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Re: ouch judy1

Posted by Dena on December 18, 2003, at 11:28:04

In reply to ouch, posted by judy1 on December 18, 2003, at 10:43:10

Dear Judy -

I share your dismay at the way this thread went.

I also feel partly responsible, because I didn't choose silence, but instead chose to respond to things said. It's a personal problem of mine, that whenever I feel "misunderstood", I feel the need to explain & defend myself. Rather, I should learn to let things go - to be more concerned with God's regard of me, rather than the regard of others. Instead, I'm far too affected by others' opinions. What do I want most for Christmas this year? More spiritual maturity. It seems that I don't acquire more spiritual maturity without gaining it through adversity & learning hard lessons. Hopefully, I am learning, rather than just repeating the same old lessons!

As far as religions teaching tolerance for all others, some do, some don't. Those that do, believe that there's no "one definitive way" to have a relationship with God, or perhaps don't even embrace the concept of a personal God. Those that don't, believe that there is a personal God, & that, as God, He has the "right" to declare that His way to a relationship with Him is the definitive way. Thus, all other ways would be ineffective.

As for tolerance, we should all do more than tolerate each other - we should love each other (love here being a verb: to do loving things toward each other, to treat each other as we desire to be treated ... not so much a feeling, as feeling great affection).

But one can love another person (treat kindly, respect), while at the same time not accept what that person says, believes or does.

For those who believe that God can & does prescribe a particular way to relate to Him, it becomes a challenge to continue to respect the beliefs & practices of those who adhere to another way. Especially when they have been directed by that God to share what they believe with the rest of the world. It's a dilemma. How to remain faithful to what they've been commanded to do, & to do so without compromise, but also to continue to love those with whom they disagree.

I can only do so with God's love coming through me - which can only happen when I put myself (my opinions, my pride, my desires) aside. I'm only rarely successful, to my shame. I'm far too interested in pushing my own agenda, rather than yielding to God.

Seen in a bigger context, pushing one's own agenda, rather than yielding to God, this is the cause of so many wars "in the name of God". God is not to blame, nor the particular religion, but rather the individuals who prefer their own agendas to that of God.

(now I have to review this post to see if I've inadvertently said anything which could get me blocked!)

Shalom, Dena




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