorporate personal experiences in relation to their reflection of the passages.  Now, during this sermon, some members are TAKING NOTES.    If these same pastors, preachers, elders, and leaders discourage members and listeners to read theological books, two problems come into picture: they imply that they are the only right speakers of the Word of God AND they will be subjected for further scrutiny because they discourage members to read.  Think about it.  When you, as a preacher or speaker, discourage the members or your listeners from reading a particular theologian, AND THEY ARE LISTENING TO YOU WHILE THEY’RE TAKING NOTES, whose knowledge, reflection, and discourse are in their possession?  Partly, it’s your reflection and their discourse in their possession, not other’s view.  The only difference with you as a speaker from these authors is they published a book, you didn’t, BUT both are STILL written materials through the notes of the listening congregants.  As a consequence, because you have made that kind of practice, chances are, your version will definitely be put under scrutiny.  Why?  To answer their question, “what made us wrong, and you the only right person in this room?”


I didn’t mention those words because I fully disagree with this type of control measure.  In fact I understand the rationale.  Church leaders are just acting like a Mom in the kitchen who tells which one is nutritious which one is not.  However, it’s a brotherly reminder not to become the monster that we despise or worse than the monsters that we despise.               

Friday, June 17, 2016

Douglas McGregor’s Theory and its Affective Relevance to Small Quantity Workplace

I’m more inclined to define organization just as I learned it during the time I was taking my Master’s: a group of people working together towards a common goal.  There are people who will disagree with me when I say church can also be considered as an organization.  Speaking of which, I wanted to make baseline truth or information to establish my post. The basic elements of organization are there: 1) group of people (human resources), 2) money (financial resources), 3) facility (physical resources), 4) common goal, and 5) certain rulebooks.  I’ll not write too much about this; there are many resources discussing about the elements of an Organization.  

Let us recall briefly Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y.  To avoid being too academic and lengthy, let us just summarize the difference between these two Theories.  In an employees’ perspective, if he’s a Theory X, He’s lazy.  He will work when coerced, pushed, and mandated.  He will not go beyond what is demanded by his immediate boss.  Unless hugely compensated, he’ll not work.  Now, if a manager thinks of his employees as a bunch of Theory Xs, he will not trust them.  He thinks that employees will only work if coerced, pushed, and mandated.  He thinks that employees only work plainly because of money.  An employee or an organization member is a Theory Y if he’s self-motivated, ambitious, and able to control himself.  If an organization manager thinks of the organization members as Theory Ys, he thinks that each and every member is a valuable.  He trusts his employees and assumes that the employees enjoy their work.  Again, I’ll not dig into this so much.  I just made baseline information.  THIS IS THE VERY REASON WHY PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT IS NOW CALLED HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT. Let’s give credit to Dr. McGregor for that.

Having said this baseline information, let’s move further (not farther).  What am I trying to say?  HUMAN RESOURCES ARE VALUABLE RESOURCES.  Okay, I’m referring to employees and former employees who have sincerely and adequately performed based on clear-headed interpretation of company guidelines (and not the truthfully primaddonas).  In small companies, employees must be treated with respect and dignity because whether you like or not, you’ll always cross paths, because the company is quite small.  Especially in small companies (let’s say below 120 employees), being courteous enough to contractual employees if their service is no longer needed is a good asset.  This means not treating them like commodities.  This means doing your best to disregard personal feelings of like or dislike when renewing or not renewing employees (or in case regular employees).  Always remember that “feel” factor is never enough.  Just because you don’t feel the person doesn’t mean you’ll just throw him or her out.  By the way, don’t follow the “I’m just being real” band wagon.  Be courteous and professional.  Yes, it is the head’s call and prerogative, but the head should always have a heart for employees who did their job well.  Give them dignity and respect.  Trust in their capacity.  Sometimes, giving a certain amount of trust to employees will make wonders to your department.  In fact, it will pull down the wall if you give a certain room for trust even to the employee that you don’t like.  You don’t have to pretend you like all the employees and your subordinates; all you need is to be professional and courteous enough.  Bullying should not have room for a head of department; it will hunt the department, one way or another, no matter how preventive you are.

