Reflections

reflections

My recent encounter with opposing opinions by a fellow American Christian on this post and this post (see comments), brought to my memory a previous lesson God taught me many years ago which I obviously didn’t take to heart enough. The situation I encountered is encapsulated within this post here.

The words that will forever be etched in my mind that the Lord gave to me were relatively straight forward. Jesus asked me “What did you expect him to say?

In the lesson where Jesus pointed out my shortfall and in the recent encounter, it wasn’t the principle that I wanted to discuss that was wrong in itself but rather the delivery method that I chose and my assumptions that I assumed, that were in error.

Posting or discussing controversial subjects on multimedia can be very tricky. There is that vast separation between ourselves and the individual(s) to whom we are talking to, which provides us with a false sense of immunity from negative feedback. I’ve also learned that what one may present in a written format on a screen and how one would articulate that same subject matter if we were discussing it face to face, differs greatly.

When we are talking with someone face to face, we become more aware of how what we are saying is being received. Body language obviously plays a part and a general tone of reception can quickly modify how we deliver what we want to say. You don’t get that feedback when using multimedia formats. Well actually we do, but unfortunately it is after the volley that we have let loose has been released or published.

When I was putting the initial article together that I posted and which was objected to by a fellow American Christian, I was focused on what I thought was an important component, in this particular case, it was the Great Commission, that I thought was possibly being missed. But by doing so, I broke some cardinal rules when voicing opinions on multimedia.

Cardinal rule number one is I assumed that my input would be received and considered. That is a presumption and a presumption that in many cases is not valid. Criticism from without versus within as pertaining to one’s own country is seldom welcomed. The article I reposted in the post that was objected to, was from an American to Americans. I should have kept my own Canadian thoughts to myself unless invited to voice them. I thought my Christian perspective facilitated me commenting, it didn’t.

Cardinal rule number two is I mistakenly attributed negative behaviour to a wide group of individuals who also have strong feeling and opinions about a given subject that may be in direct opposition to my own feelings and opinions. You can’t project and attribute perceived negative behaviour without expecting to receive some opposing feedback. It’s one of those “what’s going to happen next” situations. Hard to believe I missed that (again).

Cardinal rule number three is that there are certain subjects that are almost automatically going to cause dissention. Family, religion and politics are right up there. Personal confrontation about wrong doing is another biggie. There aren’t too many people who enjoy being criticized, myself included. As one matures one learns to accept criticism and consider as to whether the observations are possibly valid but by and large, because emotions are almost always involved, self acceptance of criticism doesn’t come easily. If I was going to criticise, I could have, at a bare minimum, laid down some qualifying criteria as to whom it might possibly apply to, rather than put everyone in the same category. Short point to remember, don’t over generalize. Missed that one too.

Cardinal rule number four is I failed to take into consider the background of some of those to whom I was addressing. That’s a big mistake. People are not all the same, especially when it comes to beliefs and things that are held in high esteem. When we write something it is vitally important to not necessarily put everyone in the same classic container. There are many human attributes that we all are subject to but there are also many that vary. I failed to take that into consideration too. I know this cardinal rule is close to number three but it is really like a sub-issue with over generalizing. An awareness of the specifics if you will.

There are more cardinal rules that come into play but I will stop for now. I’m seriously thinking of making a banner that sits over the top of my monitor that reads “What do you expect them to say?

Does that mean that we can no longer speak God’s truth? Of course not, but we are instructed to do so with gentleness, kindness and their well being in the forefront of our minds, taking the other person’s feelings, perceptions and beliefs into consideration, along with our own deficiencies. And as we know, this is especially relevant when we are talking about correcting others when it involves the household of fellow believers.

I could quote a wide variety of scripture verses that backs up what I just said but in keeping with your previous suggestion to keep these posts shorter, I won’t.

To be candid with you, I was deeply saddened about what transpired between myself and my Christian brother. Saddened by my own oversights and inability to convey a message to be considered without causing unnecessary offence. Key word there is unnecessary. I do know that sometimes there is just no way around it but in this particular case there was. I could have done a lot better and I must endeavor to do so more in the future.

When we post things to be considered by others we must remember that we are ambassadors for Christ. Our audiences are not all the same, writing to fellow Christians is one venue, writing to non-believers is another. And within the household of faith, we are admonished to honestly love one another. That is not lip service where we just say it and then carry on without breaking stride, with our own agenda.

We, as Christians, have but one agenda, to bring glory and honour to Christ in all that we say or do.

I do have one scripture verse that I must quote.

Matthew 11:29 NIV Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

This recent unnecessary conflict, brought about by my own inability to take to heart all that Jesus tells me to do, makes me realise how far I have yet to go.

Jesus told us that without Him we could do nothing. I believe Him.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 comments

  1. Best post I saw on the Net today. Am thinking… that word Humility, it cuts through every kind of classic/non classic barrier, culture, decade, event. Everyone gets that word, and the lack of it affects humanity as a whole. Thankyou for a brilliantly sourced post. 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michael, I appreciate that but evidently Ryan C would disagree. It’s my first exposure to a outspoken Christian with Republican and 3%ers affiliations and it kind of caught me off guard. I still think that I could have done a lot better addressing the issue I wanted to draw attention to. Hopefully I won’t make that same mistake again. Thank you for commenting, sincerely appreciated. Blessings.

