Monday, April 13, 2009

Romans 14:16

"Let not then your good be evil spoken of."
Romans 14:16

I like this scripture. a few verses earlier it tells us that we will all give account of ourselves before God. That should be interesting. Can you imagine? Just the thought of having to do that makes me want to do everything perfectly so that I won't be trying to crawl away. Reminds me of "Till We Have Faces" by C. S. Lewis... a trial about who you are. Anyway... I only mention the prior verse to put in a little perspective. People see things differently... I'm sure that we have all noticed. :) And sometimes, doing exactly the right thing in your eyes, you are going to offend someone who interprets it differently. I don't think that this scripture means you have to shut people up... I think it means that we need to *communicate,* especially when there is a possibility of misinterpretation. Help people to know that you aren't attacking them, and why you do what you do (and if you ARE attacking them, you might want to stop) :) Don't offend people if you can help it. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes, no matter what, they are going to be offended. But try... Explain your side. Listen to their side. If you listen to anything besides the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday... some people will be offended. Talk to them instead of just turning on the "other" music full blast. Too often, we are learning the same lessons in life, but because we aren't learning them the same way, we think that we are on different sides. Communication can help that... building on common beliefs. Doing our best to not offend other people whose interpretations are different from our own. Don't just sneer... listen. :)
And the second way I see this scripture I think is just as important. Besides communicating with people and not condemning each other... I think we need to seriously focus on not condemning ourselves. This might take some self-communication, like writing in a journal... or it might take some huge effort on our part to get out of the habit. But, we are good... we should let ourselves speak evil of that. Seriously. Ezra Taft Benson said "Never demean yourself" and I think this scripture is along the same lines. You are a child of God... the cool, incredible, majestic, miraculous one... you know? And therefore, you are cool, incredible, majestic, and miraculous. Your spirit is eternal, you will live forever... you have the power and potential to do anything that God can do. Why disrespect that by criticizing yourself? You are beautiful. You are pure. You are filled with light. All of us need to weed our souls whenever thistles pop up, and let that light and goodness pour through more bountifully... but there is NOTHING wrong with who you are. Don't let anyone, including yourself, speak evil about something that is so good.

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