I have been dealing with something from a couple of different directions for about a while now. I wasn’t going to say anything about it. But it seems to be happening quite a bit. It almost seems like the Lord is telling me to share about it. So, I’m going to attempt to do so.
I guess a good place to start would be to just ask a question. What makes us think that we can say whatever we want to say and think it doesn’t affect someone around us? I’m dealing with this with the kids and their friends. I’m dealing with it in email groups that I belong to. I deal with it on a message board that I participate in. And people I know and love are dealing with it face to face.
Since MIchael and Lauren were old enough to understand that their actions affect those around them I have quoted Matthew 7:12 to them. It says "Do to others what you want them to do to you" (NCV). I have tried to live that way and I have tried to teach my children to live that way. It makes sense. So, why don’t other people live that way?
Once something is said (or sent in the case of an email or message board message) you can’t take it back. The damage is done. In the cases I have dealt with on the computer in the last week I (and other group members) have been verbally attacked for my beliefs concerning trivial things that are of personal opinion. I’m not even going to explain what the subject matter was because I don’t want the mud slinging and rock throwing to begin again here. In those cases because MY opinion on a subject was DIFFERENT (not necessarily wrong) from someone elses I was made to feel like I was a failure as a mother, wife, woman and Christian. What is wrong with some people? Why is your way RIGHT and my way WRONG? Who has determined what RIGHT or WRONG on some subjects are? (I’m not talking about matters that are directly addressed in Scripture) And do you think that the more you reprimand or personally attack me I am going to change my mind? That’s not even logical.
Scripture has a lot to say about the tongue. James 3 is full of warnings about it. James likens it to the spark that starts a forest fire. We all can see the damage that a spark can do just by watching the news coming out of southern California this week with the wild fires. James even says that the tongue is "set on fire by hell, and it a fire that influences all of life." in verse 6 in the NCV. We all know this. We all have seen and felt the damage that words do to us. Is your opinion so important that you are willing to hurt those around you?
My children are even facing this with their "friends". Friends are those who love and support us not tear us down with words or even attitude. Just because you think you are right doesn’t mean that you have to attack someone else into believing it. What kind of friend does that? What kind of friend makes fun of someone else? What kind of friend gossips about someone they are supposed to love and care for? What kind of friend uses words to stab their friend in the back? What kind of friend destroys other people’s property and then laughs about it? What kind of friend completely ignores someone for NO REASON? Don’t we all know these kinds of things are painful. They are especially painful when they happen to a child.
Just because my opinion isn’t your opinion does NOT mean that I am wrong!!!!! And it certainly doesn’t mean that I deserve to be attacked. Just because you HAVE an opinion does NOT necessarily mean that you must share it!