As true as time, having an opinion generates approval and war from the masses. Especially in 2014. I think as a human race, we've expanded our knowledge of the world and life lessons, and consequently given ammunition to every side of every argument.
We can't pretend to not have an opinion either, because the minute another is shared, I, you, we immediately begin to pick up our "guns" of reason and point out what is, isn't, or shouldn't be true based on our filter of the world.
I say filter because with anything, anyone person is subjective to their own perspective.
Be it your upbringing, your personality, morals & beliefs, experiences.
I try my darnedest to shape my perspective through the filter of the Word. "Try" being the key word.
I rely on Grace to smother my intentions with what's right, but in all I do, say, believe - I have to do my best to press it through the truth of the Word, like hot water being pressed through coffee grounds and into a filter just the same.
Can you imagine brewing coffee without a filter? Awful doesn't even begin to describe the atrocity.
Bits of hard granular substance hindering the smooth, bold, refined liquid. I'm no coffee expert, but I know how to ruin a good pot of coffee: Poke a hole in the filter.
Which is exactly what's happening all over the world, western culture...the web actually.
We've been poking holes in the framework of people.
I'm not here to judge you. I'm not here to condemn you. Even though at times I may think I'm here to correct you -or "help" you (which is how I persuade my husband into thinking I'm not as "correcting" as I actually am) -or guide you.
That's not my job.
Unless of course you ask. In which case I will, do my best to tell you what I know to be true about life, Jesus, being a mom. But you need to ask. I have to wait for you to ask.
That doesn't mean I'll quit blogging. It doesn't mean I won't share what I believe. That's cowardly. But I believe that me and you need to control how we say, post, blog AT other people.
It doesn't do any good- for anyone- to poke holes in filters. Not you. Not I. Not anyone. Because when we do that- we are just creating a mess.
We leave a pile of coffee grounds in the thick of someone else's cup, we leave a mess in the basket where the filter broke- and a mess all the way to the garbage can - where we dump the grounds after the damage.
Nothing good comes from broken filters.
When the Holy Spirit does His job of changing what our filter looks like- and hopefully you allow Him to do that- He does it so very well. In fact, he doesn't just rip a gaping hole in it, and leave you to clean up the mess and patch the hole with another experience. No. Far from it.
The Holy Spirit who is our comforter gives gentle and quiet conviction, and molds us into a new shape, a new creation, and allows our "filter" to look more like Jesus.
When you or I or anyone else tries to "shape" said filters of others' hearts, we find ourselves tangled in a mess of reasoning, of flesh and self- and we cause rips that are bigger than intended. We leave behind finger prints of our humanity, pieces of flesh from the battle, wounds too big to heal with a simple "I didn't mean that".
The only way our words, our posts, or discussions, can become beneficial when debated and picked through...is if we are in relationship outside of the post.
In the last month or so, I've received countless amounts of feedback on various posts.
Both good, bad, ugly, and up-lifting.
Some people agree.
Most are bullies.
And I'm not writing this post to passively say "I don't like you anymore and you're not coming to my birthday party".
I'm writing to say "I'm guilty too, let's do better."
In writing to say, "I don't want to offend- because my filter has been shaped by the Holy Spirit, who says 'be careful to offend another'".
And I hope you'll do the same.
The only way we can be accountable to posts made online- and have it be beneficial- is to be in relationship.
Accountability is dependent on relationship.
Not the kind that "likes" posts and "comments" on pictures.
The kind where we do life together so often, that you see my in, out, up, down, daily grind. Not just the highlight reel of Facebook or Twitter.
When we try to hold each other accountable without relationship- we are actually bullying.
I won't be telling you how much I disagree with your stance on parenting, on marriage, on Christianity or womanhood- if I don't have a growing life-walk with you.
Because that's not edifying.
And certainly not becoming.
If I really want to speak truth in love- then I have to love you first.
Not the kind that says "I love you so much I have to tell you you're wrong" but the kind that says "I will love in spite of our disagreements, so we can better each other's lives mutually".
I don't allow just anyone to speak into my life, and take it to heart- and I pray you don't either.
I have to spend countless hours reminding, encouraging, aligning myself with the word and His Spirit, in today's culture- because it's all too easy to loose the sound of His voice amidst the kids, the tv, the internet, and life.
I don't need to hear another voice "pretending" to be the Holy Spirit for me, elsewhere.
If I'm doing life with you, and I see the Holy Spirit in you, I will ask you to speak into my life. I'll encourage you to help "shape" my filter.
But unless I ask.
Or you ask me.
We've become professional bullies, rather than accountability partners.
It's a disgrace, because none of us wants to be a bully.
To have our kids bully others or to be bullied themselves is unacceptable. Just look at all the national attention bullying has received lately. It's all negative.
No one in their right mind "likes" a bully.
Ask a parent who's child has been bullied by another- and they'll tell you it's irrevocable damage. There's not a price to pay that can fix the broken.
As moms we've become the best undercover bullies ever.
We've cleverly disguised our "stances" as "parenting" while peering down our noses AT moms who do things different.
Moms who breastfeed vs moms who formula feed.
Moms who let babies cry it out and those who don't.
Moms who vaccinate and moms who don't.
Moms who homeschool, and moms who don't.
Moms who spank and moms who don't.
We've organized our parenting thoughts into cute little "pins" or "blog posts", all the while excluding the "other" moms who do things differently.
And I for one have had enough.
Who the flip cares???
Are you doing the absolute best you can, with your kid, with your family, by the means you have available, the time, for you?
Then A freaking plus.
If you're a Christian - and you proudly display it, and something critical to salvation like "there's another way to God than Jesus" comes up, I might try to show you in the word, why that's not so great and would probably break Gods heart. But other than "eternal" issues....who cares?
I'm not saying we shouldn't have those kinds of conversations- where we study and hash out the truth of the bible. But let's do it with the community of believers in our daily lives.
Because to be honest, they're the ones who will be able to call me on the real issues as they happen.
Issues like not loving the store clerk when she's taking too long.
Issues like cutting down another person because my attitude is out of whack.
Issues like "you wrote something in your blog post that is kinda mean" type stuff.
Which is why community with other believers is so so sooooooo very important. (But that's another blog post!)
All I'm saying is I'm going to try, my hardest- to love and speak good and assume the best, and encourage, uplift, and pray for- all the mommas. Regardless of their perspective or parenting style. That's my job.
If I need correcting: the people close to me will gladly point it out, an I'll gladly accept the correction.
And if you need correcting: I'll leave it for the people in your life that you've selected to be in community with, who know your life, and know your habits, to point out what they see.
Accountability cannot supersede relationship.
They are dependent upon each other.
And "accountability" outside of relationship, is nothing more than flesh-eating-flesh, self-centered, self-absorbed, prideful bullying.
And I want the offering of my life poured out, to be sweet, and pleasant to anyone who drinks.
But mostly to Jesus.
Bullying does not do that.
It leaves filters with holes.
And the result is broken filters, that can't strain out the granular, which leaves nasty, gritty coffee for others to drink.
Let's encourage each other.
Let's be women, mothers, people who love each other.
Because when we do that, then we allow the Holy Spirit to do His job- shaping the hearts of others, without the damage.