      Liked by 2 people

      • If you were faced with that situation today, what would you say?
        If I was faced with that situation, I also would speak against such an action. There’s plenty I can let go as most times I don’t won’t to get between God and a brother, but adultery is not something I could keep quiet about. Even to a non believer.

        Like

      • Hi Stephen, well for one thing, I wouldn’t talk to him with others around. And I know my lead in would be a tad different. And rather than just giving myself the go ahead to address what he was or intended to do, I would be praying and asking for God’s guidance before the fact rather than after the fact. It is absolutely amazing how God can set things up, in His timing, for us, when we keep our eyes on Him for guidance in all that comes our way. Some of the lessons He taught me while in Cyprus were just amazing, this was one where I messed up, there were a number of positive ones I haven’t mentioned. Hope that answers your question. Blessings.

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      • Thanks for the response. Just trying to get a feel of how you interpreted Jesus’ response to that situation.
        You’re absolutely right about how God can set things up, it is amazing if we keep our eyes on Him. Sometimes, it’s so powerful, it gets our eyes back on Him
        Blessings

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      • Hi Stephen, oh the stories I could tell you! What I felt Jesus was telling me was that it not just what we say but also where, when and how we say it that is equally important. In other words, we can set ourselves up for rejection. As an example, people are much more open to me sharing my failures with them than they are having me highlight their shortfalls. I call it my backdoor approach. It’s very effective. They actually listen very intently and it’s very easy to then shift them to look at themselves. There are different approaches for different situations. And saying a quick prayer is also a biggie, like “Jesus, I need your help!” The last few months I have been getting the same thought over and over again about the communion that Adam and Eve had with God in the Garden before the fall. They literally depended on God’s guidance for everything and trusted in Him implicitly. I can’t help but feel that is exactly where He is taking us back to and just being aware of that, how important it is to consider Him in everything just opens everything up. I am amazed at God, He melts my heart. Sorry for the long reply, you got me started! Blessings brother.

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    • Thank you, Bruce. He is still posting multiple comments under my comments, that are showing up in th sidebar. But I am refusing to read any more of his comments. I am very done.

      The more he ranted at me, the more I could feel myself becoming offended. I’m afraid I sank to his level in my last comment. Now, I am kicking myself. Fun, huh?

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      • Hi Linda Lee, well you’re not alone, I threw a sarcastic comment in one of my responses to Ryan indicating that FoxNews didn’t have a problem like other news media with throwing a spin on the rhetoric. I’m not even sure if he caught that. But I also saw you apologize, like I did, with an honest attempt to speak from our hearts about our ultimate desire, which is to honour and bring glory to our Lord. I asked God to forgive me and said a prayer for Ryan. God understands our limitations. Ryan doesn’t figure he has anything to ask forgiveness for, like President Trump. Big difference. No, it isn’t fun but there are always lessons to be learned and I’m thinking we need to really pay attention to what God puts in front of us. Last night I wanted very badly to respond back to Ryan but I chose not to because I knew my mind and heart where not where they were supposed to be. This morning, while in prayer, God blessed me with His presence and reminded me never to lose sight of Him. God understands. He knows your heart. Don’t let it drag you down. We serve a loving and patient God who forgives us when we slip. Focus on Jesus, that’s all that really matters. Hope your daughter mends quickly and your husband sails through his surgery AND you are lifted in the peace and joy of our Lord. God’s grace, peace and blessings on you and your Linda Lee and thank you so much for taking the time to try.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you Linda Lee, that is what people do who care for one another and the source comes from God because He alone is our source. Thank God and soldier on, you’ll make it, I have no doubt. Many blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, there have been more comments. And I lost it just now, and left a rant on Ryan C’s comment. And I told him I am done, but boy oh boy, he sure isn’t.

    Now I have to go take care of my daughter after her major surgery,and I am just recovering from being sick. And my husband is having surgery on Feb. 5.

    I don’t want to…

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    • You’ve got a lot going on Linda but you are strong and capable. I pray The Lord Jesus brings you strength and hope in your time of need. May He bring healing and blessings to your daughter and husband and may you testify of His goodness and His faithfulness that He may be glorified and magnified.
      Sending polar bear hugs to all of you from the great white north.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Bruce. I followed the thread on Ryan’s first post, and then a follow-up he posted later. Anger, inability to civilly debate differences, accusing others of all kinds of wrong, playing the martyr, doing nothing wrong himself … completely off the rails. What a sad eye-opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi David, yes it is sad and he lashes out at anyone who disagrees with his version of truth in the same manner that he did with me instantaneously. I wasn’t the only one, there have been numerous others including Linda Lee. How anyone can equate that as telling the truth in love is beyond me. Thank you for taking the time to comment David, I know you and I view President Trump differently but it has never been to the point where either one of us has shown or felt disrespect for each other. Hard to believe that type of mentality exists but it surely does. Grace and blessings as always and again, my sincere thanks.

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      • Well Amy, I remember some of your posts where you shared your heart and when you did that you melted mine. That is what God’s love does and it is so beautiful. You are loved beyond your wildest dreams and He sees every little thing that you do for those around you. You’re a dear sister in Christ. We got some snow a couple of days ago and guess what? It’s still here as snow BUT six more weeks and spring is here (not that I’m counting). Blessings!

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