I've been thinking about friends, about people on the web, about comments on Facebook, and how we treat people in everyday life. And I'm surprised at how ugly things can get.
I was around a different group than normal a bit ago and I was shocked at how they spoke to one another. In their disagreement, there was no hint of kindness. I get that things can be heated--that people have opinions and want their perspective to be heard--but, can't we try to at least approach one another with kindness? General respect?
I have had (and I'm sure will continue to have!) my moments with friends and family. There are times when things are hard and we make comments we regret afterwards. But then, as adults, and, more importantly, as Christians, we have the opportunity to apologize and make amends.
I think it is great to stand strong in what we believe. I don't believe we need to bend backwards or cave to every new whim or opposition against us or what we believe. But, I think we can behave more like the Rock we are founded on, instead of a muddy river that tosses slop onto everyone we encounter.
I frequently don't know how to respond to meanness, to judgement, or opinions that leave no room for true discussion or peaceful disagreement. Even here, in my vague blog, there are so many different situations that we run into I'm sure I'm missing one. But, in all the instances in life, wouldn't we be better off to listen to the advice of James when he says, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires" (NIV, James 1:19-20). I desire to be righteous. I desire to treat others kindly, with love and grace. So, it's a good reminder to me to pause a moment before I hit reply. Before I start a conversation that deep down I know won't benefit anyone.
When I was in college, my pastor did a sermon on this passage and he passed out buttons to everyone. I kept that button in my coat pocket (and, going to school in Ohio, I wore it all the time, even inside) and I felt it constantly. It was such a good tangible reminder to zip it up for a bit. Just be still. Respond when the time is right.
Until next time,