I’m out of town this whole week, so I’ve scheduled a few posts. If this is your first time here when I’m on vacation I polish off the posts stalled in draft-land and offer them as b-sides. I will likely not be able to reply to comments til the end of the month.
Alright, so an acquaintance of mine posts daily on facebook about how liberal Christians are destroying his beloved and it’s been getting to me. I’m not usually the type to get riled up over anything, but I think it’s how he says what he does – pinpoint right to the nerve. I haven’t responded to him yet, mostly because of the if you don’t have anything nice to say... rule.
I have also decided – why bother even getting upset by people you disagree with? Why let it get so deep into you? Especially because, more than likely, even after a year of debates neither party would likely budge.
Last week my wife was having a bad morning and it made her a bit grouchy. After receiving a few criticisms I was getting upset myself. As I did the dishes I plotted what punchline I could deliver to show her how she was treating me and make her feel bad about it – but then I realized that doing that would gain her nothing. It would certainly not help lift her out of the mood she was in.
This sounds very elementary but I think we easily forget – that if you want to change someone you won’t do it by treating them poorly. You won’t do it by calling them names, pointing out all their faults or bringing them down. My college acquaitnece won’t change my progressive ways through condescending posts and I won’t change him with well thought out replies pointing out all of his thinking errors.
If we want to change someone – then we’d better get to treating them humanely and loving them.
But here’s one other thing I’ve learned – that only Jesus transforms people. We like to think that we change other people, and certainly we can be influential but ultimately it is Jesus who breaks through hearts. So leave that work up to him – and work towards people meeting Jesus in big and transformative ways rather than converting them to whatever your flag colors are.
How do you deal with (crazy religious) people who unknowingly, or not, hit that nerve? Do you succumb to the temptation to go off?