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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 35: The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom

Week 35: The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom

Well, in the thirty plus weeks that I have spent meeting with different men, I haven’t had a day quite like the one I experienced with Cleston Walton today. For starters, he is bipolar, which means he has drastic mood swings (I’ll explain more later). Also, he loves to analyze and study everything, so he’s pretty much a genius. Thirdly, he has some amazing views on life, relationships, and religion that I had never heard before. Sound interesting? If so, then keep reading, because there’s a lot of great tips on life in this story that can benefit just about anyone.

Cleston meditating on his wordsDad dropped me off at Ryan’s Restaurant, where Cleston was wanting to meet, at twelve, and we began our time together by eating lunch. However, lunch took quite a long time to complete, simply because we talked so much that we couldn’t force any food down our throats. I promised to explain about that whole bipolar thing at the beginning, so here it goes. In layman’s terms, bipolar disorder is a condition in which people experience drastic mood swings–from very happy (manic) to very sad (depressive). If, say, a normal person’s mood ranges from 10 (manic) to -10 (depressive), then a bipolar person swings from 20 above to 20 below. When on the manic side, Cleston’s mind is always producing and working, which is nice for a book writer if they enjoy staying up all night. When on the depressive side, though, Cleston is just at rock bottom all of the time, in the mully-grubs about life. And he can’t take anti-depressants for it either, because they actually increase his depression. See, the manic side always predicts the depressive side, so if the pills send Cleston up to a 35 high, then he’s going to hit a 35 low pretty soon.

Fortunately, today Cleston was in a manic swing, so his mind was running at the speed of sound. He talked almost the entire time (which is a good thing), and he was coming up with a ton of great little things to think about. Here’s just some of them:

  • For a relationship to prosper, you need three things–honesty, humility, and contentment. If you do those three little points, and so does the other person, then your friendship will thrive like never before.
  • When a person insults you, the worst thing that can happen is for you to take it personally. If you do that, then you quench the Holy Spirit’s fire, and you slip into your lower nature. Some people quote Bible verses when they are offended, but Cleston said that doing that is totally disrespecting the other person, because you’re building yourself up and tear them down.
  • Humility does not equal weakness. It is a must-have trait for all Christians.
  • People should stop putting so much stock in rules and commandments. Not that they’re bad, but if our society would look more toward the DNA of God and seek his face, then he would send the rules and commandments to us.
    • The nature of Christ is in us; it’s not in any law or doctrine.
    • Religion only serves to strengthen the sin nature and allow us to feel like we’re being holy. God is the only one that makes us holy.
    • Christians are better off, not better period. So don’t act like you’re more spiritual than your neighbor, because you’re not.

    Cleston and I togetherLike I said, those are only a few of the great points Cleston made in our talk at Ryan’s, but I couldn’t possibly write everything he said down. Altogether, we spent about four hours talking, with plates of food interspersed. When we finally decided to leave the restaurant, my head was stuffed with new-found knowledge. And we weren’t even done yet. Since we had about thirty minutes left, Cleston, Gregory (Cleston’s son), and I walked part of the greenway. During our walking time, we–guess what–talked some more. We discussed whether Christians should fight, how people should respond to assaults on their faith, and other things like that. Finally, though, it came time for Dad to pick me up, and we had to part ways. It was amazing how many different points Cleston came up with in our short time together, and equally amazing that I was able to remember as much as I did. Still, it was such good stuff that it just naturally stays in your mind, I guess. Cleston really helped me to see the world through a different perspective, and it would be hard to match the wisdom I heard today. Even if it did come from someone who is bipolar.

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