Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Day 15

I am thankful for the people in my life that can be my friend despite our differences. I hope I communicate that just because I choose to live my life a certain way that it is not a judgement against you if you choose differently. This is what works for me and I hope that what you are doing works for you. Taking offense to someone choosing differently from you is a sign of insecurity. Being forcefully argumentative is a sign that you have to convince yourself, not others. (That goes for Christians too.)

I am thankful for those who show respect for differing viewpoints, either by kind and thoughtful discussion or by restraint of comment. I have friends of different religions, different ethnic backgrounds and cultures, and different lifestyles. Nothing compels me to persuade them otherwise.

"I love you too much to argue." -- Love and Logic Institute

Lately there have been a lot of heated Facebook discussions about politics especially. Many people have posted information in line with their political stance. Recently I have chosen to refrain from commenting against those with whom I disagree ON THEIR PAGES. That doesn't mean I do not express my own opinions. I will not be silent just because I disagree with you. On my own page I have the freedom to form a rebuttal or to delete comments.

The internet is a unique platform that allows people to express their opinions without being "against" anyone personally. Without argument. The fact that it is posted publicly compels some people  to "educate" others on why they are "wrong" and that begins with a tone of condescention that I will not tolerate. There is an outlet for that, it is called a forum. Personal facebook pages are not a forum. 

I have a very limited Facebook "friends list" and I am not afraid to make it smaller for fear of appearing "not popular enough". I will block people who start drama or harass me. I REALLY appreciate all of those on my list who can differ in opinion and post what they want and what matters to them on their page.

It is not the number of friends that matters, 
but the quality of friendship!

As a Christian, I have in the past struggled with this idea of "tolerance" in balance with "evangelism" which has been highly promoted by every protestant church I have been to. After much prayer and self-reflection I have come to the conclusion that evangelism is not something I am called to do. I am not perfect and I do not wish to preach. I don't believe my salvation depends on it.

What I am called to do is LOVE. I love my friends and my family even though I do not agree with everything they say. I love them even if they are of another religion, ethnicity or orientation. If we do not agree then we should not argue. We need to lift each other up in grace and find common grounds. There is no room for judgement in any friendship.

I have a lot of respect for those who are examples of this in my life. You are a blessing to me and my life is enriched by those who love and give of themselves despite their differences with others. I hope I can be a blessing to others as well, I know I have a lot of work to do.