Monday, October 25, 2010
My proper Southern mother has been proven right a lot lately ... “It’s best to not discuss religion or politics in polite social circles. It just keeps things so much more pleasant.”
Obviously we can’t live in a vacuum, but I’m reminded of what Miss Helen worked so hard to teach me in kindergarten, be nice.
Yesterday our pastor gave one of the most relevant and timely messages ever. I wanted to hop up and shout AMEN several times. I might have really shocked Jim Brawner. In second Timothy 22 Paul said, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.” He went on to say, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone ...”
The pastor was quick to explain in this context Paul was referring to the foolish youthful desire to always climb a hill to die on, to always be right, to always win an argument. Honestly I’ve often wondered if anyone ever “wins” an argument. If you win, the person you are fighting with is usually hurt and angry so you lose. You might even lose a friend. And if you lose you lose. So who wins?
Yes, we all have opinions and it’s challenging to find someone who thinks exactly like you. Yesterday it was suggested if you find yourself in a discussion that could heat up quickly, remember no matter how passionate you are, you need to be informed and above all, respectful. That’s where I almost jumped up to start a standing ovation.
I once watched two men “discuss” an issue to the point I thought a duel was going to be suggested. Ironically it was in a church parking lot. No wonder there is a high blood pressure epidemic in this country.
I want to choose my dying hills carefully. After thinking about it for a while I realized a wonderful thing. If I start to climb a hill and suddenly realize it’s not one really worth dying on, I can always turn around before I get to the top and start shooting.