Doesn’t take much to get folks to fever pitch, does it? Road rage starts with one driver making a quick dart in front of another driver and “it’s on”! The media folks listen daily to political candidates for one phrase that could have a double meaning and the next 2-3 days, the news is filled with volleys over what was “really meant” by the original declaration. If anyone should speak on any moral issue of any kind, the response is loud and swift.
All of us have been watching the events surrounding Chick-Fil-A’s founder’s statement regarding marriage being between one man and one woman. A generation ago, that statement would not have made the news on any news media. I agree with that view. Today that position is viewed as bigoted, mean-spirited, “out of touch”, backward, nasty, hate-filled, intolerant, inconsiderate, and a host of words that I dare not print. So far, we have seen both sides of this argument regarding marriage vent their frustrations. “Some” of those who favor traditional views as well as “some” of those who espouse acceptance of gay marriage have done and said some very vitriolic things.
In the process of standing for convictions, there is always collateral damage. Zeal can be construed as anger. Deep rooted beliefs can be translated as bigotry or paganism (depending on the side). Harsh words can be viewed as hatred. It is very hard to have free speech without wounding somebody. Freedom to be heard means that someone is hearing and seeing what is being said and or enacted. Freedom hurts but it is much better than being forced to be silent because freedom is not allowed. I don’t like everything I see and some of it hurts deeply. I don’t appreciate every word I hear in the community or on television. I am not a supporter of everything that is legal in America….what is legal is not always morally right!
I am reminded of an old story of how we must never compromise truth for error but we must always seek to be bold with mercy.
At their school carnival, our kids won four free goldfish (lucky us!), so out I went Saturday morning to find an aquarium. The first few I priced ranged from $40 to $70. Then I spotted it--right in the aisle: a discarded 10-gallon display tank, complete with gravel and filter--for a mere five bucks. Sold! Of course, it was nasty dirty, but the savings made the two hours of clean-up a breeze.
Those four new fish looked great in their new home, at least for the first day. But by Sunday one had died. Too bad, but three remained. Monday morning revealed a second casualty, and by Monday night a third goldfish had gone belly up. We called in an expert, a member of our church who has a 30-gallon tank. It didn't take him long to discover the problem: I had washed the tank with soap, an absolute no-no. My uninformed efforts had destroyed the very lives I was trying to protect. Sometimes in our zeal to clean up our own lives or the lives of others, we unfortunately use "killer soaps"--condemnation, criticism, nagging, fits of temper. We think we're doing right, but our harsh, self-righteous treatment is more than they can bear. Richard L. Dunagin.
Pray that we (as Christ followers) can learn to be diligent as warriors without being belligerent in our actions. It is so easy to be belligerent…..and not always easy to be beneficent. I have to always be reminded that the word “Christian” means “to be like Christ”. God help me to remember that in every situation where I am your ambassador!!!!