Saturday, May 13, 2006
The other day a sister in my church was verbally discredited in front me by a colleague, I'll call Jan. (This is not the first time I've heard disparaging things about my christian family). I was angered but I said nothing. I later thought of plenty of things I could of said. None which would probably profited me any. However, I've struggled with liking, or being forgiving of Jan. Seems whenever someone disagrees with a Christian's belief they are adament to speak up against them. And Christians are called judgemental? True some are judgemental and they are not very "Christian". I believe a true christian doesn't look for other's faults but prays for them. So I am struggling to pray for her. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use and persecute you (or those you love)* my insert." Matt. 5:44
My christian friend who was discredited, encourages her kids not to date while in high school. I do not whole heartedly agree but do see her reasons and admire her for her stand. Kids are exposed to so much at too young an age and so many parents are passive. It is easier for a parent to give in to a child then to stand their ground. I know this all too well. I too battle with my teenage son over curfew, etc. I hate to distrust him or check up on him. I hate to tell him "no, you can't do something your friends are doing". I often am ignored for days after saying "no". I am not winning a popularity contest! I've heard parents say that kids will just sneak around if they can't do the things they want. Well, should I buy my kids booze, cigarettes or drugs since they are going to sneak and get it anyhow? Should I be Laissez-faire about their grades saying they will get what they get? What is so wrong with telling your kids what kind of behavior is or is not acceptable or risky? I try my hardest not to make it easy for my kids to be exposed to what I feel is harmful behavior. I do believe they will try to get away with things and they will sneak around. But if I'm not making it easy for them, they will have less chances. Less chances to drink, have sex, etc mean less chances of consequences. I am not for providing beer for kids in the hopes they will stay at home and drink 'cause they may become dependant on alcohol. I am not for giving my kids a condom in hopes that they won't have unprotected sex 'cause they may still get hurt emotionally if they aren't in a committed relationship. I am for talking openly to my kids about sex, drinking, drugs, etc. and consequences. They still ultimately make the decision but I've done my best to discourage a problematic behavior. Alcohol, sex, etc. can be like playing with fire. And most parents don't want their kids playing with fire! Most parents won't even say "play with fire but be responsible!"
I don't need to defend my christian friend or others of my faith because Jesus said, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthews 5: 11-12
I do want to pray for Jan. I know she is having a tough time in her life. I know she doesn't understand others different than herself. It is easy to be defensive when we don't feel good about ourselves!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Experiences in life often shape our personalities. I have learned not to judge people too harshly because they are what they are because of life circumstances. However I believe it is also possible and sometimes necessary to change what shapes us. Especially when it affects those around us. Too often we use the excuse that is just the way I am. Or I was born that way.
Yesterday I was somewhat angered to hear of an acquaintance of mine putting down women because he's been through a divorce. It was affecting someone close to me that I'd rather not have a poor opinion of women. After all I am a woman! I too was scarred by a divorce. I too could of thought all men were scum. So... Divorce scars...Not just the divorcees but the children. Jess asked about the statistics of divorce. Yah, they suck, 50-50. I believe from experience that our children need us to do all that we can to make our marriage work. I wish Jess and Kev had never experienced divorce!! I hope they won't be afraid of marriage but will work with a fever to protect their marriages when they have one. Especially giving their children the gift of both parents united, not divided! I still believe in happy endings. I thank God and give Him total credit for happy ever afters. I think that marriages need that extra help that God gives us. After all without God where is the forgiveness? I think people fail to forgive when they don't feel they have ever really done anything to be forgiven for. How often we think, I would never do that! A friend gives me credit for not holding grudges. Truth is I do hold hard feelings. I have a hard time when someone does me wrong and doesn't recognize it or doesn't ask for forgiveness. But life has taught me that I can screw up and screw up bad. I need others' forgiveness so I need to forgive others. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, then your Father will forgive you your trespasses. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14 &15 KJV
"And why to you look at the speck in your brother's eye and do not consider the plank in your own eye." Matthew 7:3 NKJV If we recognize our own idiosyncracies maybe it'll be easier to understand others. How about the person that cut us deeply? Haven't we all been there? A friend of mine was recently hurt by her family members. Been there, done that? I know a few, who have. I've also seen people carry it to the grave. How much of it is misunderstanding? I want to be forgiven. I will try to forgive. That doesn't mean that some people just push our buttons with their arrogance....Sometimes these people just make life unpleasant and if they aren't gonna change I don't want to spend much time with them. It's not my job to correct them, but forgive them. After all I do have a lot to work on, myself.