Praying My Team will Win!

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Recently I read an article that said that 1/3 of all Americans believes that God has a hand in who wins and losses athletic events.  This article concentrated on professional games but I’m sure if people pray for the pros that they also pray for their child’s team to win too.  26% of fans have prayed for their team to win and 1/3 of Fans believe that their team is cursed.  Maybe they should change their name from the Devils to the Angels.

So I wonder why did God stop the curse of the Bambino this past decade and still let the Yankees win with people like Alex Rodriguez on their team. In the 90’s I assume Joe Torre was praying a lot when he led the Yankees to several championships.  This past decade there have not been any consistent prayers but is does seem that St. Louis, San Francisco and Boston have been praying a lot.  Of course we all know that the Cubs are the most Godless team ever, but if Boston can repent there is hope for the Cubbies.

In Basketball, God must be a fan of Lebron.  After all, God let him win the last couple years.  Maybe God thinks he’s better than Jordan and wants to prove it.  But doesn’t the Heat sound more like Hell than Heaven?   Detroit must have the Godly hockey players but only OK baseball players and their Basketball team has been ungodly for years.  What about their football team?  Do they even know God exists? Those Lion fools have said in their heart there is no God.

Now I know that I have been taught that God cares about our deepest needs, but I don’t think he let me win the couple of championships that I had a part of.  After all they were in church leagues.  I doubt we were the most Godly team in the league those years and even if we were, how does winning a championship make you a better Christian?  What about the 5 years that my softball team lost every single game except for a couple forfeits?  Were we that ungodly?  Did we just miss God’s calling to let our bench players have more time?

Personally I don’t think God cares who wins the Super bowl this year.  I just think God wants each team and fan to treat each other nicely.  I think God cares more about whether you let someone in line ahead of you than who scores the big touchdown.  I can’t see Jesus winning every game of dreidel just because he is more Godly than one of his brothers.  Sometimes God lets things play out to see how we react and take care of one another.

Several players in the past have been run out of town because of a misplay or bad performance in big games.  Fans often don’t have forgiveness on their minds when their team loses.  What about some who have killed themselves over lost games?  What did the fans do for them?  Did they try to help them by saying it was one pitch or one missed shot?  I don’t know personally, but often the overwhelming feeling is that we don’t want you around anymore.

There is a good chance that there will be a goat this coming Sunday.  Someone will fumble, miss a tackle or throw an interception.  Maybe the ref will make a questionable or terrible call.  That is life and we are all human.  Forgiving them and moving on is Godly.  America puts too much time into sports.  It’s a game, let’s move on.

I’m not simply speaking to everyone out there.  My wife can tell you how I feel when the Scum Sox beat the Yankees.  Umm, I mean the Halo Sox.  After all they were God’s team this last year.

So, hey, let’s go have a good time at our party and if your team wins great.  If they don’t there is always next year.  Life will go on either way but our attitude will follow us wherever we go.

Here is the article about fans praying for their teams.

http://progressivepopulist.org/2014/01/16/poll-half-americans-believe-god-plays-role-sports-outcomes/

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The Heretic is us

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Heresy is the youth of truth.
Orthodox is descript old age.
Heresy is thought.
Orthodoxy is habit
Heresy is initiative.
Orthodoxy is inertia
Heresy is self satisfied and intolerant of orthodoxy.
Orthodoxy is equally self satisfied and intolerant of heresy.
The orthodox should think better of heretics.
And the heretics should think better of the orthodox.
For every orthodoxy was once a heresy.
And every heresy is fated to be an orthodoxy.
All countries were founded by traitors.
All our churches were founded by heretics.
The patriotism of today glories in the treasons of yesterday.
In our churches we bend the knee in cushioned prayer,
To saints who were once dragged before
The tribunals of the orthodox and condemned,
And hung for their belief or unbelief
Half of us are heretics.
The other half worship heretics.
Not even the orthodox worship the orthodox.
Every orthodox faith is founded on some old time heresy.
The men who conform to the old
Never win immortal palms

(Author unknown)
From the book, “Thinking and Talking about
God”

I really like this poem.  I think it basically of sums up the life of the church or believers.  If we were sent to the time of the Reformation we would be more heretical than Luther or Calvin.  Heretics are our heroes.   They are St. Francis, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wycliffe and Jesus.  They all made huge waves in their day, but not without consequences.  When we look back they are our heroes, but those who are heretics today are the enemy or on their way to Hell.  Same things said about our heroes.

