Recently, Asia, who is thirteen, has stumbled into an ongoing political conversation with a friend of a friend of hers. It is obvious this young lady has some political views that are way on the left side of things, which is fine, we encourage our kids to hear both sides of any issue before making any conclusions. It is not the teenager’s political viewpoints that bother me, it is the complete lack of open-mindedness and kindness displayed by this young lady. I know they are young, so maybe expecting kindness is a stretch, but this girl was nothing less than a bully to Asia. She accused her of being racist and ignorant and mean. The ironic part is that, reading the conversation, it is obvious that Asia was none of those things and the other girl was all of them. She was so mean that the mama bear in me rose up a few times and I wanted the conversation ended. It seemed like a pointless argument with someone who didn’t want to hear anything that didn’t line up with what she had already decided she believed, and I didn’t love the way she was attacking Asia for sharing her own beliefs. However, Asia wanted to continue, so, against what I thought was my better judgement, I allowed it. I encouraged Asia to remain kind because, as we all know, it is the kindness of God that draws all men unto him. As Asia continued to lovingly share what she believed, the young lady softened and confided in her something both personal and spiritual. Because Asia had remained kind and loving, she was able to share truth from the Word that directly contradicted what this young lady thought to be true, that God had made her with a fault. Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t go into details, but Asia scoured the word and found scripture backing up the truth that God had not created her with this fault and that she could experience freedom. The young girl’s heart was completely softened, as well as her attitude towards Asia. Don’t get me wrong, she still disputes anything Asia posts that contradicts what she believes, but because she has remained compassionate, Asia has the ability to reach into this girls heart and life and to speak truth about spiritual things.
Am I sharing this story to brag on Asia? No, although I feel like I have every reason to. I am sharing it because it perfectly depicts something that has been on my mind lately and that is the balance of truth and compassion. Truth spoken without compassion doesn’t always hit its mark. We have all been on the receiving end of truth spoken without love. It is hard to swallow and oftentimes gets rejected simply because of its harshness. When I was a kid, I heard someone say, “You might be right, but that doesn’t make you righteous.” On the other hand, compassion without truth can be just as useless. I am trying to leave politics out of this, but there is a pretty big issue in the USA right now that I firmly believe is the direct result of people showing what they believed to be compassion, not realizing that it wasn’t reinforced by truth. I know I’ve said it before, but sometimes the most loving thing we can do is tell someone the truth. If we are afraid to offend, and err on the side of compassion, avoiding the truth, we are not doing anyone any favors. If we want to make an impact, we must learn to balance both truth and compassion.
Over the course of the last six months, we have all gone through a torrent of emotions. We have been scared, stressed, sad, angry, confused, lonely, frustrated, and more recently appalled, horrified, and unsure about the future. Some of us have kept a lid on these feelings, some of us have expressed some or all of them; to friends and family, or on social media when meeting in person was restricted. I know I expressed some frustration early on with the government overreach during the Covid crisis. Some of it was cloaked in sarcasm, some of it was straight up frustration along with the questioning of everything taking place. As time went on, government overreach was made to look like a petty complaint as we watched the country descend into the chaos of the racial division caused by the idea of white guilt. It didn’t end there, now criminals are being elevated as heroes while actual heroes, the kind that put on a badge and put their life on the line everyday to save ours, are being assassinated, with no remorse. If you don’t yet see the connection between the ideologies of white guilt and systematic racism with what is happening today, I don’t know what to say. I digress. This blog was not intended to get political. Over the course of the last six months, I have offended people with my words, with my beliefs, and with my posts. I have friends who no longer interact with me and other friendships that I feel have been noticeably diminished. This fact weighs heavy on my heart. I tried to stop posting, I didn’t feel inspired to blog, I withdrew into my own world of thoughts and only spoke to people who I knew wouldn’t be offended by my thoughts, even if they disagreed with me. However, I don’t like the way this isolation feels. In my heart, I want to apologize for offending my friends and/or family, but I cannot seem to find the right words. My goal was never to cause offense or initiate disagreements, and a lot of times I look back and wish I had just signed off of Facebook and never said a word. At the same time, if I apologize for having feelings and sharing them, it feels like I am apologizing for being human. Is it possible to share my thoughts, beliefs and frustrations without someone taking offense to something? Probably not. All the same, I want to acknowledge that not all of my posts were spoken/shared with a consideration for compassion. I regret the things I said out of frustration and wish I could take some of them back. Not all of them, but the ones spoken without love. I don’t think anger is always loveless, but for all the times I said anything without love and compassion, I am truly sorry. For all the times that I did not reflect the love of the King, I am sorry. I promise to try to do better. I can also promise that I will probably fail from time to time, but I hope you can do me the honor of forgiving me when I do. And may we all strive to do a better job of balancing truth and compassion, because nothing inside of me believes that silence is the answer.