Yes, Theory Y is just a theory.  There are no laws strictly telling you to adhere to this theory (or else it will be called Law Y, not Theory Y).  In this day and age when management and administration of various small organizations are marred by complaints and dissatisfaction, it still makes wonders when you treat your employees (be it contractual or regular) with dignity and respect.  When you spread that attitude of respect and dignity, respect and dignity will spread very fast.  After all, your organization is small.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Two Authors and an Elitist Attitude


When I was allowed to return in the church in the evening December 31, 2008, I gradually noticed a trend which hits its climax around 2011.  Believe me, I have been vocal about this, hence I’ll not be accused of backstabbing.

 

This has been our members liking the books written by Dr. John Piper and Bro. Joshua Harris.  For those who are not familiar with them, Dr. Piper wrote the books Desiring God and Don’t Waste Your Life.  Joshua Harris, on the other hand, wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl.  Not only some of the singles of Baptist churches, but also well-intent Christian churches are reading them, even to the point of hero worshipping the authors.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have their books.  I came across Don’t Waste Your Life back in 2008, when one of my mentors, Dr. Abel Bernardo gave it as an encouragement to me.  I bought Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye when I was still one of the Main Leaders in our youth ministry – around 2002.  With all sincerity, intent, and wholesome outlook, I read them.  They are blessings to me, especially during the path of restoration which culminated at the go-signal of my church allowing me to go back.  During this time, I witnessed single professionals reading this book, putting quotes on Facebook mostly associated with these authors or their contemporaries, mostly single ladies and some working bachelors of my time. 

 

I will not dwell on the Calvinistic theology of both Piper and Harris, neither will I hit them in an ad hominem fashion, just like what some believers and preachers have done to their advocates, just to preserve their position.  I don’t post articles to pick up a fight, both verbal and physical.  Besides, outsiders will deem this article as a jargon.  One more thing: I respect Dr. Piper and Bro. Harris for their zealousness, intelligence, and poetic way of expressing their position on certain issues on Christianity.  In fact, I even share some of their positions.  What I wanted to point out is using certain things, ideas, to establish a sense of elitism.  There are believers that make inside language which mere ordinary looking mortals do not know.  These people have finally channeled the inner pride through patronage of these authors.  However, when you pointed out that you understand their inside language, you’ll be met by either dead silence or a troll label.  Give me a break, you do that even in topics of Christianity?  Let’s respect Dr. Piper and Bro. Harris by reading their works, pointing out their position, agreeing with them, or disagreeing with them.  However, for crying out loud, do not use them as vehicles of ego tripping, displaying attitude of exclusivity, and the likes.  If it really became a blessing to your life and you’re not sharing it, what does it become of you? We become a bunch of inappropriately competitive, proud believers.  Intellectual competitions must be put where it is appropriate, and it’s not in the church.  Their work and pieces of advice are not meant as trade secrets.  It is a shame that even geeks will not hesitate to share their geek lingos or terms to non-geeks, yet some of us didn’t do so in the realm of Christian ideas. Some of us keep it to themselves like a trade secret. Seriously?  Putting the getting ahead mindset even in the realm of spirituality?  Frankly, this elitist attitude must be dealt with indifference.  It is best ignored.  No, I am not referring to misunderstood ideas being tried to share.  I am referring to good ideas used by people with elitist attitude in the process that they’re the only ones who can understand or decipher them.  THEY ARE BEST IGNORED.

 

Nowadays, I’m glad the inside jargons have subsided.  I’m sad that well-meaning authors are used as vehicles of pride and elitism.  I believe these authors are happy when you share ideas that they also have, but to use their beliefs and books as medium of pride, elitism, and inappropriate intellectual competition?  I don’t think they meant it that way.     