All of the great reformers or heroes of the faiths would have been considered heretics or at least liberals in their day because the norm would have been orthodoxy.  By definition, Orthodoxy is “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.”  In other words it is what is normal in the church.  Heretics are not normal.  They push the boundaries and we don’t like them just for that thing.  We want everything to be normal.  We are comfortable in our little churches doing our little things, following the way it’s always been.

“The way it’s always been.”  That’s kind of funny.  It’s probably only been that way for a few years.  Why do you go to church at 10 or 11 a.m. every Sunday?  Jesus didn’t do it that way.   Heck, Jesus and all the disciples went to the synagogue on Saturday for their entire life.   Luther liked to sleep in as he got older. That’s why we meet at that time.  We meet on Sunday because Christians were kicked out of Judaism in 90 C.E.   Until then Christians were members of Judaism and worshiped in the synagogue on Saturday.  After Christians were kicked out of Judaism Christians decided to change to Sunday since Jesus was raised on Sunday they would worship on Sunday, a day of work, not rest.

Do you hold on to the Rapture theory?  That got going in the 1830’s.  You mention the Rapture to St. Paul and he’d think you were a nut job.  He expected Jesus to return in his lifetime.  No rapture, no tribulation, not for Paul.

Most of us grew up with Sunday school but that is only 200 years old.  The church building was introduced after Constantine first made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire.  Christians took over Pagan worship sites and used them for their own purpose.  The church choir soon came out of those Pagan rituals.  The pulpit, offering plate, the typical worship order, and bulletins all came from the reformation time period.

The theology of the Trinity came from the late 4th or early 5th century.  It was not something that was taught in the early church.  It wasn’t even clear to all groups that Jesus was God until this time period.  There were many groups who looked at him as an anointed person or prophet that God gave great abilities to because of his closeness to God.  Those groups were all killed by the “orthodox church”, led by Constantine.  (Maybe that is one argument against a church run state but that’s another blog)  So, you could say that the orthodox church is only the orthodox church because they won.  Or you might say it was because we didn’t have a Bible yet.  But what bible should we follow?  The protestant with 66 books?  The Catholic with 73 books or the Greek Orthodox with 76?

For those who want to have church like Jesus had it would not want it.  We would not recognize their service and they would not recognize ours.  If you think something is heresy, maybe it is you who are simply holding on to your own theology or traditions and not onto where God is leading his assembly of believers.  People today are no different than the Pharisees that hold on to their traditions.  These traditions were only a few hundred years old.  Not really things that Moses or Abraham really did.

So I think by now you get the point.   Almost everything that we hold as essential to our beliefs or worship was once thought of as heresy.  Theology changes, rituals change and we change as we grow and learn the better way.

St. Francis was called before the Pope one day to testify as to why he was doing this odd thing.  Taking care of the poor.  When St. Francis told the pope what was happening he was sent off with blessings.  Not all heretics were or will be so lucky.  Many were killed, jailed, or kicked out of the church because people had to hold on to their traditions.  Today is no different.  People will be standing up for where the church needs to go.  They will be despised, cursed, condemned by those holding on to the past.

About every 500 years the church goes through major changes.  We are due.  What will you do?  Will you hold back yourself and others?  Stand firm on your theologies and traditions?  Or will you make a mark on your world.  Stand up for change and take the real Christ into this world.  The world that he loved so much.  Be a heretic.  Make a difference.

Here is a link to letting go of our theology and loving people like we should.

http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/01/22/when-christians-love-theology-more-people

Change Yourself Please

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Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy

When I went off to college to begin my pastoral life I was ready to take on the world.  I remember even a few years after college saying that one day I would be preaching the ordination ceremonies.  I wanted nothing more than to win the world for Jesus and show people how ministry is supposed to be done. The churches that I served at changed that attitude, but made me a better person in many ways.  It made me want to stand up more against what I saw as hypocrisy in the church.

