Kenny's comments are excellent, especially this statement: "Do not confuse legal, lawful, and moral defense with personal animosity." I am tired of the simplistic approach that we just need to listen. No--I do not need to listen to people in the media nor in person who want to talk about promoting abortion, or supporting more and more blatant attempts to make laws limiting our freedoms. Areas of gray have, indeed, become starkly black and white. I am not going to listen to evil ideologies and smile sweetly, thereby compromising the very principles of the Lord.
Great comment by Kenny M. The last 2 sentences really resonated with me. Thanks.
There are some differences that a beyond "being nice and understanding" about. The is nothing to debate, I would not want such in my home or any where near me, including some relatives in serious intentional apostacy.
I found this article to be very helpful. Thank you
This is a lovely brain-based way of approaching a heart-breaking topic. I would like to propose that what needs changing most are hearts (including mine).
Here are some thoughts to consider that move from thoughts to opening up the heart to greater levels of trust. They are from The Colossian Forum.
"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 (NIV and other versions of the KJV of the Bible)
"Conflict is the discipleship gift you've been waiting for -- not the disruption you've been dreading."
Some Christians (including me) are either terrified of conflict or hate it. We are often the ones who shut down and fail to stand for what we believe. Others are so outspoken that they alienate others. Each of us can go either way at different times. More commitment to Christ and his ways is needed. How do we gain that greater commitment, allowing what is going on around us politically to actually spur it? This is a question I have.
Political division is only going to grow in America in the days before the Savior's return. We need the skills to become true Christians now more than ever.
https://colossianforum.org This website brought me great peace one Sunday when political rhetoric entered a church meeting I attended, leaving me sad and feeling discouraged (and a bit frightened, truthfully). This can happen to someone at any time in any church where there is a diversity of thought. Speaking for myself, I need to embrace the thought "Conflict is the discipleship gift you've been waiting for -- not the disruption you've been dreading." I trust that the Lord is going to keep it all together; I need to trust I can.
Crucial Conversations is one of the most beneficial training that I have had at work. Equally valuable are the principles taught by the Arbinger Institute, especially the Anatomy of Peace and the Outward Mindset. I encourage all who are not familiar with the principles taught by these books to add them to Crucial Conversations.
I find it helpful to listen for what the other person needs based upon their feelings. If I’m uncertain I ask questions like, “You feel angry because you need...?” Sometimes I guess in order to get clarification, listen actively, find common ground, or to figure out what they want. Blame, shame, guilt, fear provoked, I back up. NVC
Rattlesnakes are a beautiful member of God's creations that most folks are not fond of, but they are part of the balance of nature. I don't put my hand in their face because I know what will happen. That does not imply that I dislike them or don't respect their place in the creation.
While a law enforcement officer for 30 years, I was assaulted many times and several people tried to kill me. Threats were made to burn down my home with me and my family in it. I never once hated any of those people, but I did defend myself from their attacks. God inspired the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be spread throughout the world and God's children worldwide could all enjoy liberty and freedom from oppression. Today, there are the equivalent of Gadianton Robbers in our land actively trying to fulfil Satan's plan to dethrone God and enslave His children. I don't hate those people but I am going to defend my liberty to my last breath against their attack. There are members of public and members of this church who are on the wrong side of God's Plan of happiness. I would never judge them morally, but I will defend myself and my family from their actions. Do not confuse legal, lawful, and moral defense with personal animosity. They are separate issues. One can hate the sin without hating the sinner. That applies to strangers as well as family members.
Thanks Maurine and Ron! Good reminders. Helps me to take a deep breath too.
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