Wednesday, November 10, 2010

playing baseball using the rules for chess

one of the most valuable pieces of insight that has ever been given to me was offered by, adorably enough, my mother. i was in high school and our family was experiencing some *ahem* relational turbulence. it was very painful. what she told me was that it was okay not to know what to say, how to feel, or what to do, because the situation in which we found ourselves was one that we were never intended to face. we weren't built to hurt one another.

since then, this pearl has continued to find it's way into my thinking and even, on occasion, out of my mouth for someone else.

i think that it's easy for people who follow a particular teaching or set of teachings to get very caught up in applying principles to situations inappropriately. and then, it's kind of like trying to play baseball using the rules for chess. it just doesn't work.

for example, many people believe that abortion is wrong, and so they blow up abortion clinics and kill doctors who perform them. woah. i don't know about you, but i'm having a hard time finding the connection between abortion being wrong and destruction and murder being right. the passion for one cause grows so large that it spills over, clouding judgement.

i will now introduce the "what now?" concept. let's say you find yourself in a situation that you don't believe you were designed to handle. there's no passage in the Bible that begins: "when your spouse leaves you..." what now? well, in the Bible, along with all of the verses about premarital sex, there are other instructions: love. grace. compassion. forgiveness. justice. it's okay to not know how to respond to situations that are upsetting, but when in doubt, apply these principles and you can't go wrong.

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