I apologize ahead of time, Im rusty. Im also suffering from a bout of insomnia. I thought insomnia was impossible with a teething 11 month old. Im exhausted all the time. But after an embarrising amount of time on facebook and getting caught up on my SIL's 444 project and dying my last life playing stupid Candy Crush (diaboloical waste of time... I hate you level 97!!!), here I am.
Mom and I had a nice little conversation today... Funny it flows right along with all the political news over the judges ruling on same sex marriage. Before you get to freaked out, Im not going off on some political rant, another post for another day. No we were talking about the need to be RIGHT.
I am blessed to have a little sister that is absolutely righteous. She is a shining example of everything that I am not. She is a strength to us all and to be quite honest none of us are sure where she came from. My grandpa always said she was an old soul and I tend to agree. Now this sweet sister is leaving on a mission in a couple weeks and is a bit sensitive to the spirit anyway, but in the process can be at times a bit critical of others choices and is very sure of what is right and what is wrong. (I love you, girlie. I promise Im not throwing you under the bus. ) She came hardwired with lessons learned that I still fight to conquer daily. But I digress. In discussing the spats between her and my youngest sister, my mom and I talked about how sometimes you just gotta know when to keep your mouth shut and let people learn from their own mistakes. Sometimes you just gotta let people come to their own conclusions about right and wrong or even better or best on their own. No one likes to be told they are wrong, especially when it is on an abstract continuum that reads more like Really bad -- bad -- so so -- meh -- better than other options -- ok -- good -- better -- best. Well you get the point.
So the overarching question of this post is this: Which is the greater "sin" or the poorer choice?
A. To choose something that is on the lower 3/4ths of the continuum. Any type of thing really. From full on sin or crime to just a bad judgement call....
B. To confront someone for making that choice and instead of trying to love and understand regardless. To make sure that they know you are right and they are wrong or that you disagree and in turn cause contention between you and the person.
Now lets muddy the water a tad. If you are raised in the same household, you have a pretty good understanding of the expectations and what is right or wrong. (This is only partially true, all of us are so far apart we laugh that mom and dad were lots tougher on us older kids...) But if you come from different religious backgrounds, maybe none at all, different cultures then your view of the continuum may be far different than someone elses. Whats perfectly acceptable for one may be heinous in anothers eyes.
Still without a doubt my answer is the B.
Now this is the gospel according to Emily, so dont start referencing any scripture or anything. While it is our call to "warn our neighbor" it is not our call to judge them when they choose not to heed our advice. It is more important to show love, compassion, forgiveness and let God sort the rest out. (Easier said than done, I know.) But I see a world where its not enough to just say, "I dont agree with you, I believe...." It becomes a battle of who is right. IE: I am wrong for not wanting equal rights, I am bigot, I am a homophobe. (Actually, I am just trying my best to live what I believe to be right. I do not force my beliefs on you. I ask you to respect our differences and let me tell you about all the reasons I love you and I am grateful to have you in my life. ) I can respect and have logically thought the issue through, I see your side. In the end, my only answer is that I do not tell God what is right and wrong. I follow what his Prophets have taught through the centuries. Antiquated? Possibly... Wrong... Time will tell. Do I ache for you, that you feel the hurt of discrimination, absolutely. I also respect that my only defense may seem illogical and antiquated. But I stand firm in the teachings of the gospel that I know to be true. Luckily the these beliefs also include LOVING MY NEIGHBOR, NOT JUDGING OTHERS, AND NOT BEING CONTENTIOUS. Sometimes I think some of us in our quest to better ourselves and make the right choices forget the importance of these other tenets of the gospel. I think of those angry extreme religous groups that picket soldiers funerals and hold up hateful ugly signs. Its sad. I dont see the love of Christ in their actions... (But there I go doing exactly what this post is about avoiding.... eek. Its almost impossible to not judge.)
I love my liberal buddies that let me spar with them now and again. I love to pick their brains, exchange thoughts. I love that they love me even though they think I am wrong. I love that they dont assume who I am based on one difference of opinion. Thank you to all of you for being an example to me and reminding me that contention does not bring happiness, that we can agree to disagree, (when in Rome.... --sorry random movie quote. I couldnt resist. Name it and you win a prize). And now dare I quote Dr. Phil... (Dont get me started on that piece of work... bahahah) "Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be happy?"
Now with my sweet sister its something that is motivated by love and concern. It can be annoying at times and is something that we usually laugh off as Millie being Millie. But in a world that is encouraging us to be contentious and hateful to those with different viewpoints, how do we find a balance between standing firm in our convictions without buying in to the idea of, "if I am right, and you dont believe what I believe then you are wrong, and I can not like what is wrong." ? Being kind and finding reasons to love you doesnt make me weak, nor does it mean I condone your choices or want to participate. But being contentious is not justified when faced with someone that doesnt agree with us. I believe contention is one of Satan's most handy and over used tool in his toolbox to try to keep us from becoming what we should. (Just look at some of the comments on different facebook posts strangers judging strangers for differences of opinions on every subject from breastfeeding and parenting to which way to put the toilet paper on the roll. Who has time for this garbage? I felt accosted on a facebook post about common core. A friend of a friend who seemed to know exactly the type of person I was and that I must be narrow minded and accepting of any drivel dished out to me. That I didnt take the time to educate myself and come to my own conclusion. Anonymity in social networking... Grief... Another post for another day!) Anger and hate is stirred up everywhere and all over the dumbest of things. Because we all think we need to be right. And the Devil dances us straight to the gates of hell because we have bought into it.
Its been said that the most important lessons we learn here in life is to learn to repent and to forgive. These great lessons in life are learned by interacting with others. We are all Gods children. Ive said it before, I think a big part of judgement day will be spent looking at our relationships with others. I believe there will be a reckoning. We will come face to face with those we knew and will realize the damage we inflicted, we will realize all that we missed out on because we didnt have the relationship with them that we should have. We will understand the impact we could have had, but didnt. I dont know about you, but it makes me rethink those moments I am tempted not to "see" the homeless man or the girl that is in desperate need of a friend but is awkward or hard to befriend. On the flip side we will see the impact for good we had and rejoice in the frienships and family that blessed us and helped make us who we are.
So to go right back to where we started.... Cant we all just get along?
3 years ago