Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Not-so-trivial Pursuits

"Let us then pursue what makes for peace & for mutual upbringing."
(Romans 14:19)

I believe it was Thumper in the classic Disney movie BAMBI who said, 'If you can't say somethun' nice, don't say anything at all!'  (Actually, he was quoting his mom's advice, wasn't he!).  I wonder if we, in contemporary American culture, have lost sight of this wisdom?  We seem so quick to criticize, judge, complain & argue with anyone we have a difference with.  Our "right" to speak our mind often trumps the call for kindness.

Paul was facing a challenge in the early church.  Some believers were openly criticizing (and condemning) other believers because of what they did or didn't eat (notably, food that had been sacrificed to other gods & then resold on the open market).  Those in the faith began tearing one another down, and it made Paul's heart sick.  Rather than lay give the definitive declaration of WHO'S RIGHT, Paul instead urged them to simply "pursue what makes for peace & mutual upbringing."

We could go a long way if we followed that advice today.  Pursue peace & mutual upbringing.  How would our days change if we were intentional about not putting others down or seeking to interject how others were wrong all the time?  How would it change our interactions with our spouse, children, co-workers, people at Starbucks (even, dare I say it, fellow drivers on the road?!?)?  Who knows... I just might become a little more like Jesus.

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