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Eric's Sunday Sermon; To Lift Someone UP, Including Yourself

Updated on January 23, 2016

What is a family farm without a water buffalo?

You know a John Deere just does not do well in a rice paddy.
You know a John Deere just does not do well in a rice paddy. | Source

Opposites teach us.

Words of encouragement are blessed words. Words of criticism can be but are usually not blessed words. Most encouraging words come from the heart while most critical words come from the brain. So we suggest that we encourage when we are feeling something and we criticize when we are thinking something. We say that love comes from the heart and that is what we are talking about here. But make no mistake criticism can come from the heart and encouragement from the brain. Strange as it may sound I find that most negative criticism comes from the heart and most constructive criticism comes from the brain.

And so I tell you flatly that negative criticism normally is more about how the criticizer is feeling than about what is being critiqued. Joy filled people can give a compliment and a constructive criticism and both would leave the one being criticized smiling and uplifting.

Ever had a bad day? Of course you have. I have and I have lashed out critical of someone just because I was feeling critical. If you have never done that then good for you, this sermon will be more about accepting it and being even more positive then about avoiding doing it yourself.

Teaching a child or our child

Here is a brutal harsh reality: Some people with authority over you will have bad days and will criticize you unjustly. Some people seem to have bad days everyday and will criticize you unjustly just because they are mean – and a few other things. Some folks like being mean to others because it makes them, somehow, feel better about themselves. Other folks will criticize you because they think it makes them look smarter. And then there are those who get critically beat up by others and so they need the outlet of criticizing you.

My advice to the child and adult recipient of the above is simple. Get over it. So as a child is growing up we teach them that the world is not all about them. Tough news to swallow at around 6 and then again around 14. And around 20 and 30 and 40 and 50…. Other people in this world have their own problems and sometimes that gets taken out on you. Life is not always easy. So in order to grow and learn from harsh negative criticism we must learn discernment and to temper our gut reaction to that negativity. A whole lot easier said than done. But when we can do this our lives become uplifted even by the negative. I am a Pollyanna type person. Give me lemons and I will open a lemonade store. Trash talk me and I will smile that I made an impact. It is quite disturbing to a normal spouse who wants you to fight for her at the slightest insult. And it is quite infuriating to those that want to get your goat. But hey it is the way that I am. Don’t worry I still like a good brawl.

Call me crazy I just want to jump in with these folks, hug and sing along. WhooHoo!

The little fellow insists that he did his homework so well he gets my special cracker sandwich recipe.

Why not confirm that I like what he does.
Why not confirm that I like what he does. | Source

Be patient with yourself and others

Ah ha! About now you are asking why this sermon is about uplifting but all I have been talking about is criticism. We can learn much from the opposites of life. You see just as criticism is about both the criticizer and the criticized so also is uplifting. You must have a sender and a receiver and the cool thing is one can be both.

How to uplift someone

Just do it! If you are one of those folks who have trouble giving out a compliment to someone else there is a remedy for you. Practice. At first practice within that head of yours. Compliment yourself. Say good stuff about yourself to yourself. “Eric you really nailed that sermon” “Eric it was not perfect but you are getting a lot better” “Eric I loved how you handled that delicate situation”. Boom ba da Bing you are on the road to uplifting yourself and others. It really is not hard. You can call it the power of positive in you or you can even call it the Spirit working through you – we do not discriminate here. Life is good here.

Now try not to take me wrong here even though I may be wrong. Uplifting others is good for you…. It is kind of creepy, like love, but the more you give the more you get. That to me is a Holy Mystery. I reckon there is some deep psychobabble reason why you get as much out of what you give with an uplifting action. “Give it away to keep it” just is not enough intellectual certitude for me. It has got to be spiritual for it cannot be explained logically. Except for the fact that compliments beget compliments and criticism begets criticism.

I miss my father in law, he lifted me up without even thinking about it, just by calling me son.

Some folks just reach a position where any kind word from them makes us feel special. Please remember that.
Some folks just reach a position where any kind word from them makes us feel special. Please remember that. | Source

Let me tell you for sure; The love my readers show me, lifts me higher and higher!

Look for it and do it!

What is the difference between “uplifting” and a “compliment”?