Even in college I was a little rebellious.  All the important people seemed to attend a church right next to the campus.  I went there some my first semester but found it lacking and many of the ministry students to be superficial.  Many seemed to only be going there because it was the in place to be, not because it was a place to do real ministry.  So this place was not for me.  I found myself at a church with very few of the college students, but at a place where I could really minister.  I was determined then not to be part of the “in crowd”.

My guess is that most people want to be in this kind of crowd.  Some people want to because it makes them popular, some because they won’t be noticed and some, because it’s easier than doing things yourself.  You don’t have to think for yourself.  Just agree with the crowd and go with the flow and there won’t be any trouble.  You’ll have a nice and easy Christian life.

I don’t think that is what Jesus was like.  He was an outsider who made waves.  Almost everyone who followed Jesus was not in the in group.  He did not make it easy for anyone to follow him.  His motto was “Follow me and die”.  Isn’t that really what “Take up your cross and follow me” means? According to tradition all of the disciples but John died because of their faith.  Why do we think that Christianity is supposed to be easy? No!  It’s supposed to be hard.  Hard to go against the crowd.  Hard to make a difference and yet a lot of Christians want to hole up in their nice cozy churches and sing their sweet hymns in their nice clothes, while bums on the street freeze and the next door neighbor goes hungry.

Christianity should shake up society, push them beyond their comfort zone into real love and acceptance no matter if you are an illegal alien or a homosexual (Samaritan) a government official (Give unto Caesar, tax collectors) women, men, rich or poor.  Jesus took time for each one of them and never put them down.  No he reached out to them.

Jesus said to pray for your enemies and those who persecute you.  Do you have enemies? Does anyone persecute you? If not maybe you should think of changing yourself.  All the great reformers (Christian or not) had enemies.  Jesus, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and even Mother Teresa had their enemies. Mostly from the institution they belonged to.  Jesus was a Jew and went to the temple like a good Jew but was rejected by its leaders because he showed them the true path to God instead of their traditional ways. The reformists were rejected by the church.  Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by an American; Gandhi was killed by members of his own party.

All Christians are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  That means that if there is someone in need that we reach them.  We don’t ask them to be like us, or for their green card.  We just help them, care for them, love them.  Do you want to see the world change?  Be Radical, be a heretic, be a world changer by changing yourself.  Don’t be afraid of change, be afraid of not changing.

Rethinking Sodom

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The idea of marriage has been a big issue in the past few years.  I have taken opportunities to study and read a lot about what the Bible truly says about marriage , sexuality and relationships.  Sometimes I find myself surprised by what it actually says and sometimes what it doesn’t say.  This is not about marriage but it is about Christians possibly interpreting passages incorrectly.  So read the following and see if we might be doing just that.

Some of what I have read has suggested that our idea of the meaning of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah may be incorrect.  That it has nothing to do with sex, but how we treat each other.  The story in Genesis chapter 19 is compared with the story in Judges chapter 19.  The story in judges, I have never heard a sermon or Bible study that made the sexuality an issue yet the two stories have a lot in common.  Let us first look at the similarities between the two stories.

Both stories have strangers going into a town in which no one seemed to help them.  Eventually, someone came and took them into their home.  It was considered normal, even expected, that when a stranger came into the town that the people would immediately take care of their needs, yet in both stories this does not happen.

After the men are taken into these homes people of the town come and demand that this stranger be sent out so that they can rape them.  This is of course where we get the idea that it is about homosexuality.  However, most psychologists and counselors today will tell us that rape is not about sex.  It is about power or control over the other individual.  So did they want sex or to control or hurt the stranger whom they were supposed to protect and take care of?

Following this in both stories the people of the town are offered women.  The daughters of Lot are offered in Genesis and the daughter of the man of the town and the stranger’s concubine in Judges.  Remember that throughout the Biblical times women were simply property so they were simply trying to buy their way out of the situation.  The people of the town did not want the property.  That would not help them control or have power over the strangers.  In Judges the men of the town did take the property and destroyed it.  In other words they killed the concubine.

After these events the strangers were able to leave and then judgment came on the cities.  Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone and Gibeah was destroyed in a war with the other tribes of Israel.

Then both Lot and those of Gibeah are given wives and children through unconventional means.  Lot has sex with his daughters and the men of Gibeah kidnap some women for their wives.  Again, women are property so there is no protection for them.  And in the future King Saul was from Gibeah.  (1 Samuel 10:26) Lot’s children became the nations of Moab and Ammon.  The book of Ruth tells us that Ruth is about a Moabite.  Ruth is the great grandmother of King David.  So, both of these stories ended up leading to future kings of Israel.

