Opposite George

One of my favorite episodes of “Seinfeld” is The Opposite (S5:E22 – May 19, 1994). In the episode, George Costanza decides to turn his life around by doing the exact opposite of what he would usually do.

George: Every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everthing I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat, it’s all been wrong.

Jerry: If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

George: Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing and regret it for the rest of the day. So now I will do the opposite, and I will do something.

“Seinfeld”, The Opposite, S5:E22, May 19, 1994

What would happen if we could all do the opposite of our initial instincts? What if we could view situations that we are placed in as opportunities to grow in character qualities that are virtuous? What if we had the awareness and self-control to say what we ought to say, not what we want to say? Like Opposite George, I believe we all could live a life of true joy, purpose, and harmony with others if we commit to it.

We’ve all spent a lot of time trying to determine what we want to do in life. For my brothers and sisters who believe there is a God, trust me when I say that He is far more interested in who you are than what you do. You’re not taking your career to heaven. You’re taking your character.

And He has given us the Role Model to follow and strive to be like. He calls those character qualities to which we should aspire the Fruit of the Spirit. He defines them as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

So how does God produce this kind of fruit in your life? He puts you in situations that are opposite of the fruit He’s growing in you.

  • It’s easy to love people who are lovely. He will teach you how to love by putting you around unlovely people.
  • During periods of grief, you’ll learn joy.
  • When someone is instigating a fight, you’ll learn peace.
  • When you’re patience is tested, you’ll learn how to be patient.
  • When someone mistreats you, you’ll learn to reciprocate with kindness.
  • When you’re tempted to do something bad, He’ll give you a way out to do good.
  • He’ll place delicate things in your life to learn gentleness.
  • He allows you to experience hardship and pain to learn faithfulness.
  • When people verbally attack you, you will learn self-control and never attack in return.

God wants to build your character to reflect His character. You may want the process to be quick and easy, but nothing worthwhile is. God works the opposite way, slow and sometimes difficult. However, over a lifetime, it will build strong character in you.

Here’s to getting a “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” the opposite way.

Published by Marc Casciani

Preparing brothers and sisters to compete in life's arenas & bringing them back to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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