 

I am always an advocate of transferring knowledge from one person to another.  If it will make someone or a group a better person or group, I will not hesitate to share it, especially if they do not have a questionable agenda.

 

Fellow brethren, let us have an attitude of positive inclusivity when it comes to Christian ideas.  It’s like food, it’s happier to eat a good food when you share it with someone than eating it on its lonesome.           

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why the organization?


Since July 1, 2014, I am a member of Toastmasters International, specifically Camanava Brunch Toastmasters Club.  Toastmasters International (TI) is known as an educational organization that caters to teach its members the art of public speaking.  I have said this many times: I joined this organization to learn public speaking because I am currently teaching it right now, NOT as a form of bragging rights that I belong.  I want to put it this way: I joined Toastmasters not because I know, but I want to know.  This statement leads me to think of one word: Organization.  In addition, I cannot help but mention some of the reasons why people join an organization.

 

There are people who joined an organization because they feel these people are their co-equal, like it is cool or elite by being part of them.  In other words, they joined it with an exclusivist and elitist attitude.  When they became members, they produced their own inside terms and language that, sadly, they deliberately let other people hear it.  When you talk to these types of people, the mere mention of the club means, “Here I am.”  I am not mainly like that.  It’s bullying, and I’m not a bully. Another problem with this mindset is intellectual and developmental stagnation.  If you joined an organization with someone of your own level and below your level, you’ll not put yourself to the next level.  Why do international basketball players perform at higher level than those who haven’t experience one despite the latter having more talent and gift than the former?  It’s because the former encountered foes outside his usual, sometimes co-equal, circle.  I’m not saying to avoid people who “are not in your level”. That is pride and arrogance.  What I mean is joining an organization because they are your co-equal is a bad idea if you want to grow as a person.     

 

There are people who joined an organization because they wanted to meet new sets of crowd or friends.  These people treat clubs as a means of socialization.  I am not mainly like that, although I consider the friendship inside the Club as a wonderful God-given blessing.  Friendship and socialization are not ends in themselves, but when they become the focal point or central part of a member’s mantra, the tendency is to get out of the organization when they felt it’s getting sadder than the usual or well, “boring”.

 

There are people who joined an organization because they wanted to get something out of it, in a negative way.  Few months ago, a guest of a fellow member asked if I can lend that person some money. Uh-oh. Even until now, fellow members didn’t have any idea who that guest was, because it’s embarrassing on that person’s part, but also it shows that I have a respectful, courteous bone in me. 

 

I think some of us are familiar with wolves coming in our churches.  These types of people are the ones who victimize the weak. Does sexual harassment ring a bell to you?  How about sexual predators?  Okay, let’s mention something more deceiving yet so divisive when left unchecked: users and manipulators.  This is the reason why I really try to be as wholesome as possible in dealing with other members: because I didn’t join an organization with a negative agenda such as the ones mentioned before this sentence.  By consciously trying to maintain that wholesome mindset, not only you will grow as a person and as a member, but who knows? You’ll eventually notice guests coming in signing up to be your member.  You may even have a celebrity signing up without you knowing it, all because you didn’t join an organization to fulfill negative agendas.   

 

Some become members of an organization to intentionally proselyte its members on his or her belief.  I am a practicing Christian, and some Christians may disagree with me on this one: not because we are commissioned by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel does it mean that we deliberately assert to be leaders outside our own local church.  Yes, state your belief, your position on certain issues, even Christianity, but to try to take charge simply because you are a Christian? Man, you are giving an impression that Christians are bossy people.  As of this writing, I’m the Vice President Education of my resident Toastmaster Club (or some of us call it Home Club). Prior to this, in only my 4th month as a member, I became Vice President Public Relations to fill in the void left by a member.  I didn’t do it by putting myself on top.  In fact, I didn’t even intend to be in that position.  All that I did was consistently attend our Club meetings, give speeches (it’s a Toastmasters club; nothing heroic or fame grabbing with that) or do task in that meeting or do both at the same meeting day (speech first, then task later).  I tried to be as wholesome and responsible as possible in dealing, not only with the tasks that were given to me, but also with other members.  Eventually, I saw myself in my current position.  In an educational organization, you don’t need to proselyte to be a guiding light.

