How did we get so insecure that we can’t accept that others see the world differently, and that it doesn’t make you a bad person?
It happened to me a few months ago, and here I’ll be specific to make a point. I was in a group having a discussion the book Love Wins, by Rob Bell. The discussion was on hell, and the proposition was that hell isn’t an eternal destination, and that God can redeem you from there. They even proposed a “peeping through the keyhole and requesting forgiveness” theory. I felt prompted to express that I didn’t agree with this theory. C.S. Lewis proposed that hell is an eternal destination for souls so ruined that there’s no humanity left to save, and it serves to protect us from evil permeating all of God’s creation. After all, letting that kind of ruin into Heaven would turn it into another Earth. Furthermore, every decision we make takes us closer to Heaven or hell, and it's all connected in ways we often don't realize. And this group of Christian friends cut me off. They loudly talked over me and dismissed the group. They refused to hear me.
We haven’t been back. Not only was it extremely rude, but I realized that they never really accepted us and had been dismissive on several other occasions. I can’t accept a lack of grace, rigidity, and disrespect in my personal life. There are boundaries, and this is one of mine. You don’t have to agree with me, but you do have to be respectful. I’m a writer and I am interested in how others see the world, but if you want me to care and respect your opinion, then you need to care and respect mine. I’ve had enough of toxic, unbalanced relationships, and I say “no” to that. It hurt, but I’ve reunited and strengthened other friendships that are more tolerant and gracious. It opened my eyes to the truth of where I belong, and for that I’m grateful. I’m sorry to learn that my horizons couldn’t expand in that direction, but not all things work out. That’s life. I gained wisdom and moved on.
My point is that we don’t always know what’s right. Reality depends on perception, and we all perceive the world around us differently. Who’s to say I’m right in thinking that somebody else is making a bad decision? Perhaps things have changed, or there are things I don’t see. We want others to grant us grace, but we aren’t good at granting it to others. Those darn blind spots. Those darn details that aren’t revealed to us. That darn reality that I only know my business, and really need to focus more on minding it and trusting others to mind theirs. That pesky issue of respecting others. What to do?
We’re uncomfortable with agreeing to disagree, because we have a problem with respect. And that’s something we really need to get over or this world is going straight to hell – and who knows if it can be redeemed from there?
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.