Wednesday, November 2

Good Intentions

We judge ourselves by our intentions;
we judge others by their behaviors.
This quote was stated by Mike Armour at a recent church gathering in Portland. I find that idea thought-provoking. In my own walk through life, I used to dwell on how others were incompetent or not living up to my expectations. When others are not performing to one's specifications, it leads to a heart full of frustration, anger & resentment. In the last few years, with great motivation by the Spirit, I have found myself liberated from this way of thinking. Now I tend to see how people are really trying. Most people don't intend to be jerks or relish in their inabilities (there are exceptions, of course); their behavior is measured by my own view of what is acceptable and valuable. Instead of seeing failure, I see a lot of places where people can grow. In this thinking, I also become aware of how other's are growing. Similarly to how using "Choice Language" allows the adult to join the child in the process of discipline, looking to other's intentions reminds us that we are all ultimately in the same race and on the same team.

Now, if I can only get my behavior to be in alignment with my good intentions.


rebecca marie said...

thanks for the reminder of just one of the many gems in that sermon. it was so good.

Carol said...

Nice way to put this dilemma. I enjoy reading your blog, you have many good things to say and say them very well. Cool pictures too.
J's mom

Johnny said...

I too enjoy reading your insights and the pictures.
J's dad

PapaPeters said...

Isn't that the truth. It's funny we acknowledge that we do what we do not want to do but we forget others have the same struggle. I've been thinking about intentions myself lately. Sometimes I think i like to pretend I Intend to do some things that I know I won't. That is where things get complicated.

Cheryl said...

Great thoughts, Kristi. And oh so true. It's made me think alot too.
I think I call my intentions, "lists". Now if only I acted on and completed those lists...well, it would not be humanly possible. Yes, my intentions (which make me "feel" noble) are greatly overshadowed by my behaviors (which make me-- REAL). Thanks for this post...

Steve Maxwell said...

Great post K-White. I attended the Northwest Youth Ministers Seminar where made that same statement about behaviors and intentions. He talked about “The Nature of Christian Change” and he talked about a change hierarchy that Christians find themselves on at a given point in there lives. The change hierarchy talked about change starting with 8 and going to 1.

1. Transcendent Connection
2. Identity
3. Values
4. Beliefs and Convictions
5. Attitudes
6. Skills & abilities
7. Behavior
8. Circumstances & surroundings

I think most would have an idea of levels 2 – 8. Transcendent Connection is realizing that you should make changes because you believe in God. It is the idea of living in this world as if you are moving on. I pray that that helps me to remember people are treating me according to my behavior. Guess I should continue to try and behave better!

Jeff Cash said...

Hey Kristi that's great!
Many times people also judge others based on themselves. Their personality or strengths or dreams for themselves becomes the standard through which they see the world. Their personality, intentions or dreams becomes the measuring rod ...anything else is of lower standard or value in their eyes.
I appreciate the way you look for the good in others. It's always there just hard to see sometimes.