Facebook Postings 3
by Matthew Cramer
This is a special addition of our Facebook Postings in response to the partisan, angry and thoughtless social commentary in the main stream and social media. It begins with a repeat of the 13 October 2018 posting last time, up through 31 December 2018.
Here’s some things we see every day in movies, commercials, and social media: “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, ……….., envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like”. Like the proverbial frog in gradually heated water, we’re accustomed to them and seldom complain anymore.
Now there’s a new kid on the block — party spirit. It’s in the list I just cited from Ga 5:19-21 (RSV). A lot of people are ringing their hands about the state of affairs in our culture and government, firmly ensconced in their protective, partisan cocoons — seemingly oblivious that party spirit is listed as an evil that will ruin our lives and keep us out of heaven; just like the others. Are we going to let this one rule in our culture too? I pray not!
If you’re tired of partisan, righteous rage and indignation, I have a suggestion: try dialogue. It’s been known to solve problems, improve communications and avoid conflicts for centuries.
Respect for one another and civility in discourse governs the process. Broad-brush painting and motive accusations are immediate disqualifications. You must be able to freely endorse three accomplishments on your opponent’s side and freely admit three mistakes your side has made.
The accomplishments and mistakes must be of roughly equal value and importance. You must intend to grow your appreciation of the other side’s position. Do not engage without first identifying the objective.
Worried about the escalating negativity, rage, hatred, and mayhem you see today? Trying to figure out what to do about it, how to cope? Concerned about the troubling direction in which it’s headed? Check-out this little book, Blood Cries from Planet Earth. The author, Ruth Ann Cramer, was a young, married woman, seriously ill, who had an encounter with God. More information is at https://cramer-institute.com/blood-cries/. The paper back is available at Amazon and Kindle.
Anger and fear are emotions, planted there by God as tools to assist our lives. They are neither good nor bad in themselves. But they are very powerful. Fear can inspire us to run away quickly from a threat, anger can inspire us to battle an evil. But, connected with a real or perceived personal offense, they can consume us with righteous indignation that shuts down reason and logic; wasting precious time better spent in productive pursuits.
The key to unlock this unholy alliance, is forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t affect the other guy, but it goes a long way toward separating us from self-righteous anger. Strangely, the biggest enemies of forgiveness are the pleasure of self-righteous anger, and the fear of minimizing or even denying the offense(s). Forgiveness never minimizes an offense. It turns the situation over to God, the just judge, and separates us from the inflicted pain so we can walk away. For more on this, please see: http://cramer-institute.com/forgive-or-not
It’s just too easy nowadays to throw spitballs, rocks, and even feces at any person, policy, or proposition you don’t like. Taking pleasure in a righteous position against something or someone, when the best you have the offer is clever quips and vacant thought, is a false lure. We are caught in the middle of a humongous, second grade food fight; fueled by the addictive elixir of hurling self-righteous, thoughtless invectives, after which mankind’s condition will be the loser.
Every generation, including my own, goes through a period of rejecting authority, discovering their capacity to imbibe life’s pleasures, and eventually must decide what level of responsibility they will assume for mankind’s progress. To all millennials I plead: please hurry the development of your maturity, I fear you will take too long.