How did we get so critical?
What do we do when someone says or does something that bothers us and makes us angry?
How do we deal with hearing what we believe to be untruths or possible misinformation? Worse yet, there is the other extreme, when there are those who show indifference. It’s frustrating too!
Still, I ask, how did we get so critical?
What makes us believe that we are the only ones justified in our beliefs?
Realize that the way we react to someone can end up having positive or negative results. Yes, we can defend, but not offend. We can stand up for our beliefs without insulting those who disagree with us.
Insults are counterproductive. It just puts the other on the defensive.
Does your need to feel that you are right and that you have a strong desire to win the debate cloud your judgment?
Your perception of “winning” may make you feel better, or even be smug in the short term, but it can hurt relationships in the long run.
You might be happy that you had the chance to “scold someone”, but does that end up giving you more peace?
You can give the correction too harshly. Here’s a somewhat exaggerated analogy… You can pretend to be pro-life, but does that mean you can blow up an abortion clinic? No!
Do you correct someone out of love or out of hate?
Shouldn’t our goal be to try to win hearts and minds?
Also, do we care about what people think of us?
Jesus got angry when he saw the money changers in the temple and overturned their tables. He felt that they were disrespecting and defiling his Father’s house. He did not physically attack the attackers, but He intended to teach them a lesson. He also rebuked the Pharisees for their arrogance.
In the end, the only opinion that really matters is God’s opinion of us. He commanded us to love each other, even our enemies! We shouldn’t want to make more enemies of ourselves, especially when it comes to our family and friends.
As we gather for the holidays, we should be thankful on Thanksgiving and peaceful as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Our culture is in desperate need of more gratitude and peace, as well as patience, humility and forgiveness. We need it! Here is for all of us to build happier memories.
Marilyn Wirth, Effingham