So here’s the deal…I liked this quote and was going to use it and then I discovered it’s quoting the Dalai Lama! So then I thought, hmm, Christians probably won’t like the Dalai Lama so I was gonna ditch it.
But then I got to thinking, why not quote him? So Hello, Dalai. Welcome to my page. And I’m sure I’ve said something like this myself, sort of.
“If you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” You’d agree, right? I’d like to talk about a peculiar Christian practice – it’s a variation of “All or Nothing Thinking”. Basically, here is how it works. You think someone is a saint, a great guy or gal, really anointed, UNTIL they do something that offends you or contradicts your values. At that point the person is no longer a saint, they are evil, demonic, sick, etc. When you rethink your relationship with them you see with different eyes. Now everything they did was manipulation and insincere.
This is a typical challenge in our ranks: we think in terms of “absolutes” in contrast. We think in terms of angels or demons, heaven or hell, good or evil, black or white, truth or error. This leads to the logical conclusion that people are good till they do something bad – and if they are “bad” they must be evil, dare I say “demonic?”
Why do we cannibalize the person we fall out with? Because we cannot tolerate the fact that people are not just “black” and “white” but also “grey.” Believers are a work in progress. There are areas of life that are renewed and areas still needing to be renewed; there are areas transformed and areas needing to be transformed. True, you go to Heaven or Hell. But your self-awareness on the way to Heaven is limited.
The Apostle James said “We all stumble in many ways.” (James 3:2) Notice ‘all’ and ‘many ways’.
Is that not true regarding yourself? Do you not still discover areas in your life where you need to repent? Do you ever look back on your past and regret that you did this or that? You know you would not do the same thing if you had to do it all over again. Why? You’ve grown!
You were not all ‘bad’ then and you’re not entirely ‘good’ now. You’re ‘entirely’ saved but that is because Christ was ‘entirely good’ for your sake. Be aware of this, next time you label someone an enemy who was once a friend. This business of ‘black’ or ‘white’ with no ‘grey’ is a standard we use with others but never use on ourselves. In fact, I’ve seen this practice extend with particular zeal to politics.
A missionary in the country formerly called Burma said he heard our President challenge Burmese leaders to deal with corruption and sex slave activity if they were serious about economic development with the West. The missionary said ” You would have been proud.”
The people you disagree with are ‘always’ up to no good. Always?