A long time ago, a woman who I respected very much said, “In all situations, I ask myself, “What is the most loving thing I can do here.”
I think about that all the time. Between stimulus and response we make a choice.
I also really like this passage:
Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34
Recently, I have been taken back by the violence and unrest on social media. Mike’s friend Paul articulated it very well this week as he too contemplated leaving social media behind.
I have a huge family and there are good things about social media that I enjoy so I will stay. But I don’t have a problem blocking things when necessary.
There is one thing that can bother me. That is when someone gets upset about something that has happened – verbalizes it vehemently and then turns around and does the very same thing to someone else. Hmmm. That one gets me every time. This is where my choice comes. This is where I hear the little voice in my ear saying, “What is the most loving thing you can do in this situation?” I usually seek to understand.
I ask lots of questions. I always have. I enjoy hearing the perspective of others. How will I ever truly understand if someone doesn’t tell me their side? When I ask it is because I seek to understand. Not because I necessarily disagree. Not because I want to be swayed to change how I may feel on the subject. Sometimes I want more information because I haven’t really formed an opinion. There are lots of reasons for my questions. I usually ask people I feel will have some insight that I can go from. Or I wonder if they have thought it completely through . . .
Unfortunately, often times my questions are met with pugnaciousness (sorry, it is still the best word – argumentative, anger . . .). That makes my heart sad. I can’t even ask to better understand without hearing things like, “Oh, I’ll go there . . .” How do you even start a conversation with that? I made a choice. I still wanted to understand – even from this person.
I appreciate hearing the perspective of others when spoken in love and I am thankful there are folks out there who are willing to do that. I’m sure it’s not the most comfortable thing, but I appreciate the genuine effort. How will we ever understand each other if we don’t know where people are coming from? Can we continue to speak – in love? (And please, don’t take my lack of response to mean that I agree – wanting to understand does not automatically mean I agree.)
What I do hope is that I will always have my right to be heard, have my right to voice an opinion, even if it isn’t popular, and have my right to disagree. I think many have fought for their right to be heard so I’m hoping they will understand me wanting to keep mine. We are a great big country and we are never going to agree on everything, but hopefully we will all agree that we each have the right to voice our opinion – spoken in love.
I don’t blog as much anymore. I am mocked for my blog by some. I am hailed by others. I don’t think I deserve either.
This world is getting to be a tougher and tougher place to live and I hope we can all find encouragement along the way. I have been told that my blog encourages others. I am humbled. That is why I continue to put myself out there.
If you are tempted to anger by reading anything I post on social media or if you don’t like my curious nature – feel free to unfriend, unfollow or delete what I share. We can agree to disagree. I will still think of you fondly.
If you meet someone who is not responding in love . . .what will your response be?
I choose love.
When you are tempted to anger think about your response - consider - What is the most loving thing I can do in this situation . . .
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:13