Blogland is great. You get to read about all sorts of topics, some of which are pretty controversial. You also get to meet all kinds of unique people.
I enjoy reading blogs on religion and am both amazed and aghast at what some people write. Sometimes it’s a little scary…like the one I read by the woman who self-righteously passed judgment on everyone in her church, especially the people whose clothes were a little shabby or ill-fitting (too tight). Other blogs are inspiring, illuminating, and thought provoking. All things considered, reading blogs can be a mind-expanding experience.
Lately I’ve come across posts that knock other religions, especially the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. A valuable lesson that I’ve learned over the years is that some things are simply beyond my ability to control, including others’ religious beliefs or their feelings about mine. Some people or events might annoy me or frustrate me or even madden me to the point of being enraged, and yet they’re out of my so-called circle of control (Stephen Covey).
For instance, this war upsets me so much that even with my eyes closed I can see some of the horrific images in my mind. The homeless situation in SC saddens me, but I cannot control it (nor the war!). The ailing housing market upsets me big time because we’re trying to sell one house and buy another. But can I do anything about it? Not really. I teach several single mothers who have no plans to marry their babies’ daddies because they don’t want the hassle of commitment. HUH? All of these things bother me in some way, but they are not things I can control. All I can control are my own thoughts and actions.
However, I CAN use my circle of influence (Covey again) to perhaps alter someone’s thinking. In doing so, however, I’ve learned that I have to use mutual respect, patience, and love unfeigned. I’ve also learned that it’s perfectly fine to let others worship how they may. I can’t change or control them anymore than they can change me. They’re happy with their beliefs…just like you and I are.
Many years ago one of my daughters was dating a young man who was not LDS. He expressed a slight interest in the church, however, and occasionally attended meetings with her. My daughter wanted him to hear the missionary discussions at the boyfriend’s grandmother’s house since he was living with her at the time. Well, Ms. Minnie said NO with a capital N. My little daughter was angry! How could such a sweet little old grandmother be so close-minded and stubborn? I suggested to my daughter that she attend church with Ms. Minnie and Eric that Sunday. “Why would I want to do something like that?” she asked. “My point exactly,” I replied. “You see Ms. Minnie and everyone like her (everyone not interested in learning about the LDS religion) as close-minded and stubborn, but you’re guilty of acting the same way. We’re probably all a little like that.”
There was no way under the sun that either of these gals was going to give an inch. Why should they when they were both happy with the peace and faith that their beliefs brought them? While I think people should fervently tell others of Christ, where is the proverbial line in the sand between being joyful about what you believe and self-righteous and critical about what others believe? What do you think? Where’s the line?