Monday, March 27, 2006

An obvious lie

"Abdur Rahman, 40, was detained this month for rejecting Islam and converting to Christianity. Death is the punishment stipulated by sharia, or Islamic law, for apostasy -- abandonment of the faith."

How long will politicians continue the obvious lie that Islam is a religion of peace???

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Random thoughts on bearing long and patience

Bearing with one another's faults and granting forgiveness seems to have gone out of style these days. I wonder if this isn't the reason so many people bury themselves in their work; why go home when there are annoying people living there? It is always very easy to see the annoying things that people around you are doing; it's quite different to be able to see them in yourself. Oh how easy it is to keep a detailed record of everything someone else has done against you. I can testify that sometimes it frustrates me to no end simply having to pick up dishes after my current roommate; my anger at this is no where near in proportion to the offense--maybe it is annoying and shows lack of respect on the roommate's part, but that doesn't justify my own reaction.

Given that I'm not married, I wonder if this type of thing will only be magnified in that sort of relationship. Will all such little habits become even more annoying when they are from a person you are committed to for life?

I suppose this is why Paul describes love as being patient and not keeping a record of wrongs. Not that big sins should be overlooked, but it seems that life in general would be happier and more fulfilling if annoying little things were overlooked and not recorded. Patience would have us bear long with one another's faults--not quickly lash out at them. The scripture seems to be full of such admonitions to bearing one another's burdens and forgiving our neighbors. Christ mentions this in the Lord's Prayer "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," Paul councils us to bear with one another in Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 3:

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NKJV)

This of course is addressed to the church, but it's no coincidence that Paul then goes on in verse 18 to speak about husbands and wives. Living at peace with all men has to start at home.

James tells us to be swift to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19). One of the qualities of a righteous man is *not* that he gets angry at the drop of a pin. The image of a mature Christian is not a person walking around angry and swearing at everything that happens.

Christ tells us that we are to forgive our neighbor 70 times 7 in a day; this is definitely bearing with an offense quite a long time. In general, it just seems that Christians are to be people that are pretty easy to get along with. They will be adamant about the gospel, but forgiving of people and loving towards them.

My pastor made a comment in a sermon last week on second chapter of Judges; it was about how when the true God is worshipped there is peace in the land. While Israel worshipped God during the life of the judge, they had peace. This is probably generally true at home too; it's hard to truly worship God and yet have constant bitterness and strife with others in your home.

One simply practical thing would be to continually remember that you are a forgiven sinner yourself. There are plenty of things that the other person probably finds annoying about you too ;-)