 

There are people who joined an organization or club because they assume this organization or club will teach them a thing or two on the things that they wanted to learn more.  I am mainly that type of person when I joined TI.  Now, this type of mindset is good if an organization is an educational organization.  Hence, it is important to know first what kind of organization you are planning to join. If it’s educational in nature, then study in order to achieve mastery.  If it’s socio-civic in nature, then expect to be on the road.  If it’s a certain common interest group, then check if your interest is in sync with them.      

 

Bloggers and readers, what drives us in joining and being in an organization? It may not be the things I’ve just mentioned, but definitely, something (or someone) is your driving force. I’ll not question that driving force, but I hope it will be a good one.  Why?  Because your driving force will determine your direction in an organization.

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rebellion and Rebels part 1


If you are a church attender and a fair enough listener, I am very sure that the teachers, preachers, and pastors mentioned Absalom, King David’s son. If you are indeed a church attender, you’ll encounter one singular idea: that Absalom is the one who rebelled against King David, and at the process, was killed because of his rebellion.  Aside from Lucifer, Korah, Miriam, and Aaron, Absalom was one of the characters illustrated on what rebels do and the consequences that fall into them.  However, in order to understand how rebels are being groomed, let us try to read this character’s back story.

 

 

Let us try to summarize Absalom’s life before rebellion.  The first mention of the Bible of Absalom happened in third chapter of the second book of Samuel. 10 chapters later, thirteenth chapter to be exact, he was mentioned again.  He was described as long haired and blameless, meaning, in contemporary terms, he was smooth skinned and is very handsome.  According to some Hebrew scholars, Absalom have big eyes, maybe to emphasize that he has strong personality.  Prior to this description though, we can see in this chapter, that a family scandal happened: Tamar, Absalom’s brother, was raped by Amnon, their half-brother.  In the twenty-first verse of that very same chapter, we can see that King David was “very wroth” when he heard the news, as described by the King James Version of the Bible.  This means he was very, very angry, as wroth means “very angry”.  As for Absalom, he just mentioned to Tamar to keep calm because Amnon is their brother.  In other words, he mentioned let it go, but deep down, I assumed he is awaiting his father give justice for Tamar’s rape.  However, no action was given.  Yes, the Bible never mentioned that there was no action, but it never also mentioned that actions were made.  Besides, Absalom even invited Amnon, which led to Amnon’s death.  This means, not only injustice was made, but also Amnon has no shadow of guilt or remorse.  After all, it was not mentioned that he is scared to be with Absalom, having been drunk.  The rest is history; he rebelled to King David, and eventually killed by Joab in the process.

 

 

Let us notice these words: injustice and unapologetic attitude.  These two breed rebellion.  When injustice was made, and no actions were done against injustice, rebellion will definitely take place.  A person whose anger is already in his heart due to feelings of injustice becomes angrier than before if the person or a group who did him wronged are scot-free.  Well, we cannot blame wrong doers on that one somehow.  No, I am not justifying rebellion.  Let us call a spade a spade, the illegal or criminal actions of a rebel must be brought to justice.  After all, law must never be put in our hands.  Instead, I understand rebels where they are coming from.  Inaction against injustices breeds rebellion on institutions.  Sadly, these institutions rather focus on executing justice against rebels for their rebellious acts, and stop there.  That is right, but what is missing is their concern.  Rebels maybe wrong in their means, but they have their reasons why.   Not because the approach is uncalled for doesn’t mean the content and reasons behind that are.  We are no different from people witnessing a guy physically dragging his nagging wife or girlfriend out of the public scene, to the point of hurting her arm/s.  True, guys must never do that.  However, haven’t we considered that the guy just don’t want any more scandal?  Haven’t we considered that the girl is wrong in her accusations to begin with (girls: intuitions are not right all the time)?  Worse than that: haven’t we considered that the nagging girl is just making a scene, and, out of love, the guy felt the need to do that in order to drag her out from their embarrassment AND in order to bring her home?  Yes, we shall never consider those angles plainly because the guy hurt the girl by dragging her out of the public scene. PERIOD.  That is the same mindset on how we treat rebels, we give them tooth and nail treatment because their actions are wrong, and yet, we never made any actions on the basis of their complaints.     

