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Dignity and Respect

   But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,                                                       2 Timothy 3:1-2

Are you struggling to comprehend what is going on in the world around you?  There are new laws, videos of unspeakable acts, violent extremists, political ramblings, and threat to our personal liberties.  How can we not struggle as believers?

For the past year or so, I have been grasping with how to make heads or tails of what is going on.  What should I do in the face of so many wrongs, and how do I not let it turn me bitter.  My initial reaction is the scream out in the face of such wrongdoings and use biting replies in the face of my adversaries.

It almost feels as though the moral compass that should guide society has been destroyed, and in it’s place, is a new way of thinking that is being forced upon those who disagree.

You are racist! You are a bigot! You are a crazy fundamentalist who believes in a fake god that only brings hate! You are stupid and uneducated in your beliefs! You are brainwashed! You are only full of hate!

If you believe the way you do, you are wrong, and can only be described as the worst scum of the earth for being so judgmental and hypocritical.  You should believe in tolerance and acceptance.  No, I do not accept your opinions, I am a tolerant person, you are wrong.

So, what are you to do? I believe the answer is very simple, although it has taken me some time to get to the point of understanding it.  Also, it will take some major self control on the part of those like me, you know the big mouthed people.

Continue acting in a way that shows dignity and respect towards others.  Dignity and respect are free, they are within your power to give, and it will keep you being true to the beliefs you hold true.

If they call you a racist, respond with dignity and respect to the person calling you out.

If they call you an intolerant bigot, respond with dignity and respect.

You don’t have to stand for sin, treat the sinner with respect and dignity, forgive them for they know not what they do.  Being a Christian means you believe in a set principle of right and wrong, you believe in sin, and people don’t like to feel as though they support or a committing sin.  They become defensive.  If you are a true Christian, you know that you are a sinner, and that you have no power to weigh your sins against someone else’s.  Thus, act in a manner of respect and dignity.

Your light needs to shine amongst the darkness, even if it feels like you are being attacked by people who will never see the light.  You never know, in the group of one hundred, there may be one who takes notice of your kind response. Maybe there is one in a crowd that wants to know why they are spewing hate towards you, and you respond to them as a human being who respect their person.  Maybe they will come to find that God is not what the propaganda media tells them, and that maybe this salvation thing is true.

We know that people are going to turn away from God.  We know that self indulgence will become the god of the world, and that sin will takeover.  We know that this is all going to happen, so why not stand strong as a person who can still love thy neighbor.  You have nothing to lose except the short lived feeling of expressing your anger in the face of sin that has blinded people.

It takes exponentially more effort to be kind and respectful, but it is also eternally rewarding.

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