Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I tried - playing devils advocate {current society issues}

A few days ago, I tried playing devils advocate.   I am not proud of what happened, and I should have known better; but I ended up hurting ones I loved.

I don't like the wording, 'devils' advocate' because it sounds like I am working with the devil.  So, I will call myself for what I am, a teacher.  Now, some of my students would see the parallel between teacher and evil.....  *anyone laughing, anyone?*..... and maybe even some of my friends.

As a teacher my job is to educate.  Yes, I do enjoy teaching math (everyone pause for a moment and remember how much you hate math, but in reality you use it every day).   More importantly than teaching math, I like teaching about life!    I like presenting two sides of a case.   I like bringing in tough issues and challenging deep thought.  I like pushing people, to help them grow. And while doing so, also helping myself mature and grow too.

Social media can be a dangerous place.  It's not even safe to catch pokemon anymore!  I use social media for two things: to annoy people with ridiculously cute pictures of my kids and educate.  I want people {my children, my students, my friends, my family} to be able to think for themselves.

I want them to be able to form an opinion based off of facts while simultaneously sifting through their hearts and emotions.    

So when I started posting about __________________ lives matter.   I ended up hurting ones that needed my support and love more than anything.    My whole goal was to educate.  I have friends who hate muslims.  Who don't value black lives.  Who don't care for the gay community.  I have friends who have the biggest hearts, give when they have nothing themselves, and wear their passionate hearts on their sleeves.   I have stubborn friends who are this wing or that wing.   I have friends who claim a religion and then act worldly.  I have friends who are full of pride and those that are humble.  So, if at any given opportunity, if I can help teach, if I can help educate, if I can help show love, then I am going to.

However, I was everything I was fighting against.   I was fighting for love.  I was fighting for peace.  But I ended up hurting.

To those who I have hurt {be in the past, the present, or even the future}  
I truly am sorry if I had upset you by pushing to hard.  By my lack of support.  By failing communication.  By not giving enough hugs.

So, with deepest sincerity, I am sorry.
I am sorry for posting when I should have been praying and asking for guidance.
I am sorry for pushing when I needed to step back and pause and reflect.
I am sorry for talking when I should have been listening to your heart, to the stillness.
I am sorry for not being who I am wanting to be.

The topic of blue vs black lives has been on my heart and mind constantly.   I am reading articles, watching videos,  praying, searching for answers.  I have posted things on social media trying to get others to help inform me of their thoughts.   I have asked those who work in social justice ministries, cops, friends, teachers.

My mind was swinging as the wind blows.  But then I read Romans 12: 9-21.  And THAT was the reminder that I needed.  That was the moment God gave me clarity.

So here is where I stand.  Some ideas have been poured into concrete years ago.  And some ideas are in sand becoming more solid. But currently this is it:

***  I am non-violent (concrete) - I can not and will not hurt a person.    People always challenge me with "what about self-defense?"   "what about if they are going to rape or shoot your child?"   "what about if......." and on and on.       Violence is not the answer.   Let God revenge what is his.        Here is a rather long list of versus that talk about loving people and living in peace.  But do not repay evil with evil (Romans 12:21).   So, when it comes to black vs blue;   black lives matter but they also should not be violent in their efforts.   Blue lives matter (and thank you for those who serve and put their lives out there every day) but they should not be violent in their efforts.

*** I believe equality is not the same as fairness (concrete) -   I use the below image with my students.  I hear all the time "this isn't fair"  but being fair does not always mean getting the same thing.   My 12/13 year old students can tell me that if a person is hungry that they should get more food than a person who is not.     For the people who challenge me "what about working hard?"  "what about those who use the system?"   "what about......"    I still stand firm in going back to Romans 12: 9-21.   We give to people food and drink.  We take care of people.  We don't judge people and think they need something or not.     Yes, there are people who abuse gracious opportunities.  Yes, there are those who have more than plenty and cling to it while giving nothing.    It is not my place to decide.  God will provide and take care of us.  God watches our actions.

So, if a people group needs  more of something from our government, from our school system, from law enforcement, or even from our churches, than it is our job to help them in a way that meets that need.

I believe that to be equal we have to be different.  

*** I believe that our society needs a return of respect (concrete) - we don't respect each other.   Our own children struggle learning to respect in a society that demands they have what they want when they want it.    We need to respect each other.  Respect authority.  Respect the law. Respect people. Give them honor.

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