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I was curious the other day about how in the world Google establishes its page ranking system. My pursuit was prompted by the fact that after two years of steady blogging, I had never been concerned or cared about page rank.

However, when I discovered that my front page ranked a 4 out of 10, I was a little put out. How dare they? I thought initially. Then I began to fret a little. Whine. Pout. Of course, before I knew what the page rank was, I didn’t care. But now that I knew, I wanted to know how I could improve, how it was figured.

It’s a lot like our lives, isn’t it? We’re bee-bopping along and then suddenly someone or something makes us aware of a character flaw, something we’ve done that wasn’t wise, helpful or considerate. Before that moment, all was well. After that moment, all is suddenly up in the air.

It’s when we come face to face with a new reality, a new way of looking at our lives, that true growth and progress becomes possible. No one is perfect, and the person who lives an unconfronted life may not truly be loved by anyone.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
Hebrews 12.4-10

When someone truly cares about you, they speak to you about your faults or needed growth. True love does not remain silent and allow you to be oblivious, ignorant or apathetic about your weaknesses. Love speaks redemptively and desires your best.

It’s often what we do after we’re faced with our own unpleasantness that reveals who we truly are. How do you respond to learning something uncomfortable? To being confronted? How you respond can reveal how you’ll grow – or not grow.

People have a tendency to either react, respond or reject when they’re presented with a reality that’s different from what they assumed.

  • They react through their emotions, sometimes getting angry or visibly upset.
  • Others choose to respond. They may initially react, but upon reflection and meditation, they begin to process the new reality. At this moment, they have the opportunity to positively choose change and be proactive instead of reactive.
  • Finally, and in the most unfortunate of cases, some people simply choose to reject reality. They determinedly refuse to accept what has been presented and continue to proceed in unreality.

There are numerous instances in scripture of someone’s reality being changed in a moment. Consider when Peter was told by Jesus that he would deny his Messiah. He reacted by protesting. But later, after the reality of his actions swallowed up his protest, he chose to respond to Jesus’ gentle restoration by three times affirming his love for Christ.

No matter what our initial reaction may be, it’s always how we choose to respond in the end that’s critical. (Of course, we want to mature and learn to react less and respond more.)

It would be easier to deal with people if everyone had a “page rank.” At any time, we could check to see how we were doing… Of course, that’s assuming that we want to know…

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