SC004: Seeking or Seeming?

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esse quam videri, or Virtue

Season 1: Education is for life

Would we rather look good than be good, than do what is right? What if we prioritized being and doing good over looking good? And I’m not talking about makeup. It is simpler and more immediately rewarding to have people think we are good than to expend the effort and rise to the challenge of really pursuing virtue, regardless of people’s opinion of us.

At the park with our children, is it more important to us that we appear like good moms or that we actually do what our children need us to do, regardless of what the other park moms think?

When having people over, do we care more about making it seem like we have our act together or actually have our act together enough to prioritize keeping in fellowship with our children over conquering the dust, fingerprints, and crumbs, if we have to choose.

Being and doing good does not always give us the payoff of looking good, actually. If we must choose, which will we choose? Being or seeming?

Yet, actually having these virtues is hard work. Seeming to have them is easier than actually having them. Seeming to have them will make us more popular than actually having them, than actually obeying God’s commands.

To be virtuous, rather than simply seem so, will require diligence and perseverance in the midst of adversity. Virtue isn’t a magic trait that smooths paths and makes life soft and easy. Rather, the opposite is more true. Virtue is forged in the furnace of trial and temptation.

You can’t have courage without fear. You can’t have patience without trial. You can’t have self-control without warring desires. Virtue is a fruit God grows in us through adversity.

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Simple Sanity Saver: Brain Dump

So you have a thorough brain dump. You have deleted what you can. Now you have a collection of things that you think maybe you should trash and maybe you should save. How do you make that call? Start a fresh list. Make two columns. One column is Discuss and the other is SomedayMaybe. As you flip through your brain spillage, move onto the clean list in the SomedayMaybe column projects, goals, hopes, etc that you can't do now, but you'd like to do in the future. Once they're on the new list, cross them out of your brain dump notebook so you don't need to filter them visually again when you go through for the important things. If you have items in your brain dump that you can't decide about, if you aren't sure if it's an unrealistic expectation or just a hard truth. If you aren't sure sure if you should be doing this or concerned about that, add it to the Discuss column and cross it off the brain dump. Those issues that make it to the discuss column are now your agenda items. One by one over time or in a big heart-to-heart session, ask your husband about what he thinks. If he is bewildered or laughs or thinks you're crazy, you're probably safe to cross that worry off the list. Women's minds are great at manufacturing drama or anxieties that don't really have a basis in reality. Ask your husband for a reality check and listen to him. Sometimes we need to talk it through to figure out what's even underneath our own concerns, and that sort of verbal thinking needs a girlfriend's ear. Choose one or two other women whose opinion you value and hash out your musings. Remember that Your goal is to be able to move the issues off the discuss list and into the trash or onto the someday list or straight onto the calendar. The goal isn't to manufacture more drama or elicit sympathy or complain. Move toward resolution and choose people that will help you do that.
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Declutter your head before you declutter anything else:

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