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????
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?