Monday, May 9, 2011

That I'd rather stand for something positive than against something negative




I've noticed that Face Book and the Internet have been full of Christian warnings to avoid playing this computer game, watching that movie, wearing these clothes or going to those places. It makes me sad when I hear confused reports of people who honestly can't understand why others seem to want to spread a sour cloak of judgment and disapproval over things which never occurred to them as harmful.

I've been the butt of rigid, condemnatory words. I was selling my "Quenarden" series* at a market, when an elderly woman stepped over to have a browse. The conversation went something like this.

Paula: Hello, do you have any grandchildren who like to read adventure stories?
Christian Lady: I do have grandchildren but they certainly wouldn't be interested in this sort of twaddle! We're Christians. That may sound frank but one day, if you come to your senses, you'll understand that filling innocent children's heads with wicked, fanciful nonsense is what helps make the world into such a melting pot of evil and sin.
Paula: But I'm a Christian too.
Christian Lady: That's what you think, dear.

She didn't give me a chance to explain that I take my own Christian values very seriously; that I wanted to praise God through my series and fill it with symbolism that pointed to Him; that I never started anything without plenty of prayer. I wonder if she would have bothered to consider my explanation if I tried. That made me shy away from anything that seems remotely censorious in an attacking, 'holier-than-thou' sort of spirit. It's the sort of encounter that I can understand would make a genuine seeker of truth want to turn and flee at the mention of the word "Christian" in future.

I like this story. Whenever Mother Teresa was asked to take place in any 'anti-' rally (anti-war, anti-evil, anti-discrimination etc) she would politely refuse and reply, 'Invite me to a "pro-" rally next time (pro-peace, pro-goodness, pro-generosity etc) and I'll be there in a flash.' She understood that emphasising goodness rather than evil is the wiser path to take.


I'd love to see less time spent trying to battle the bad (or what we perceive as bad) and more time promoting God's love, resting with true faith in His sovereign control and displaying the fruits of His Spirit. In that way we wouldn't have as many battles to fight or demons to rebuke, for they'd turn and flee with a howl. They are not going to hang around for long where true understanding and worship of God is always going on.


* My Quenarden series is a trilogy for the 12+ age group which blends adventure, mystery, romance and a quest for the triumph over evil.

9 comments:

  1. I agree, Paula. I have been thinking along these lines in regards to a high school for my daughter next year. One school is great, the other gets terrible things said about it. But, I reckon I have a better chance of getting her into the good school if I say what I like about it and how it will advantage my girl, rather than rant and rave about the bad school. Focus on the positives, always! :)

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  2. I agree, God inhabits the praises of his people. Darkness cannot dwell with the light. We should all value each other's gifts for the good of God's Kingdom. We sould lift each other up not for pride but to glorify God who lives in us.

    xo

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  3. Great post Paula.
    I agree with your thoughts.

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  4. Thanks, ladies. I appreciate your thoughts. Nicole's thoughts about darkness and light are spot on. Amanda, I like your example and hope the situation works out the way you hope it will.

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  5. Oh, my goodness. How very frustrating it is...that you are faced with religion in that sort of way - for that's what she is walking in. Religion.

    If God didn't want us to use our imaginations, he wouldn't have given us parables --or the book or Revelation. ^_^ Talk about fantasy stuff!!!!

    Keep writing my friend. Keep writing.

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  6. If there was a "like" option here as there is on Face Book, I'd definitely like Comfy Denim's comment.

    Thanks :)

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  7. What Comfy said.

    Paula, the thing is, you have an incredible gift in storytelling. If you were to shy away from sharing it, that would be a terrible thing. I wish it were possible to sway a closed mind, but I learned long ago that you cannot sway anyone to see things as you do anymore than you can force the proverbial horse to drink. They have to be willing. We all come to God in our own way, in our own time. That woman wasn't ready for what you had to say. Keep writing. Some of us are listening. Maybe someday, she will too.

    Peace and Laughter,
    Cristina

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  8. Thanks Cristina,
    Your comment about closed minds is spot on. It's a great day when we realise this and decide to expend the energy elsewhere. I always appreciate your encouragement.

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  9. Good to see Blogger up and working again now but has anybody else noticed that they've lost the last couple of comments of some posts?

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Thanks for your comments.

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