I Am What I Am

I Am What I Am November 23, 2022

“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged …”
– 2 Timothy 2: 23, 24

God was not the only one to say, “I am.” French philosopher René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.”

Maybe “I do, therefore I am,” would be more apt to presence and being.

Popeye the Sailor (cartoon character) said, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.” I get that, and it teaches the point I want to make.

Popeye image by Hebi B. from unknown Artist-graffiti on Pixabay
Popeye image by Hebi B. from unknown Artist-graffiti on Pixabay

Popeye was different. He ate spinach and grew strong from it. “He often comes up with solutions to problems that seem insurmountable to the police or the scientific community,” says a Wikipedia article.

This holiday season will be full of family gatherings and everyone will want you to be something you aren’t, just like Popeye. They may wonder why you strive for a better world. They may demonize you for putting pineapple on pizza, or for some other food eccentricity that is different from them.

We are each what God created us to be. God is happy with us. God sometimes stretches us to become more than we are, and asks us to overcome our shortcomings. Maybe one day we will be more to other’s liking, but today we are just where we should be in our development as followers of Jesus.

Holiday stress

We often feel under attack in family get togethers. People seem to have the attitude that they can just talk some sense into others if they keep picking at them.

There is a way to handle this. Don’t fall into the trap of reacting or having to explain yourself. For one way, you can use the method Socrates used to dismantle his opponents. Ask the person why he thinks that …. Keep probing deeper and deeper, and with each explanation they give simply pick a thought from it and ask why they think that.

At some point you’re going to hear responses like, ‘I know what I know,” and “I have good sense,” and “how could you possibly think differently?” Then you can say, “When you figure out why you think that way, let me know.”

Say, “Maybe I don’t think differently from you. Why do you think you think differently from me?” If they ask if you agree, just say maybe and it’s complicated – they will have to explain more.

This won’t save you from everything. Some people delight in the attack, the quarrel, the drama. Smile and leave the room. You don’t have to talk about things you don’t want to. It’s a free country.

Jesus example

Jesus answered very few questions directly and usually just asked questions in return. For example, this article, 135 QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED, lists a number of His questions. Some say that for every question he answered (3) he asked a hundred more. Be like Jesus.

People love to talk about themselves

Use this reality that people love to talk about themselves. Keep asking them questions and listen to their responses. Many are simply looking for a platform to spout what they think. Let them do it. Encourage them. At the end you can simply walk away, or say, “I understand.”

Differences get squashed

I was well acquainted with a certain branch of the service many decades ago. If you had a college education or liked to read, you were considered different and the other members picked on you. It’s as common as chickens picking on other chickens that look sick or different. They get rid of differences.

Takeaway

It takes two people to argue. Just don’t be one of them. Rather than give in when accused or thrown ideas that you disagree with, instead find a way out. Refuse to go there. It will make for a happier time for all.

Have a happy holiday period of family gatherings.

Remember that “X” was a symbol used by ancient Christians to represent Christ, so “Xmas” represents what it should.

– Dorian

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The standard of belief and conduct for Christianity is love. God is love. We’re asked to be like God.

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If you find these articles intriguing, please consider joining the mailing list.

If I’ve challenged your thinking, I’ve done my job.

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Our answer is God. God’s answer is us. Together we make the world better.

– Dorian

About Dorian Scott Cole
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