You say, "It sure isn't nature or nurture, though it sure seems to be pretty close to nature alone." Then you turn around and say the opposite. And I'm the same. Sure, I value our conversation, but I want to be able to leave without the guilt. You twist knives in my chest where I can't speak. So I try to speak for the absent and have also been shamed into knowing I can't. When is a house a home? What is the difference between surrounding yourselves with those who support you and closing yourself off to criticism?
I had been having a mostly good day. I can't blame you but will you let me speak please? Please don't throw your morals at me. Don't tell me you're white and everyone else is black. I'm just learning to love. When you tell me you've chosen to just forgive I am trying to figure it all out. I respect your decision but that forgiveness looks less like action and more like resolution. It looks like the words, "I can't change him so I might as well forgive him."
Why? Why must you change him? It's not our job to change others! Can't we just love those around us where they are? Sure, the judge cannot say to the criminal, "I forgive you. I will show you mercy." However, we're not called to be the judge. We're called to live life alongside others. I feel called to be the advocate of the broken. The lover of the lost. Not the lover of the "chosen." I must remember my stain so that I am not too eager to jump on a man-made pedestal.
Yes, I do get a lot out of such heated debate and dialogue with those around me, but I also want a place where I can just be. I want people who will challenge me in love, not shame disguised as love. I know that discipline hurts when it's happening, but it's not the end goal. I know that edification and admonishment are invaluable, but lately it just seems that they are taking the place of love. I believe that discipline, edification, and admonishment of others must stem from a root of love for them to be the most effective. If they are implemented as a defensive stance or as a means to end an argument, they will not be sustainably effective. Not now at least.
Teach me in love.
Correct me in gentleness.
Forgive me in mercy.
Love me in grace.
I don't know everything nor do I claim as much. However, when all you do is correct me and challenge my views almost all I want to do is turn the other way, even if your views are valid and reasonable.
Lord, teach me to love through it all. Teach me to love Your children as You do. Give me the perseverance to be merciful as You are daily merciful to me. Teach me to love without conditions though I am only human and I will never truly achieve such a lofty goal. Teach me love and be gentle on me that I may carry that gentleness to those around me. Love me that I might love You through as limitless a love of Your world as is Kirbyly possible. May whatever I do be to point to who You are and what You've done, are doing, and will continue to do. In Jesus' powerful Name, amen.