I reckon a compliment can be uplifting all by itself. We Christians like to say “lift me up” as though we are putting someone up higher and closer to God. If you think about that it is really cool as opposed to being lifted up onto a pedestal. But if you go so graphic as to say lifted up on an altar then we should be careful of being a sacrificial lamb. So a compliment is simply saying something nice. (personally I magnify that as some sort of expression of love and praise) An uplifting is going out of one’s way to boost somebody up. A friend of mine says that I am needy because I really want and like positive affirmations from people. Maybe he is right and I should tone that down a bit. But the funny thing is that I like it this way. Maybe if I was a grumpy old man I would not, because I probably would not get uplifted much by my friends.

Forget about it! I do not buy what the new agers and latest cognitive psycho-therapists are saying in total. This notion that it is all or nothing. That I have to be all happy just in myself. I call bull. I can do both. I can be all self-contained and at peace and with inner purpose and a connection with my God – and still need your good lovin. One time I lived as a happy hermit. No not out on a mountain. I just would not let anyone into my house of thought. I isolated and compartmentalized them and me. Lonely as crap. I was even happy in a space of Zen Christianity. But the uplifting was missing.

Is it a necessity?

Uplifting is a necessity! Will you die if you do not get it? Yes you will. Remember I do not feed your belly, I try to feed your soul. It is not my job to help you get things you need to survive. We talk about the soul here. The soul needs uplifting from ourselves and others, or it shall perish.

So here is the bottom line of uplifting others and ourselves. It is all about the love baby. I love my wife. She knows that. A decade and a half should accomplish that knowledge. But holy mole I got to lift her up. That means I got to let her know that I love what she is and does. See the twist there? Lifting someone up is to unabashedly praise them for what they do. Of course I love my wife, but I got to let her know that I am very proud of the work she does. I am so why not show it. And as always that requires that she allow herself to be lifted up by my sentiment.

Right back to our practice session from above. Damn it, lift yourself up like you would another. Let me tell you something true. If you just read all of this, you are working on an understanding of life that you are not paid to do. You just cared about you and your thoughts. Wow even if it was a waste of time, you tried and that is way cool. You are on the road to uplifting yourself, now bring a neighbor along with you, the journey is more fun together.

On this fun day – can we get an Amen brothers and sisters?

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Marlene. If I were you I would listen up to figure out just what God has in store for you. I love it when things like that add up.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 18 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Amen! Last night, my husband and I watched, "War Room." Then, this morning I read your hub about lifting our self and others up. I think God's trying to tell me something. I truly enjoyed reading your message today, Eric. You have a beautiful way with words.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is very cool Denise, thank you for sharing that here. It reminds me that sometimes it is good just to get in the habit of being uplifting. Better than that old habit of being critical. Sincerity will find it's own way if we try from the heart.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is very cool Denise, thank you for sharing that here. It reminds me that sometimes it is good just to get in the habit of being uplifting. Better than that old habit of being critical. Sincerity will find it's own way if we try from the heart.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 19 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Amen, Brother! I love this philosophy! It is in lifting up others, that we lift up ourselves and find happiness. I met a couple just last night at a fireside that treated each other like gold, and although at their age, it sounded a bit humorous, I wish my spouse did the same for me! Don't get me wrong, we love each other and tell each other daily, but the light-hearted terms of endearment they were using, even in public, was refreshing. He called her "Baby-cakes" and "the lovely one." It made her blush, but it was evident that they enjoyed being together.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora, perhaps those of us like you who get to encourage are truly the blessed ones. Maybe "it is better to give than receive" means much in this arena. Thank you

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Some folks are gifted to encourage and you are one of them, Eric. Thank for always finding and sharing the positives. "Most encouraging words come from the heart while most critical words come from the brain." I'm impressed.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, you know me, when I publish I still worry that not a soul will read or like it. You have helped me with that so at least I have enough confidence to continue. I reckon you could say that you lift me up. Thanks a ton.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at the following you have for these sermons. I remember the days when I was the only one commenting. Now you're a rock star!!!!

      This was a weekend of lifting people up...must be the winter blues. Anyway, right on as always, you aging rock star!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Surabhi Kaura thank you. I truly appreciate your comment. Just a note: I really like the word Namaste. It is such a wonderful salutation. It is good of you to use it with me.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Linda. You are one special person who always lifts me up, and seemingly just when I need it. Thank you for your constant support. And good luck with an obvious improvement to HP.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John you article was exactly half the impetus for this sermon. The critique you shared with us seemed downright,, shall we say flawed. The other part was ahorseback lifting me up with his kind comments. I was touched in such opposite ways it made me evaluate me. And so I wrote this. Thank you for sharing that hub at; https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Eye-of-the-Her... Perhaps in time it will help me to curb my own ego when judging others.

