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How much power are you going to let A situation have?

It is interesting how much one statement, or situation between friends can affect days, months, even years of your lives. It doesn't matter if it is true or false, it can become a conflict. I am bolder than I used to be. But I also, through experience, know the power of words, I have learned most of my lessons the hard way. I have learned that It is good to step away from a situation when it is in high heat. The words defensiveness, intimidation, vindictiveness, embarrassment, estrangement, gossip, distortion, personal agendas, objectivity, values, experience, and personal conviction all enter into this conversation. Reread the last sentence. Take one word at a time and think about that word applying it to the immediate "situation" that you are presently in. 

Years ago a very angry man walked into my husband's office. His intent was to confront Joe about something which he had written in our local newspaper. He was very passionate about the subject matter. My husband politely listened. After the man's issue had been laid out to his satisfaction, my husband began by asking a simple question. "Have you read my article?" The man said, "No! I didn't, but my wife told me what you said!"  Then Joe asked "What is the "bottom line or intent" of my article? Are you making an evaluation from just one sentence?"

Objectivity is a very difficult thing when a family member is affected. My first reaction, whether it is a family member or friend, is to protect or defend them. If they are offended, my first reaction usually is to put a band-aid on their pain. It takes courage to peel back the situation and bring up another side. I never took debate in school, but I know from experience that there is usually more than one side to a matter. The filters we use to decide our positions, can come from many sources. Most sources are biased. 

Taking a position that counters another family member's viewpoint, can create conflict and sometimes permanent separation. Some feel it is necessary to stay away from any controversial situation, others will compromise their convictions on the alter of saving a relationship. What is right and what is wrong? What do we teach our children or those looking on? When does tolerance become a stumbling block to those still forming their own morality and faith?

To say something is evil can be your own sense of right and wrong, or it can represent an outside measuring source you live by. I try to line up with what I think the Bible says about both mankind or a moral issue. God alone has the authority to deal final justice.

Isaiah 5:20 (NIV) reads, 

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. When I looked up this verse I wanted to find an alternate word for "Woe". Why did I want to soften the sentence? Could it be because somebody might be offended? "Woe" is a word I associate with lightning, and hell.  So I thought, yikes, should I use it? Are the words hell, evil or sin considered politically incorrect to use these days?

There is a lot of pain and guilt in the world, and I believe, as Christians, we need to be sensitive to those in pain; maybe in relationship to past actions. However our response to those in pain (primarily moral) should not always be in the form of a "band-aid," It may require "surgery" of the soul involving the atonement of Christ.

Right vs. wrong; good vs. evil, light vs. darkness. God got the "recipe" for life right the first time. Psalm 119 reminds us: "Forever, Oh lord, your word is settled in heaven." It's the best pathway for our life!


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