One thing I have really learned in growing up is how not to take offense at people’s opinions, how to be quick to forgive, and to understand that not everyone is going to think like me. I’m okay with that. I either try to understand you, ignore you, or completely erase you from my line of vision.
Sometimes things get a little heated, sometimes I have an emotional response to outright ugliness, but for the most part I’m actually really good at extending grace to other people. If someone is just plain wrongheaded, God will deal with them. They really aren’t a threat to me. Wrongness does not scare me. Sometimes I can even cough up some genuine charity and ask the Lord to show them the same mercy and grace He has shown me.
Sometime I really appreciate their words because they trigger something within me and God wants me to deal with it.
I’ve been really taking that for granted, assuming that is a “normal” way of walking in the world, and completely forgetting that it is actually a fruit that has grown from emotional and spiritual maturity. I feel as if some of us have really done a disservice in the world by not teaching people this, by pampering our kids and thinking we can protect them from their own feelings.
But then I realize that some of these blasted “kids” are my age, if not older, and I grow a bit frustrated. Own your own feelings, people. If someone’s words or beliefs cause you to have some feelings, that’s entirely on you. Our own feelings are our own responsibility, they cannot be blamed on someone else. Nobody else can “make you” feel anything.
So, feeling a bit frustrated about so much of our current culture’s emotional immaturity, what did I stumble upon? This hilarious letter by Everett Piper that begins,
“This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!” This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love…..”
Cracked me up! Amen. Click to read the whole thing, but I was quite delighted by it and somewhat comforted by the fact that someone else recognizes this silliness for what it is. Also, at church on Sunday our Pastor just happened to also be speaking on love and 1 Corinthians 13. I’m not sure if anyone felt convicted, but I’m pretty sure no one actually felt deeply offended.