The beginning of this essay thought was sparked by opinions.  Some how I grew up feeling threatened by different opinions.  I didn’t know I was allowed to have my own opinion.  Expressing it I felt a loss of love.  It took me a while to be able to see that I was allowed to disagree with my mother.  God rest her soul.  I was afraid to disagree with her.

Today I am finally coming of age at 41.  Yes, I am a very late bloomer.  I am deciding who I am rather than who people tell me I am.  I am deciding what to do rather than what people tell me I should do.  I can’t take people’s word for it any longer. 
I learned I am not ALWAYS right but then again I am not ALWAYS wrong either.  I have a right to think and reason and form my own opinions from my own conclusions and God doesn’t withdraw His love from me because of my opinons.  That is good to know.  You know!?
This brings me back to God.  He doesn’t force me to do things as I so often thought.  He is not pushy, demanding, nor demeaning.  He doesn’t use guilt or shame to get us to change.  He uses love. 🙂  It’s His kindness that leads us to repentence.  
There is a spirit out there who wants you to have this negative view of God to keep you far from Him.  But I’m hear to say that God is good.  And God is a perfect gentleman.  He lets you choose!  He doesn’t force His will upon you.
Fear of rejection and shame is a powerful thing.  A person will sometimes do anything to keep from being rejected; even give up bits of herself, dignity, and self-respect to follow the crowd and do stuff that we are really not at all comfortable with. That was me.  Not anymore because tasting freedom and the ability to make my OWN choices not birth out of fear is so incredibly wonderful.  I don’t need to change to please people.  I can actually just be myself!  I don’t need to hide or be ashamed of myself anymore.  That’s awesome.  
God says come let us reason together.  We talk things over.  He doesn’t need to convince me because I find out slowly that what He says is true.  And truth speaks for itself.  He’s a good father that loves me and isn’t out to “get” me for all the mistakes I have made or will make.  I’m learning to error on the side of love and walk my own walk.
I don’t always need to give my opinion, but I don’t need to be afraid to.  I can disagree without losing a sense of myself.  Without the threat of loss, we can be strong people who live securly in God’s love.
We are connected, but I am learning that we really are our own person.  I am uniqely me and you are uniquely you.  We don’t have to agree to be friends.  Our different ways of seeing the world doesn’t need to divide us.
I guess when it comes down to the personal attack for expressing our beliefs it is because the other person feels so threatened by an opposing opinion that nothing else is left but to demoralize their opponant.  This is the sad state of debate on the internet.  Attack until they give in and change their minds.  But that is a form of control and manipulation using domination and fear.
The quiet words of the wise are to be more heeded than the shouts of fools.  
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