One of my favorite sayings is, “Free advice is usually worth what you paid for it.” That is one reason I write so often about some of the “free advice” people find on social media or through other means. Regardless of the source, always consider such advice carefully.
In Keep Knocking, I took on a quote about giving up when something appeared too difficult. In other pieces, I’ve commented on the lack of wisdom in the advice one can find on or in any media post, publication, or video. Here, I want to share the quote to the left for a different reason.
Based on my own experiences, there is truth in this bit of advice. I might swap the word wisdom for maturity, but maturity works if it implies wisdom to you. I see value in this meme for two reasons. I have seen it work, and it seems to fit biblical wisdom.
There is value in the quote, whether one believes in karma, fate, or a just God. My personal experience in this area is based on a lesson from my youth. As a child, I was taught to fear and honor the idea of the God of the Bible. However, my formal experience with that system was limited to two years in a Baptist church.
That exposure to the practice of Christianity ended badly. A conflict between the pastor and my father almost destroyed our small church. The two men who led me to the baptismal turned out to be frauds. For the rest of my childhood and early adulthood, I was angry with God and His followers. I seldom entered a church for any reason other than a wedding or a funeral.
Still, some of what I learned of God and Jesus remained in my subconscious. One principle I internalized led to my beliefs echoed above. From a biblical standpoint, it can be summarized in the term “let go, and let God.” While the verses often quoted to support letting go in this sense can be confusing, the idea is simple.
Take my experience as an example. During three decades in law enforcement, I had many opportunities to feel wronged by others. I also had chances to get payback if I wanted. For the record, I am not talking about retaliation toward some person in the community. I am speaking of other police officers. Personal, professional, and political disputes within the workplace are common, and cops are no different than anyone else when it comes to such disputes.
Luckily, I learned rather quickly, such conflict did not benefit anyone. So, I learned to let go and let God or fate deal with the issue. Doing so accomplished two things. It took the pressure off of me, as I did not need to take any action to right the wrong.
Also, it helped my colleagues and friends understand they did not need to defend me or mistreat the other officer. Yes, sometimes a jerk gloated for a while or felt untouchable, but even some of them realized they were acting badly.
The icing on the cake was they often paid for their wrongdoing in one way or another. Whether it was karma, fate, or God, many of those who treated others poorly, in whatever fashion, eventually got their comeuppance. Hopefully, they learned something from the situation. If they didn’t, my hands were clean, and so was my conscience. Keep that in mind the next time you feel the need to get even.
© oneoldcop – 2020
Thank you for a really good explanation of a very difficult principle to follow. I especially liked your use of personal experience.
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