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 19 months ago

      Hi, Eric. Namaste. Very, very noble of you to write this article. We all go through this at some point in our lives. You have described it prudently and gracefully. I admire your input here. Cool!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 19 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric and Jodah - Although I don't like (almost everything about) social media, right now I wish there was a "like" button to hit on what you have said. (I'll be happy to see that AFTER Hub staff gives me the option to make recipes printable, OK?).

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Amen, Eric. I feel like this was written (at least partially) as a lesson for me after my most recent hub..you know the one. It has given me a new perspective on criticism. I know that generally if I can't praise or uplift someone because of their work I would rather say nothing at all. If I say something nasty it is a good bet that they must have really pissed me off first. Thankfully that doesn't happen often. Thank you for your voice of reason.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Vladimir, thank you for your uplifting comment. And I want anyone paying attention to our selves to give your message a look at: https://hubpages.com/health/Emotional-breach-of-mo...

      It ties in well here with choices we make to stay the course and be in the uplift or the downdraft. We and our friends "snap" from time to time and actually "split" ourselves in two. If we focus on the love and the uplift, the split can be minimized and the uplift maximized, especially for our selves.

      Thanks again friend.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 19 months ago from Canada

      Great hub, Eric buddy. You certainly have a knack for presenting these life truisms about people's need to be uplifted, inspired and loved. I salute your human warmth that you put into every sentence. Keep doing it, look how many folks love you and admire your sharing with them the wisdom of human closeness and divine presence.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ain't it grand Whonu! I am lucky, I have a little one to lift up and build confidence every hour of every day. The Joy is all mine.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 19 months ago from United States

      When we give our fellows a lift we are surly doing God's will and showing his truest praise. Thank you for your sharing my friend. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby one day, well actually for about a week, I asked my self how much of a man I am. At first I explored my tough side, but by the end of the week I knew the answer to a most pressing question "Am I man enough to love the smallest of God's creatures?" For all others are between here and there. Do not tell a soul, but I cry over your loss. I feel it in you.

      Now let us not get to crazy over all this, let's go argue about anything at all just to get those juices flowing. Balance will keep us sane. Thank you for coming by and sharing. People like you make people like me better.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, I have not looked around because I just do not like social media much. But I suspect most of it is "look at me" or this or that. HP here has a lot of "look at you" in a most supportive fashion. And it ain't the management. Perhaps us writers know the lonely. Perhaps we feel the need for an atta boy. And probably most of all we show our insides out and so share our insides out. And mostly we are all made of love we just need to show it. Thanks for being a good friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      It is so easy to be critical especially in this political season, funny that's what I thought about as I read your words. I need uplifting today. I think I told you that I'm an avid bird lover. I feed them everyday and this morning my neighbor's cat caught one of my birds just after I fed them. It made me angry and I cried like a baby. I know cats eat birds, but still it hurt because the cat would never have been able to catch my bird except I sprinkled some seed on the ground and my bird was eating and didn't see the cat. I know people will not think much about this, but it has ruined my day. So you see why I needed to be lifted up and you did my friend. Thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 19 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, what you talked about today is one of the reasons I stay on Hubs (it sure isn't for the money!). I have "met" some wonderful people here who DO lift me up and give me affirmation (you are one of them). I don't get it at home.

      Don't get me wrong--I don't think we walk through this life doing what we do only to get attention or positive feedback. We do our best to make this a better world because of the love God has placed in our hearts. But it sure doesn't hurt to get a thumbs up once in a while. I need it. You need it. We all do.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Buddy you were a part of the inspiration to write this hub. You are indeed more than a complimentor. You give me comments that get me feeling good about what I do -- man what a nice thing to do for me. You have changed my outlook from dreary to charged up more than a few times -- Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Swalia, I am glad you got something out of it.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 19 months ago

      Amen , Eric ! Quite often I have found that I was the up-lifter that people have needed , not bragging but it always has seemed people need my quiet , contemplative if not patient nature . Always being the "fixer ", I have often found that because of my patience and free advice everyone gets fixed but me . LOL . oh well , this , as always ,is one heck of a bit of advice . But then look at this - here I am in your hub being fixed ......!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 19 months ago

      Great hub with pearls of wisdom