February 8, 2014
By Tina Chandler
Why do we get in such a hurry to attack people for their beliefs or disbeliefs? We show such disdain and spew hateful words at people. It is OK to disagree, to hold a different opinion, a different truth, an opposing view. It is NOT OK to call people names, to damn them to the depths of stupidity, to make them feel less than just because they believe something we don’t or don’t believe something we do! These attitudes show up in our everyday lives, at work, in our families, in politics, at church.
It is difficult to watch as intolerance destroys relationships, causes us to lose friends, become distant from family members, lose jobs, and even divide church congregations.
Remember – tolerance DOES NOT mean acceptance. It means we allow others to exist with their truths and ask that they allow us to do the same. Sure, we should stand up for our beliefs, but don’t get bent out of shape when others want to do the same thing.
There is a better way to debate, to oppose, to get your point across. We will never all agree on the same things at the same time with the same people. There are cultural, political and religious beliefs that exist in all societies – nations, neighborhoods, families.
I am a born-again Christian, I’ve never hidden that from you. I know that not everyone believes in God. I hope that in the very least, I show respect for your right to not believe.
Just know that I pray for you as well as people (including me) that profess faith in God. Believe me, Christians are hypocrites by our very nature.
We teach about holiness and turning away from sin. But then, we wake up each morning and continue to sin. That’s where God’s grace comes into play.
We are imperfect in this life. If you need proof, just look around you. Our world structure is crumbling – some nations flourish while others spiral out of control. Heck, this disparity is prevalent in neighborhoods within the same city!
There has always been division between the haves and the have nots – regardless of what it is that is actually ‘had’ or ‘not had.’ Make sense?
Well, in my view, the 1st thing to do is shut up, listen, pray and seek guidance on what to do next.
Whatever it is, show kindness, show tolerance (not always acceptance), show love. That’s what it all boils down to, remember? Love your neighbor! That includes everyone, not just those that are just like you.