Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When Timeout Wasn't Right and Neither was Arguing

So yesterday I tried to put my 13 year old in timeout.

Yes, the same thirteen year old who is a head taller than me.

He and his cousin were wrestling in the pool and I had just had enough of the squealing from the 3 year old...

so my crazy Mom voice came out and I demanded that he "Get out of the pool. Now. And sit down. Right here."

So, he did.

Much more calmly than he did when time out actually worked.

And as I lectured him while realizing the ridiculousness of the situation, he simply nodded and said, "Ok, Mom."

I'd like to think this was because of my stellar parenting skills, but I know better.

But it sure got me thinking.

I totally reacted in the wrong way to that situation. My screaming doesn't make the squealing stop... it just adds to the noise.

And that's how we are in many events today.

We see something/read something/ hear something and we react with that crazy "Mama" instinct.

So we have to spew our own version of the facts...

And then that just leads to more noise... more chaos... more confusion.

I found myself wondering this week as I pondered on what went on in Orlando with the shooting and the backlash on Muslims and the discussion on gun control and then the rhetoric about Christian hate about how it's hard to know what to do. I've said before, I'm reminded to love my neighbor and my enemy and not to judge... but what about tough love? And going into the world and preaching the gospel?

Isn't part of that gospel that to be saved you have to stop sinning?

And doesn't the Bible clearly state that there are things that are sins?

It's a balancing act and to be quiet frank balancing can be tiresome.

It can leave one feeling topsy-turvy.

Here's the thing, though...  God is not the author of confusion, and all of these events and the discussion coming from everyone being offended about everything else just leads to more chaos.

I am a Christian. I support Christian companies like Chik Fil A and Hobby Lobby.

I guess I struggle with why it seems as though everyone's beliefs are ok, and it's ok for everyone to state their opinion... except someone who comes from a fundamentally Christian background.

Verses pop up in my mind about how people will only desire words that tickle their ears and that they will have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof and how Christians will be hated because of His name.

And here I am... wanting to love people but not knowing exactly how I'm supposed to do that in a world that seems to have the very essence of love confused.

Love isn't about my wants or needs. It isn't even about me being loved, or me feeling accepted.

Despite what our world preaches, love is not even really a feel good emotion.

Because love is hard. It endures... y'all. That means it puts up with a lot.

It's longsuffering and boasts not and is not prideful...

All the things that I'm pretty sure go against my very nature. In fact, I am absolutely sure of it.

And just like that moment where I decided that timeout would be an effective discipline strategy, I mess up in this love thing. I struggle with conflict, and in all honesty don't want to offend people...

but that's not love.

And I'm pretty sure that loving someone is admitting that even though we disagree about a viewpoint, I can still care about you and your feelings... but you can't get mad at me for my feelings if I respect yours.

And I think that's what bothers me the most about this chaos... because I'm not supposed to get offended but it's ok for everyone else to.

So, now that I got that off my chest, can we all just gather around the swimming pool and listen to little boy squeals and sing Kumbaya?

And I'll just keep thinking how I don't belong in this world and that's a good thing...

And Heaven's going to make this crazy world with all this hate and hard feelings be a distant memory...

I'm not going to miss it. And I don't want you to miss it, either.

Let's just cling to Jesus, people.

Just keep looking to Him, and when all else fails, try to love like He did.

Even if it is hard.

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