Politeness And Love Are Not The Same

Politeness And Love Are Not The Same

Loving your neighbor means always being kind, polite and always having a smile on your face.
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As someone who grew up in the church, I tend to get caught up in the "rules" of Christianity. The biggest one for me has always been love. "Love your neighbor as yourself." These famous words of Jesus were drilled into me as a child. I'm not sure if it was on my own or if I was taught this, but at some point, I came to think that loving your neighbor meant always being kind and polite and always having a smile on your face. I know I am not alone in this idea of "love."

Here's the thing: Love is so much more than politeness.

Politeness is not letting the door drop on the person behind you as you walk through it.

Love is stopping to hold the door open as the person behind you goes first.

Politeness is asking a friend how they are doing.

Love is caring about the answer.

Politeness is saying "please" and "thank you" to your waiter.

Love is leaving a very generous tip.

Politeness is an obligation.

Love is willing and flows from the heart.

You see, politeness is not bad. It just should not be mistaken for love.

My politeness in holding my tongue when a friend makes a racist, sexist, etc. joke is not love. It is not helping anyone. In fact, it is hurting most everyone.

My politeness in pretending I don't know that my friend has been talking about me behind my back is not love. It is lying.

Jesus did not call us to be polite. He was anything but polite when he called the Pharisees hypocrites (Matt. 23). He was not polite when he told the woman at the well that he knew how many husbands she had had (John 4). Jesus called us to love.

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Love is also not judgment. Just because it is not always polite does not mean it is rude. Love is never rude (1 Corinthians 13). It is not proud or easily angered.

My anger when my friend makes a racist, sexist, etc. joke is not love. Kindly saying something and pointing out that the joke could be hurtful is love. Love to both my friend who made the joke, and to everyone around.

My judgment to my friend who talks about me behind my back is not love. That situation should be approached gently and carefully, not with rudeness or accusations.

The point is not that love is some black-and-white rule that can be followed the same way in every situation. The point is that I do not have to let people walk all over me in order to love them. I do not have to hold my tongue when someone says something hurtful. I do not have to keep smiling so that others do not know I am upset. It is not loving to others, and it is certainly not loving to myself.

Politeness is not love. Don't confuse the two.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To My Best Friend Of 15 Years

You are my person.

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To my person,

I will never forget the first day that we met. It was the first day of preschool and my mom had just dropped me off. As I started to walk into the classroom I noticed that you were sitting alone on the floor crying. Not sure what to do, I went over to you and asked if you wanted to go play. Your face immediately lit up as we walked into the classroom and in that moment I knew that you would become my best friend. Ever since that day we've been attached by the hip and I wouldn't want it any other way.

April Roberson

Our friendship is the one true relationship that I can count on and for that I am forever grateful. This friendship of ours goes beyond our laughs and lake days. It's real. Through blood, sweat, and tears you've always been right by my side no matter what. You pick me up when I am drowning in pain. You cheer for me even when my ego is a little too high. You love me even when you should hate me. But, most importantly, you stand by me.

Our friendship is the perfect example of trust. You taught me that the right people can be trusted and will not betray you. No matter how dark the secret or how crazy the adventure, you never speak a word about me to anyone. You care about protecting my heart from the awful things in this world and when I am broken you are always there to pick up the pieces no matter how long it takes them to heal.

April Roberson

Our friendship has been a lifetime of happiness with a little bit of spunk. Not only do you encourage my crazy adventures, but you're always right by my side for each one. You keep life exciting and you make it easy. You are a true gift from God and I feel completely indebted to you for the role that you've played in my life. Our friendship is so special because it's full of our tremendous amounts of giving, sharing, and most importantly, love. There's not a day that goes by when I don't feel overwhelmingly thankful to have you by my side doing life with me.

So thank you, to my person. Thank you for always showing up for every little thing and making life so much better. Thank you for being my adventure inspiration and my lifelong travel buddy. Thank you for loving me unconditionally through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lastly, thank you for being the one person that I can forever count on in this life time. I love you with my whole heart and I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else. You are my person.

Love,

Me

April Roberson

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