 

By the way, rebellion requires action.  Hence, if a person complaining is not making an action against institutional leaders or organizations, that is not a rebellion.  Even online dictionaries will tell you that rebellion requires effort, open opposition, and refusal to obey.  These three requires actions (refusal is an act).  Hence, when a person laid down his grievances to leaders, leaders must never feel that this person is automatically a rebel.  By definition, this person is not yet a rebel. 

 

In Christian churches, we abused the verse, “looking unto Jesus…” or we use words, which are really theologically questionable, like “let go, let God”.  Most of the time, when we hear such words, the next move is inaction.  After all, an action is somewhat deemed as hateful and unforgiving once you mentioned this verse from the book of Hebrews.  Yes, there is no such thing as a perfect church. However, why mention these lines when rebels and sympathizers themselves no that there is no perfect person to begin with?  Mentioning to a disgruntled person that there is no person church or perfect person is like saying, “shut up!”  For crying out loud, we may even justify actions that even in millennial reign, a perfect God-administered government will still have rebels, so rebels are what they are, rebels.  It is spine chilling because, if you are an institutional leader or part of that institutional leadership, you are comparing yourself and your institution to God Himself when you did just that.

 

 

When this behavioral system continues in an institution, never ever wonder why rebellion eventually happened in your institution.  Never ever wonder.  Inaction was made towards injustice.  Worse than that, the one who received injustice.  Frankly, my tendency when I encounter such is that I will never defend nor attack a person who becomes part of inaction towards injustice, regardless of his or her position in the institution.  I will never be a part of further injustice called cover ups.    

 

In my personal opinion, the leadership must take action against rebels when their prior complaints were already addressed, and yet they still did the same.  In cases where rebellion or insurgency happens without knowing the reason or source of rebellion and insurgency, actions must still be made, but their root reasons must be determined.  Yes, not all of them maybe legitimate, but we shall definitely learn from them.  Put rebels to jail if they really did something criminal, BUT let their legitimate concerns be addressed.  However, like I said, when the concern is already addressed and yet they want to do further, then, that act will solely be on their hands, no longer the leadership.  (forgive me for illustrating church rules and policies very much.  It’s because I can give more examples on something that I am near into).    

 

I don’t write this because I am initiating rebellion.  No I am not, and will never be.  Instead, I am addressing those who were given the chance to lead.  Not only them, I also address those who were the opportunity to serve and execute real justice.  This is to remember social responsibility.  This is to understand rebels, not to the level of justifying their actions, but to the level of having a broken hearted attitude that “something must be done”.  Especially in the church setting, whenever you are in charge of the disciplinary action, do what must be done, but with a broken heart, not because you enjoy doing the action.  You’re no different from sadist when you did just that. 

 

Rebels and so called rebels have hearts too.  I know leaders are too. 

