Monday, March 30, 2020. Let us talk about our personal life, about our framework of reference. What is giving my life such a framework? What does it mean at all? Why should we talk about it at all?
What is giving you joy? What is giving you motivation? What is giving you the feeling that you did it? What is it that gives you satisfaction? Our reference framework has a mental dimension, it has an ethical dimension, it has an emotional dimension, and it has a factual dimension as well. Let us go into some deeper understanding …
Mental and ethical dimensions …
Our mental reference framework describes the framework in which we see ourselves. This relates to us as human beings. It refers to us as social beings, our role and status in our family, our job, our social environment. Our reference framework is what is important to us. When we want to be acknowledged as expert, or as dedicated employee, when we try to be recognized as someone who can do this well, then we define and accept a particular reference framework. The expectations we try to meet, the ideas about what is good and what should be done, are given by or defined in interaction with our reference framework.
Ethics is part of our reference framework. What is in our desires, what our personal goals consist of, is our reference framework. It can be leisure oriented, it can be work oriented, it can be fun oriented, it can be oriented towards other people. Let us realize that we carry around a particular framework of reference, which defines how we feel, what our decisions are and how we approach our days.
Emotional and factual dimensions …
Our reference framework has an emotional dimension. Our emotions are a response system which collects and reflects all our experiences, our will and the framework in which we act and live. It also has a factual dimension, it relates to reality. Of course, we are in a real world with real people, real reactions, real beauty and real threats. Here, our reference framework is linked to actions, to events, and to reality as a whole. Of course, we try to be real with our reference framework. We want it to fit to reality.
But how does our reference framework fit to reality? How do we test it and check its reality? What is the temporal framework for checking it, minutes, days, years, a lifetime?
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus talks about the framework of our actions. He talks about its goals, about our ethical motivation. And he talks about God himself.
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6, 1-4)
When we do things to be praised by others, they are an important part of our reference framework. Our motivation is linked to their acknowledgment and praise. Jesus wants us to develop a different reference framework, given by God himself, by his mercy, his love and his truth. Here, today we only touch this point, but want to go deeper in the next days! (Roland Potthast)