Monday, July 19, 2010

I Am A Sinner

Yes, it's true.  I am a sinner.  Last week I sinned.  Not just those everyday sins you commonly commit.  It was a biggie!

I am passionate about many things, one of which is politics.  I am a Right-Wing Social Conservative and I am proud of it!  I believe in morality and doing things the way the Bible teaches.  It matters not to me whether it's my private life, a politician or entertainer's public life or the political life of my country.  Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  Period!  I'm usually not shy about voicing my opinions, nor am I shy about telling someone else why I disagree with their opinions.

I have a particular friend whom I have known since childhood.  She is a really sweet lady...until you begin to discuss politics!  She is as far left as I am right.  I don't understand her and she does not understand me.  I try very hard not to be ugly to her, although it is so easy to be so!  You see, I told you, I am a sinner!

Last week, we entered into a couple of discussions on Facebook; one on my sister's page and one on my friend's page.  It had been a rough week.  I was struggling emotionally to weather yet another onslaught of grief, as well as dealing with some medical issues and the inability to find the doctor I needed due to cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates.  I was emotionally and physically drained.  When I am in that state, I know better than to involve myself in debate with this particular friend.  Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of doing what I should not do.

We engaged and exchanged comments for a while until I got so frustrated that I just could take it no longer!  I deleted her from my Friend's list and called it quits with her!  I felt so good!  I was thinking to myself, that just shows her!!!!  Strangely though, I didn't' feel well about the whole exchange.  I couldn't understand why it kept bothering me.  I didn't have to take her abuse!  It's MY Facebook page and I can add or delete whomever I choose!  How DARE she upset me like that?!

I raged on and on and all the while growing more and more tense in my spirit.  The Holy Spirit tried so hard to speak gently to me.  But, nooooooo, I was having none of that!  Look God, I'm a Christian.  I know right from wrong.  You don't have go sending the HS to help ME out here!  I have a right to feel this way.  This chic treated me badly!  You just don't understand!

Then, it hit me.  Hard, with the impact of a boulder when it hits the ground after a long fall down a mountainside.  That sweet, gentle little voice inside me saying very quietly, very gently "Yes, I know child.  They treated me badly too.  They mocked me; they spat upon me, they beat me, they hung me on  a cross and vilified me before my own mother.  I know how you feel, but you won't make things better by treating her the way she has treated you.  You have to love her in spite of herself.  I love her and if you love me, you must love her too."

There it was, as plain as the nose on my face....I have to love her, I must treat her well no matter how she treats me, I have to forgive her whether I want to or not.  I so hate it when He puts me in my place!  I was already suffering, I didn't need this from Him right now!  I needed understanding and encouragement!  Why was He doing this to me????

"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind. 
This is the first and greatest commandment.
 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Matthew 22: 37 - 40  (NIV)

Love your neighbor as yourself.  I try very hard to treat myself very well.  I listen to my opinions, I respect my right to express my opinions.  Why would I treat my friend any differently?  I don't agree with her, but how can I ever influence her if I cut her out of my life?  Or, how can I influence her for the better if I treat her badly?

I was so convicted in my heart!  You would think the very first thing I would do is repent, right?  WRONG!  I continued to wallow in my self-pity and argue with the Lord.  Every word said at church on Sunday was directed right at me!  I couldn't walk away from it when I tried!

So, tonight I did what I should have done three days ago.  I made her my friend again and took up the debate where we left off!  I warned her that I could not debate often, but never to take my silence for agreement!!!  Now, I just have to remember to trust the Lord for my strength when I enter those debates and stop depending on my own might!

"Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel:
It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies."

Zechariah 4: 6  (NLT)


Trish said...

I understand exactly where you are coming from Di! I am always quick to give my opinions and stand up for all things conservative and Godly!
My stand on pro-life has caused friction even with my own family members. BUT...I will stand for the "right to life" until the day I die...nothing can change this ol' gals mind.
Sometimes, it is hard not to get ugly especially when our beliefs are attacked...Liberals can't seem to have a peaceful discussion nor come away without being offended.
I will never back down...I will just try to do it kindly which is HARD at you girl!

Pat said...

I don't think it's your opinions that need defending...we all have them. It's how you felt on the inside, and how you reacted. That reaction out of the human soul we all possess, and if we're honest, we have all felt and reacted like you. It's called self preservation. We do what we need to at the time to stay "safe".
Oh Lord, I've been in your shoes so many times, and I can't honestly say I've come to as good ending as you have figured out. It's not always easy to forgive an offender either, especially when they never ask forgiveness. We really have to put it in God's hands don't we? We just aren't capable on our own. Thank God for his Son!