 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Missing Link on Forgiveness

To tell you honestly, I don't know if most fellow Christians share this view that I will share.  Forgiveness is only full, in my opinion, when both forgiving and asking forgiveness are there. However, oftentimes, being Christians, we use as an example one of the seven last words of Jesus Christ: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Sounds awesome to hear that. So heart touching to feel.  Forgiveness at its finest.  After all, Jesus Christ said it.  Stephen said, "Lord, lay not their sin to their charge.", right?  Okay, let us check I John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Let us remember that Scripture cannot truly contradict Scripture. In my opinion, the process of forgiveness is only full when forgiveness is extended to the person AND if that person who needs forgiveness admits his mistakes or asks for an apology. Then, how about Jesus Christ and Stephen? They have extended their hand of forgiveness, but without repentance or asking forgiveness they will remain in that state of not being forgiven, even if the offended party had forbear the offender's shortcoming. In case of salvation, if a person remained unrepentant or not wanting to ask forgiveness leading to him not wanting to have the real salvation experience, he is condemned already to hell as John 3:18 said.  In case of every day life experiences, if a person is not asking forgiveness if he needs it, it is both hurtful on both sides.


This is the very reason why we felt bad when wrong doers are unrepentant and unaffected.  It's not merely because we are bitter, but mainly because something is amiss. Something's not complete, so to speak. No wonder "Pride goeth before destruction..." as Proverbs 16:18 said. It may not automatically mean literal and physical destruction, since it is the book of Proverbs. However, it somehow gives us a reminder that pride, on both part of the offender and the offended, indeed destroys us within and left us hurt.



Clear and point blank: someone must forgive and someone must ask forgiveness. In other cases, the offender and the offended must both ask forgiveness and forgive each other at the same time.  Maybe we shall raise our eyebrows on that previous sentence, but sometimes, as offended ones, we do things to our offenders that are more than what the offenders did, or just plainly, we did them wrong in the process because we are hurt or pride kicked in.  I am saying this because it is a very wrong thing to justify acts like revenge or not forgiving to make the offender suffer more and call it "by-product of the offender's action or consequences of the offender's sin to the offended".  I heard and saw people with no appropriate authority give consequences to the offenders.  I also heard one minister mentioned that the treatment of the people to the offender is a consequence in itself.  However, because of sowing-and-reaping and cause-and-effect principles, we have forgotten that the offended will have their own consequences if they did the offenders something that is not right to be in their own hands. Only God and people who are in appropriate authority to execute consequences have the right to give consequences to the offenders.  [When I said appropriate authority, it means, for example, that if an act is criminal, then you should call the police or any law enforcing people to do it.  If the act is more of offense to your church only and it is not criminal, then have the church (not only the pastor, not only the chosen few) decide on the matter.  I hope you understood the picture.]. By the way, about that one, yes, it maybe a consequence to the offender itself, but the offended ones will have his own share of consequences when he took matters in his or her own hands.      



In the above paragraph, we may say that this is also one of the reasons why some offended ones are more miserable than the offenders.  Why? As a by-product of pride, they did actions or have imparted proud, painful words to the offender, making them an offender themselves.  No wonder we heard somewhere that forgiveness is a gift not only to the people that hurt you, but it is also a gift to our own selves as well.



What if the offended or the offender is already dead or missing in your network or abroad or out of town or intentionally disconnected from you for one reason or another?  Maybe you have better answers for this as this article is not error-proof or journalism or writer-friendly especially if I am at your "I don't feel you" or "I don't like you" side, but based on my experience and also my present perception of things, I think it is time to move on and consider this as your thorn in the flesh just like Apostle Paul have his.  Just like Apostle Paul, in his ministry, maybe we are being bothered by feeling of hatred or bitterness because someone didn't ask your forgiveness or someone didn't forgive you, which can be considered our own messenger of Satan.  Some will make fun or personally preach to you on this one, but one thing is sure: God's grace is sufficient as 2 Corinthians 12:9 stated, just like God's grace is sufficient for Apostle Paul.  After all, as Hebrews 4:16 said, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Ultimately, it takes God's grace for us to forgive and to ask forgiveness, and I consider it more grace for both to happen at the same time.



May you have an emotionally clear and enlightening day.