I could have titled this Getting Serious About My Book, but then it would have been easy to miss the point of this post, which isn’t altogether about finishing the book. All the same, I thought I should mention it in detail, in case anyone was wondering where these random topics are coming from. Another note before we dig in: I don’t want the book to be a big mashup of a bunch of my posts from different sites, so I’m not talking about too many things that are actually in the book. I will just talk about thoughts I had that didn’t make the cut or don’t really pertain to the subject of the book. Now that we are all on the same page…
I will be done writing the book March 31st. I have decided to get REALLY serious about it, partly because I am so tired of it not being a published work I can point people to when necessary (a la, “as I mentioned in my book [insert life changing paradigm here]”) and partly because I’m just ready to be done already. It’s kind of akin to being in the third trimester and wanting to be get the baby out already, or at least what I imagine that would be like. Between my cousin’s book and a recent message I saw online, I think the idea of being pregnant with things is just kind of stuck in my head; anyway…
The book. Going off of a master outline I created, yesterday was my day to talk about being unequally yoked in a relationship context. I looked up the words in the Greek Lexicon and the regular dictionary and located the appropriate scriptures. As I worked, I saw that many of the scriptures were about having the law imposed on Gentile Christians, trying to make them conform to Jewish traditions under the law. I also saw many scriptures about the influence of association. I thought this would be an apropos topic of discussion after the social media series.
We all have that one friend, or many friends, that we know doesn’t really have a place in our lives anymore but we don’t want to let go of (yes, I know that’s a mighty presumptuous statement; just go with me on this one). There’s a friend that still hasn’t grown up. Maybe she wants to get dressed up and go out drinking and dancing at the club or she keeps jumping into dead end relationship after dead end relationship. Maybe every time you call her, all she wants to do is gossip and talk about people. Maybe she’s not financially responsible and always needs to borrow something. Maybe she never has anything nice to say, or never lets you have a worse day than she does. [Have you ever met someone who ALWAYS has it worse than anyone in the world and NEVER lets you complain or get advice from them?] Every time you speak to them, you are exhausted. But that person represents something to you that you don’t want to let go, or you think that you are influencing them for the better. But what is that association really doing to you?
In the book, I talk extensively about the influence of a spouse and the importance of having elders involved in your life who aren’t immediately involved in situations. Our associations should be encouraging us to live a godly lifestyle. We know if a friend’s lifestyle and beliefs are in line with ours. It’s time to stop fooling ourselves that who someone is as a person doesn’t affect us.
I was listening to an interview I did for the book of my cousin and his wife. His sister and mother were in the background. When they began to talk about how some of their friendships had changed since their marriage, his sister began to talk about how she didn’t think that her friendship with certain friends hadn’t tainted her reputation. She was saying that just because her this friend slept around, it didn’t have anything to do with how people viewed her. What I know to be true is that if a guy knows your friend sleeps around and they see you two are close, they will approach you because they assume birds of a feather flock together, especially if they see you in a club atmosphere together with the same skimpy clothes on.
Another of those fun animal references that is appropriate is “if you lay with dogs, you are bound to catch fleas.” My co-worker’s cats have fleas. She has no idea where they got them, as they are house cats and aren’t out in the elements, associating with alley cats, etc. She has to give them this horrible medicine in their food at regular intervals for a long time. Their exposure to fleas was minimal and a long time ago, but the effects are still being felt. The same is true in our lives sometimes, especially when we keep a tenuous hold on that bad influence. How many women have friends still being bitten by fleas contracted from bad relationships? Trust issues, commitment issues, clinginess, craziness, promiscuousness–all fleas from previous relationships/associations. Most of them haven’t been diagnosed, let alone begun the treatment process.
It’s time to stop minimizing the affects of bad relationships on our lives. It’s time to get serious about who we associate with. In the next post, I will give a list of practical questions that I have started using to evaluate my friendships.