The movie character Austin Powers immortalized these words in such a way I can’t help but smile every time I imagine his face and tone as he says, “Oh, Behave”.
Yet, as I read Matthew 7:12 another illustration came to mind. The Message translation for this verse is “Here’s a simple guide for behavior: ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them”.
“Be. Have.” In other words, be what you would like to have. We see this expressed again in Luke 6 when we are told what you give will be given to you…
This is indeed a simple guide for our behavior – though it may not always be simple to do. To help us think it through, it’s been said most people want Acceptance, Appreciation, Attention, Affection, and Allowance (freedom from being controlled). So, the question is, if this is what we want from others, how often do we give them, or withhold them?
My challenge, is to realize just how deeply I truly want to receive these 5 things – and so, will I be willing to offer them more freely, without expectation, or obligation?
This is just a little playful and different take on the word “behave”. When it’s broken down as Be. Have. it helps illustrate for us that our behavior, or the person we choose to “be” also impacts what ultimately “have”.