Those that believe that this story is about how we take care of our neighbors or strangers also refer to Ezekiel 16:49 “This was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud and had plenty of food and lived in great comfort, but she did not help the poor and needy.”  So Sodom and her daughters were proud and did things I hate in front of me. So I got rid of them when I saw what they did.”

No place in this verse does it list sexuality, but it does list not taking care of others.  They also discus Isaiah 1:16 and 17 “Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean. Stop doing the evil things I see you do. Stop doing wrong.   Learn to do good. Seek justice. Punish those who hurt others. Help the orphans. Stand up for the rights of widows.”  In verse 10 of this chapter God starts comparing Jerusalem with Sodom and ends with these words.  Again, nowhere is sexuality used but taking care of others is mentioned.

Isaiah 3:8 & 9 continues this idea. Especially since the people of the town did these acts in the open seemingly with no care about it.

“This will happen because Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen. The things they say and do are against the LORD; they turn against him.  The look on their faces shows they are guilty; like the people of Sodom, they are proud of their sin. They don’t care who sees it. How terrible it will be for them, because they have brought much trouble on themselves.”  Isaiah 3:8 & 9

The final part of the discussion is that just before the strangers enter into Sodom, Abraham is visited by three strangers, but Abraham takes care of them.  He makes them a meal and spends time with them.  This is what we are called to do in contrast to what happens in Sodom.  Also, the conversation between Abraham and Yaweh in chapter 18 discusses the righteousness of the cities.  It never mentions any specific sins.

So what do you think?  Is it possible that we have misinterpreted this story?  I do encourage you to read the stories over again and see what you think.

I must add that Sodom is talked about in nine verses in the New Testament   Only Jude 1:7 seems to discuss sexual sins but does not specifically say homosexuality.  Sodom is mentioned 38 times in the Old Testament.  I have read all those verses but very few have anything to do with sexuality.  Most of those that do mention sexuality seem to deal with spiritual adultery and none mention homosexuality.   However, I encourage you to be your own judge.  Read them and get back to me.  I’ll be waiting.

Christians Left and Right Walking together

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.  Colossians 3:15

This past week I discussed or more correctly asked some questions of those who were more on the religious left.  A few weeks ago I talked about the problems with the religious right. What I see as the biggest problem is how each side read the Bible.  Funny how what is supposed to be God’s word can be so divisive and read in so many ways.

How we choose to read the Bible tells a lot about what our beliefs will be.  Literalists will discuss the rapture, anti-Christ, tribulation, Hell, Heaven, pro marriage, anti homosexual right, pro-life, Republican politics.  The left will discuss unity of all people, the spirit of Christ’s return, who wrote this section of the Bible?  Was it J, E, D, P, or A, or sometimes R?   They won’t talk about the tribulation and anti-Christ because it isn’t going to happen.  Those issues were for the writer’s time and not for today.  I’m taking a guess but I’d think most would vote Democrat but I also think they wouldn’t put a lot of stock in who was in office.  Most literalist would have no idea what those letters mean.

So there are a lot of things that could pull us apart, but it shouldn’t.  Instead it should bring us together to discuss our views.  That’s discussing the issue, not argue about why you are right.  I say that because that is often what it turns into.  Some heated argument about why we are right.  We often debate and not discuss our differences.  Debating means that I have to win.  Discussing means people taking the opportunity to learn from each other.   Don’t we serve the same God?

I believe that we have differences because that same God that we all serve has shown us what we need in our lives.  I have moved from the right towards the middle as God has shown me the hurts that living the ways of the right was missing.  Others I’m sure have moved from left towards the right for the same reasons.  If we do not move back and forth we probably aren’t learning anything and maybe we just simply become a Pharisee who seemed to think they knew what God really wanted.  After all that is what we’ve grown up with.  That must be right.  Tradition is always right.  Ok that last bit was sarcastic, but I hope you get what I mean.  The more we talk to one another the more that we can open each other up to those things we may be missing. Don’t ever think you or your beliefs are perfectly in line with God’s views.  That is dangerous.  Just ask those in Jonestown, Waco, the KKK, or Nazi Germany.  All thought or think they knew God’s will.  And yes, the Nazi’s did believe strongly in their idea of Christianity.  They even had a group searching for Christian Relics because it would bring them the power that they wanted.

