Thursday, July 12, 2012

A New Griddle and Weedy Thoughts

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . talking with friends at a pool party.

. . . making silly faces at Joy and hearing her laugh.

. . . test-driving the new pancake griddle Phillip gave me for my birthday, and finding it quite satisfactory.

. . . playing Settlers of Catan with Phillip and Joy.

And another thing . . .

. . . I've been following Josh Weed's blog since I read his Unicorn Post a month ago.  His posts and the scores of comments they receive have given me lots of food for thought about what love is (and isn't), what sin is (and isn't), how to parent with love, and what it truly means to be intimate with someone. His recent question about how Christ would want us to respond to bullying inspired very thoughtful comments from a blogger named Christopher Franklin about whether you should passively "turn the other cheek" or take action as Christ did when He made a whip and drove money-changers out of the temple.  I'm copying a portion of his comments below because I'd like to remember them:

"Submit yourself only when doing so serves a higher good. Do not submit yourself out of pacifism that doesn't accomplish anything good (Jesus would not have submitted to the cross if it didn't serve a higher good. On the other hand, what good would have come out of him standing passively by while the temple was defiled?).

Love others AS you love yourself, as Jesus commanded. Don't love yourself more than others. Don't love others more than yourself. Loving yourself more is selfishness and sets you up to be self-righteous; Loving others more is self-deprecation and sets you up to be a victim of abuse.

We all have a responsibility to stand up for good things, even in the face of persecution. Sometimes the best way to stand up for truth is to submit by choice, thus keeping your power to make such a choice. Sometimes submitting makes a powerful statement, such as when Ghandi fasted for several weeks. However, there are other times when submitting only supports your enemy. This kind of submitting doesn't make a powerful statement: it makes no statement, such as failing to state the truth when your opponent has already stated a lie.

Jesus turned the other cheek at times, literally. However, at other times, he spoke out strongly against the hypocrites. There were times when he kept silent when asked questions. He also overturned tables at the temple and made a whip. In every one of these cases, his behaviors did not serve to be passive. His silence or non-actions were as powerful as his accusations and actions.

If you walk two miles with your enemy, instead of one, you have made a powerful statement: "My love for you is more powerful than your selfishness."

If someone is asking you a question and answering them will be like throwing pearls before swine, you are sending a powerful message by staying silent: "You don't have the power to cajole me into playing your game."

If someone is spreading lies that have a negative effect on others, you can make a powerful statement by standing by the truth: "I am not afraid to let others know the truth, even when you threaten me physically or socially."

When you turn the other cheek to a bully, you are sending a powerful message: "You may have power to hit me, but you don't have power to scare, control, or humiliate me."

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