Ever have someone say something to you that cuts your heart into ribbons and you think you deserved it? Recently someone I love warned me that at times I sound full of vitriol. She was speaking in reference to my passion regarding certain topics, one of them being politics. That gave me some thinking to do. Next a close friend of mine listened to a seminar I gave on hope. She said the material was good but she wondered if I was afraid or tired or if something was wrong. She expected the woman she knew, she expected some humor, some in your face truth and to be uncomfortable because I would make her think. She likes to inspect her presuppositions and be challenged by biblical truth. I blamed the pain I am in and drugs I take. I tried to dismiss it but I have thought about little else since she gave me her criticisms.
A couple days ago I read a post on Pyromaniacs and after reading it, placed my tongue in cheek and typed a response that oozed sarcasm. Some poor woman with a twisted sense of humor just like mine read my comment and liked it enough that she came here to my blog to leave me a comment and let me know. She also read a post and decided that she would become a reader. Pray for her, she is obviously in need help. (Ooops! There goes that tongue back to its cheek position.) Her comment made me realize that I hadn't written anything here in a while and I wondered why. Is it because my back and neck injury keep me from being able to sit? Is it the drugs I take that leave me feeling too flat and lifeless to have an opinion? Just what is it that has taken the old Rosemarie and made her a bland, plastic version of the woman she once was?
I would like to blame it on sanctification. When in doubt, blame God. Adam tried it unsuccessfully when he blamed God for the woman God gave him, so I don't hold much hope in blaming God for my troubles either, though I could make an argument for it. See, sanctification refines us and gets the bad out. My opinions are sin tainted and bad. My delivery is sinful. I shall stop delivering sinful opinions and just to be certain... I will stop delivering any opinion. Therefore God is changing me and I must embrace it, right? A better likelihood would be that the first criticism I received about appearing vitriolic weighed so heavily on my heart that I swung too far in the other direction. In my last post, Becoming a Redemptive Train Wreck I explored my not so subtle style of delivering truth. It is right to stop delivering opinions sinfully, it is sinful to stop delivering biblical opinions for fear of offending others.
I had to do some shopping earlier this morning and while I did I thought about what it is that I need. What is it that we need in this country? What is it I need to employ when delivering what I know will be painful to hear? The answer is grace. We Christians need to think about grace relations. Know someone having an adulterous affair? They don't need understanding, they need to know they are in sin and sin places them in peril of eternal judgment. Liars, homosexuals, murderers, thieves..... all in danger of an eternity spent in hell. Hell is a very bad place. To say nothing for fear of offending someone who is on the brink of destruction makes me the worst type of coward. I couldn't help but think about a clip I saw of Penn Jillette talking about a man who gave him a bible. It's a sad day when as a Christian you realize an avowed atheist is thinking clearer about how to treat others than you are. Lord, grant me the ability to be an ambassador of Your grace and to build grace relations.