Yes, they may be extremists, but the more we believe we have the only way the more it leads to hate for those not like you, bigotry, self-importance and explosions at abortion clinics.  If you feel that you know it all then anyone who disagrees with you must be a sinner and therefore bound for some kind of punishment, but not the reward that a person who is right in the eyes of God, whatever that right means.  Often these people come off as very judgmental, because they seem to think that because they are right with God they can tell anyone all their sins and what God will do to them.  This can be people in or out of the church.  It doesn’t seem to matter to them, who they put down.

Jesus prayed for unity in John 17 and Paul likened the believers to one body in 1 Corinthians 12.  It seems that we are having the same problems that Paul addressed.  Our eyes are saying to our feet, “I know the right way to go” Our hands are saying to our mouth, “you don’t speak for me.”  The head says to the ears, “why don’t you listen to God.” And Jesus says to the heart “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”, because we leave him out when we fight amongst ourselves.

Then Jesus turned to us all and said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12:25 “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” Not in theology, but in love.  Paul follows his thoughts on the part of one body with the love chapter.  And what remains is Faith, Hope and Love,” but the greatest of these is Love.”

Yeah, we have differences and that’s OK.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t get along.  If Jesus wanted us to have unity then we can, but it’s up to each one of us to put down our guard, our predispositions, our traditions, our theologies, and give it a chance.  Are you willing to let go of those things that make you angry at other believers?  Can you let go of those things that you hold as absolutes that may not be and to listen, truly listen, and learn from one another? I think we need to try, it sure can’t hurt.

Questions for the Left

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about some problems with the religious right and a friend of mine asked me to be fair and write about the problems with the left.  I kind of feel a little inadequate about that, since I have not lived that kind of life.  I’ve spent my 45 years of life in churches that lean right.  I have only read their views in books and discussed ideas with friends who have lived their lives understanding life from the lefts views.  I have also spent the last few months attending a more progressive church.  You would never notice a difference in the worship service unless you spent several weeks or months attending services.  However that is only one church.  Maybe others are different.   I will say that I have personally moved from the right more towards a middle ground.  I don’t feel that I am on the far right or left.  Some people I know might disagree with that though.

Let me explain that I believe that all religious extremist (either left or right) are problematic.  The farther to the right a person gets the more demanding that they are correct in all their views and no one other than those who believe like they do will get to heaven.  The farther left a person goes the more it seems that rules don’t matter.  Doesn’t matter how you live, eventually you will get to heaven if there is indeed a heaven.

The left does not read the Bible literally as I did growing up. Many read it from the historical critical point of view.  That is that they try to find out who the author is, who they are writing to, and what time period they are writing in.  Then they can figure out what the author meant in that time period and see if it has any meaning for today.  This is similar to what you might do with Shakespeare or Homer. It is not an inerrant work created by God.

There were not seven days of creation.  Science has proven that to be false.  I remember discussing this possibility with a fundamentalist ten or so years ago and they were sure I was simply playing devil’s advocate.  Nope, both creation stories are there to show us something about God; after all in the story vegetation is created before the sun.  They lean less and less towards miracles.  They look for natural or scientific ways to say this is how God did it, or they believe that the writers embellished the stories to get their point across.  Jesus never walked on water.  It’s simply a story about Peter’s faith and willingness to follow Jesus anywhere.  Maybe Thomas Jefferson was on that left.  After all, his Bible eliminated every miracle.

Hopefully I am getting this right. You lefties let me know.

Along with miracles come questions about Jesus.  After all, wasn’t his life and death filled with miracles?  There was no virgin birth.  That was an interpretation by the writer of Matthew of the Isaiah verse.  There was nothing really special about the birth of Jesus.  He was probably not well known.  Many historians of the era write about Messiahs but not one has been found to mention Jesus clearly.  The left would look at the stories and ask “If Jesus had done so many miracles wouldn’t people know about him?”  “Write about him?”

