As I scroll across Christian debates on social media, my curiosity gets the best of me.   As I start reading all the comments  on a post I feel interested, and then disheartened, and eventually I feel irritated.  However, I do understand where people are coming from.  Let me explain.

When you grow up in a religion and family that teaches you that you are right, and everyone else is wrong, it can cause a lot of confusion.  Everyone needs to grow and sometimes that means seeing things differently. Fear is the primary emotion in that person because God forbid….. that you are wrong….. about such an important subject!  If you dig underneath that feeling you will find a mixture of pride AND terror AND sometimes genuine concern.  (I”m not saying there is anything wrong with being confident in your beliefs.) If you have read my blogs, you will remember that one of my flesh patterns is to feel overly responsible for others.  Pair that with a real concern for others and a very compassionate heart, and it can get messy.  So, I do understand how people feel when a different way of looking at things surface.

Scripture tells us to rightly divide the word of God.  (II Timothy 2:15) I have changed the way I see so many scriptures as I grew in my faith.  I learned to consider who the verse was written to, and what was going on in the context of that particular scripture.  I also learned to consider the culture of the audience in that day and time, and which covenant they were under.  There are also doctrines that are close to our hearts, and we feel certain in our spirit that this view is God’s truth.  So, deciding when to stress your belief should always be spirit led and full of grace and patience.

As I awakened this morning a scripture was on my mind.

Mark 9:33-40, “After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?”  But they didn’t answer because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.  He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”  Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf, welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”  John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told them to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”  “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said, “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.  Anyone who is not against us is for us.”

Our world is already divided over so many things from politics to vaccines to how we should help the unfortunate.  Our faith needs to be an area in our life that brings peace and comfort.  Are we eating off the wrong tree again and not realizing it?  Remember the two trees in the Garden of Eden.  There was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.  God the Father said, “When you eat from the tree of Life you will not need anything.  If you eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will surely die.”  When I start focusing on what is good or evil and what is right or wrong, I experience death.  Another way of defining death could be empty, frustrated, unfulfilled, and disconnected.  When I am living my life through my union with Christ and keep my focus on HIM, I experience LIFE.  Another way of defining life is peaceful, fulfilled, content, and at rest.  LIFE is actually a person, Jesus Christ.  I don’t live my life by the law any longer, I live by grace.  I live my life trusting that the Holy Spirit will show me what brings life and what brings death.  I then make a choice from my spirit.

As a little girl I remember hearing pastors say, “Major on the majors and minor on the minors.”  There will be lots of debatable issues come up as we go through life.  Most of those issues really don’t matter.  We must learn to say, “Let’s just agree to disagree.”  If I am feeling passionate about a teaching and I feel it does matter, I need to ask myself some questions.  Why do I feel so passionate about this subject?  Is anger, fear or pride involved?  Am I feeling overly responsible to “get it right” and make sure everyone else “gets it right.”  OR   Is the spirit of the living God bringing this to my attention. Is HE leading me to share my thoughts?   If it is the latter, let’s discuss the subject with love.

Jesus never felt threatened by anything.  He also never forced his opinion on anyone.  I bet he liked the Beatles song, “Let it be.”