Thursday, September 17, 2015

Due Diligence

A phrase I hear often is, "they have no skin in the game".  It is usually said by a mom who has gone to hell and back with and for their LGBT child.  It's usually said in reference to a quick dismissal or invalidation of a person or their experience due to someone's own personal beliefs or opinions.

When your opinion is so loud that you lose the chance to connect to someone.  I do this, we all do.  We know all the answers, or we know what we want to hear so we skip out, we shut down or we ignore an opportunity to enlighten ourselves.  I know for me a lot of it was fear that I would be wrong.  Once I accepted where we were at and the decision we had to make for our child my spiritual life fell apart.  Not because God left me.  I was so scared.  I was scared of losing people, I was scared of losing the faith I'd always had and I was so scared that trusting God would mean I was doing the wrong thing.  I'd read the Bible from the point of view handed to me for my whole life and I didn't want to go back to the person I had been before.  

Hebrews 4:12 has always been one of my favorite verses and once we let my daughter transition I became terrified of it.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

This past Monday I went to a board meeting at Troy High School with a lot of angry parents.  If I was where they are I'd probably be angry too.  Two women got up and spoke to the board citing bible verses to a room of about 50 during impassioned speeches pleading for the perceived safety of their children.  They used their Bible verses to try and condemn my friend.  They called him a homosexual, which he isn't and said he would burn.  

Ever since Monday Hebrews 4:12 has come at me with a fresh understanding.  I believe the Bible.  I struggle with it and I pick it apart, I always have because I'm curious.  It's been my sword.  But if we look at the Bible as a sword that makes it a weapon.  A weapon that is sharper than any sword.  A weapon that cuts straight to the heart.

I have quite a few friends who have their CCW.  The checklist for actually getting a license to carry a gun is pretty crazy: I totally get it, you could kill someone if not properly trained.

Yet with the sharpest weapon in our possession we don't need a license.  Heaven and Hell.  That's some pretty big stuff.  I mean you're talking about someone's eternity.  

We drop Leviticus: Engage.
We drop Romans: Lunge
We drop Matthew 19: Parry
We drop Gen 1:27: Allez
We drop 1 Corinthians 6:9: Touch

We lunge and lunge waving our sword with our eyes closed, other arm on our hip in abject confidence.  We have the Bible and the God of the universe behind our speech, we close our eyes as a show of trust.  "Dear God please prepare their hearts for what I'm about to say."  Quoting myself.  God is big enough to pick up the bloody mess I've left behind but does the person I've just injured understand that?

In a room of 50 people telling the couple trans people who you don't understand and have never met that they are going to hell is pretty...I don't even think I know the word for it.  It leaves me with anxiety.  You took your sword, closed your eyes to the person you were aiming for and shot true.  Thankfully this person had people who know his heart, who stand by him and have loved him through years of well-intended flesh wounds.

The same can't be said for every person we battle.  The word of God has stopped me in my tracks at times.  It has created paradigm shifts in my life and all my life, even now I've had support from good and godly friends and family.  I can't imagine the reality of handing someone any part of Leviticus with the best of intentions without knowing that you'll be there to handle it.

I remember my spiritual parents helped bring me back to Jesus 16 years ago and they sent me home with instructions to read James.  They knew me.  They loved me.  They'd be there to help me flesh it out.  They knew I had family and a church to back me up.  James was rough and I think I'm due a reread with fresh and more mature eyes.

Before you wield your sword you have GOT to know your battle.  You have got to keep your eyes open to see the damage you may be inflicting.  You have to have some background.  You have to understand where your "opponent" is coming from.  You can't open fire on just anyone.

I'm a self-admitted fan of Girl Meets World.  BMW was such a HUGE part of my childhood, why wouldn't I watch?  Last week they tackled autism and I cheered.  Because awareness!  Because Farkle!  Because education!

Farkle: Thanks for the way you guys treat me.  And thanks for studying all of it.
Cory: Woah woah woah, you guys studied?
Lucas: Hey, our friend was worried about something.
Maya: So we learned about it.  If I knew it was studying I wouldn't have done it.

The kids studied because they had skin in the game.  They had a friend who was going through something.  They did their due diligence so they could understand and be supportive.  They did their research so they could be better friends.

Talk to people.  Learn about people.  Jesus did.  

When you do battle, be ready.  Know what you're going into, know why you're going in, know the person on the receiving end like the back of your hand.  When you know what you're facing and your own personal motivation it WILL affect your battle strategy.  You may be causing undue damage.  You may be inflicting wounds you aren't prepared to heal.  You may not notice the wounds that are already there and yours well may be the final blow.

The word of God is living.  It's active.  It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  I should be wielding that sword in my own direction to whittle away the undesirable.  I will never wield it at a stranger.  Please, never wield your most dangerous sword at a stranger.  Drop John 3:16 instead.  Drop love.

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