I’m ashamed to admit I got pulled into a less than kind exchange with someone on another blog some time ago.
I wasn’t unkind; they were. Wow, were they!
The author of the blog didn’t like the fact that I disagreed with him on some points. However, I also agreed with him on a number of points.
It was the agreement that prompted one of his commenters, not him, to unleash his hate on me.
Apparently, because I wasn’t willing to condemn certain groups of our society straight to hell because of their behavior, I was the one in danger of going there myself. I guess I was too “liberal” in my Christian views.
I’m upset with myself for being drawn into a disagreement with someone whose only agenda was to argue and not seek to understand. His “words” were mean and hate-filled.
But can I say as a woman who has called God her “father” for years, I don’t understand hatred, no matter where it’s coming from and no matter to whom it is addressed. And I’m sad to say it often comes out of the mouths of those who claim to be followers of Jesus. In fact, can I further propose, it’s worse when it comes from Christians.
Christians who have experienced love and forgiveness from an almighty God should be the last people on this earth to condemn anyone for differing views.
I’m guessing that either:
- They’ve never understood the gift they have received,
- They don’t understand “forgiveness”,
- They’ve forgotten their own history,
- They are not really followers of Christ.
To make it clear, we don’t have to water-down our faith. We never have to pretend to agree with someone’s point of view if we really don’t. We should feel free to voice our beliefs no matter what.
But there are ways to use our words that draw people to God not push them away.
If we read just the story of Jesus and just his words, we see the balance between speaking truth and showing love. Somehow Jesus managed to do both. And yes, he did upset people. I’m not suggesting we won’t as well.
If we offend someone because of beliefs and we’ve expressed our views respectfully, then their offense is on them, not us. For that we don’t have to apologize or feel bad. We have spoken the truth.
But if we offend someone because we have directed hate towards them, we’re the ones who need forgiveness.
This week I’ve written about “words” and how our words make a difference. I offer a challenge this morning.
Read the Proverbs. You will find references to how we should communicate in every chapter. There is more good advice in that book than any other book in the Bible.
Wars have been fought, marriages have ended, friendships destroyed, and lives have ended because of words.
With every encounter, we use words. They are either tools or weapons.
God bless and have a good day.