If there are no miracles during his life, then what about his death and resurrection?  The farther left you go the less there is belief in a resurrection.  The Spirit of Christ was revealed and sent out.  Paul does talk about Christ living within us (Rom. 8:9-11) and that is the kingdom of heaven.  There may not even be an afterlife.  At least, they say, not for your body.  The soul or spirit that inhabits your flesh will go, but not the flesh that is you.  My biggest questions for this are why should I do any good?  Why shouldn’t I just eat drink and be merry for tomorrow I die?  Did Jesus just die, or die for our sins?

Other beliefs hold that there is no eternal hell.  This has actually been taught since the early church fathers.  Origen was one of the loudest.  He even believed Satan would be reconciled.  Truthfully, I like that idea.  I like the idea that at some point all souls will be reconciled to God through his great mercy. But how are those verses about hell then interpreted?  And to say they are not crazy they will say, C.S. Lewis even believed in this chance.  Read “The Great Divorce” or Narnia where other people besides Narnians go to their heaven.

If all go to heaven, what word is it that we are supposed to spread?  That everyone is saved?  And if that is it, what is the purpose of the church?  What of the Bible?  Is it the word of God?  Certainly from the left it is not without error or contradiction, so what is it?  How is it used?

These are questions I can’t quite answer yet.  I am still struggling to understand it all.  I need more reading and discussing these issues.  Maybe I’ll get it in another 45 years.

I’d like to continue this conversation Sunday.  Please come back.

 

Ok found this link a few weeks after posting this blog.  It may help conservatives understand progressives a little more.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogerwolsey/2014/01/16-ways-progressive-christians-interpret-the-bible/

 

Say the word

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Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It’s so fine, It’s sunshine
It’s the word, love 

Beatles

In the beginning was the word.  This was this morning’s scripture reading in church.  It is funny what words can do.  Our pastor talked about the word coming from the news about the big snowstorm heading our way.  He discussed how the stores were packed with people storing up for the storm.  Today it came, but it was too warm.  Now I look out the window at the rain pouring down.  Don’t think we are going to get the 10 inches of snow; So far all it has down is melt the snow that is on the ground from last week’s snowfall. 

Sometimes we hold on to words that we really shouldn’t.  Sometimes on Facebook I get accused of being too liberal, and too conservative.  I have been called self righteous, a hater, ignorant and many other things.  None of these from people who really know me, yet sometimes I hang on to these things.  In part this was because some actually come from family, but again they don’t know me.  I haven’t lived near them in twenty years and people change during that time. 

Last Sunday one person at our church said he really appreciated the positive posts my wife and I put on Facebook, since he knew all the troubles we had been going through.  I think of the people that work with me that tell me how smart I am, or how they can talk to me.  I’ve been told how well I listen, that I have an open mind and how nonjudgmental and caring I am.  These are people that see me all the time; they know me because I have worked with them for many years.  Some up to ten years, some only two.  Still they know me better than people who once knew me well but I only see every couple of years. 

So why is it that we often want to hang on to negative words about us?  I remember hurtful words spoken to me when I was a child, but I can’t remember good words spoken to me except of how good of a ball player I was. 

I have heard it said that it takes 3-7 positive words to overcome one negative word said about or to us.  That is powerful.  Why does one simple word drag us down, but it takes so many positive words to lift us up?  I wish it was the other way.  What I really wish though is that we stop using so many negative words. Most of the time I have been called names or hurtful things is when I have a different opinion about a subject.  Why do people always have to be so right?  I’m pretty sure I don’t know it all and I try to see what the other person is trying to say. Whether I think it is right or not does not matter.  They have an opinion because of how they grew up and the circumstances in their lives. 

I’m not perfect in this area.  Sometimes I get fed up with people and tell them what I think, which normally isn’t too nice.  I should learn to walk away because nothing is accomplished when people get mad.  Those names we call each other last a long time.  Instead let us try to thank each other for their opinions and move on.  We are all God’s children and we shouldn’t be calling names over silly insignificant things that won’t matter in two weeks.  It’s OK to be discussing issues not debating them.  When we discuss we all win.  We don’t always have to be right; we just have to treat each other with respect.  We don’t know what kind of life that other person has had to make others angry, defensive or bitter, but a kind word brings us all closer to healing.

So today let’s make a real resolution to try to show each other that kindness we all deserve.  Listen to one another, don’t fight.  Use kind words.