Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My name is Dareth, and I am intolerant.

Our pastor posed a question to the congregation on Sunday. "What do you think most Americans consider to be the worst problem in our country?" Child abuse? The economy? Crime? The environment? The answer according to an article he read: Intolerance. And the group labeled as the most intolerant? The evangelical Christian.

At first hearing this, I felt my feathers ruffle in defense. But, giving it some thought, I do agree. Not only do I agree, but I think it should be that way. Now, stay with me for a minute. I work very hard not to be a Christian who speaks Christianese and looks down my nose at others. I feel strongly, and fight for, allowing others the freedom to live their lives the best way they can without judgement from those who choose to do it differently. But, the fact of the matter is this: There is right and there is wrong. There are absolutes. To stand for what is right and oppose what is wrong does make me intolerant. And my phlegmatic, peacekeeping personality struggles with that.

There have been some situations arise in my life when I have found myself face to face with this very issue. And I have struggled. I vacillate between standing for what is right, opposing what is wrong and not wanting others to be upset with me for taking an opposing stance. Standing for what is right: I can do that. It's the opposition of wrong- when that wrong is being lived out by someone that I love- that's my struggle. I think we are all familiar with the fact that people don't enjoy being told they are wrong. That's where my personality wants to take over. I don't want to make anyone feel bad. I don't want them to be angry and accusing toward me. "Maybe I don't need to say anything. God will convict them, right?" Right. I am not anyone's Holy Spirit and it is not my job to convict them of their sinful choices.

But, the Lord has been using some situations over the past year to show me that when other's sinful choices directly affect me and my children, I must stand against what is wrong and stand firmly for what is right. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. No matter what the consequences are. Because reality is that I can't stand for right if I do not stand against wrong.

Jesus came to this earth for every one of us. He loves each one perfectly. Yet, he is intolerant of sin. His life on this earth is a reminder to me that I can love someone and still oppose the sin in their lives. Thank you Jesus for showing us the Way through your life and your Word.