Yesterday, I was driving with my sister to take some of her stuff down to the college that she goes to. Along the way, she began discussing how stubborn I can be. I would have felt offended, but I knew this to be true. Reading hundreds of books over the past four or five years has left me with a small truth for myself…. I don’t know very much. In my more “youthful” days, which I say hesitantly because I am 24, I ruined many relationships because I thought I was always right, and it had to look like me. I burned a lot of bridges because people didn’t hold my theological views, my political views, and my views on personal development. I was confrontational to a fault, defensive, and argumentative.
In the book of Romans, Paul makes a statement like this “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” There is something to be said that needs to take the matters of Truth, into their own hands. It shows a lot about a human being that needs to fight for God, to fight for their Government, to fight for their views on how life should be lived. I have learned, through much failure, that if I am right I can let that transform me, and move me onto what is next. If God is Truth, and the Truth is what sets you free, then I have to learn how to live at peace with all men. Regardless of whatever claim the other person makes. I am not God, and I cannot transform the other person. All I can do is listen, be attentive to the Holy Spirit, and be a person who wants to create more life, and more peace for those around me.
I find how petty we human beings can be, when we will end our friendships over what we think of Sarah Palin or Barack Obama. I find how petty I can be when I cause tension with people because they’re Calvinists, Arminians, or Open Theists. I find how horrible I become when I force others to conform to my life. Thomas Merton once said this, “Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.” If being a Christian was meant to be a life filled with love, then I have to let the secondary effects take care of themselves. I can let people be themselves. I can let people believe what they believe. I can let people do what they do.
Richard Rohr says it right when he says this, “There is nothing to prove and nothing to protect. I am who I am and it’s enough.” By letting what is enough for you, be enough for you, you no longer have to fight with others, and have them bend to your way.