09 May 2008

Guilt Free Opinions

I decided that I am not going to California, I am going to Hawaii instead. My step-dad lives in Hawaii and I want to see him. He's 80 years old and I don't want to regret not getting to see him where he's the happiest, at home on Molokai. If I go to California now, there will be no chance of going to Hawaii later, but if I wait, there may be a chance to stop over in California on my way to or from Hawaii. I will really have to do something spectacular like get a job before I will be able to afford that, but that's OK. I am praying that God will give me the opportunity to go and make the way for it to happen. I would rather be disappointed now than feel guilty for not trying to see my Pop.

I had the erroneous thought that when I grew up I would like making decisions for myself. Aging is full of choices that are the right thing to do but not necessarily the thing you want to do. You just give in more readily when you're older. Some call it wisdom, I call it weakened resistance. Actually, I think it must be laziness, it takes too much effort to rebel. It is much easier to do it right the first time. It's like having integrity. If you have ever lived your life without it, then you know that there is freedom living your life with it. No bobbing and weaving, no shucking and jiving... just hanging out with integrity.

Today I became involved in and online conversation. It had to do with Christians, psychology, and psychotropic medications. I have a degree in psychology and I am not pro medicating for behaviors. I am not completely anti-medication but I am certain that 90% of the people (qualified as believers) being medicated are not in need of it. It's the coward's way out. I would put them in the same category that I would put those who self medicate--from binge eaters and closet alcoholics to street junkies. I was told that I was being really harsh. When I look at the comment, I totally understand why I would be challenged for being harsh. I come by my opinion honestly and stand by it. I concede I should have softened the delivery.

It's difficult here in cyberspace for people to know what opinions you come by honestly. They likely don't know your history or know that you would put yourself in the coward category and for more than one reason. They don't know your habits or the depth of your kindness. I understand when you put your opinion in writing it can be received as something stronger, bigger, meaner and nastier than you ever intended it to be. That's part of the package though. I also remember how I reacted when I was challenged to think biblically about behavior and sin and the whole medical model of responsibility. Being harsh was one of the nicer things I had to say about the folks who challenged me.

I have percolated a bit on the conversation and have come to a conclusion. I am even more adamantly in favor of life on life, Titus 2 moments between believers than ever before. While I value the communication that occurs in cyberspace, it is poor substitute for the deep and abiding friendships I have with the people who know me best. I am looking forward to meeting some of my online buddies in January for this very reason. I am certain it will only deepen the friendships I have made here.


James 5:13-16
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
(NAS)

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