Just Start

I’m pro-life. More specifically, anti-abortion.

I post stuff about it on Facebook. I tweet about it. If I come across someone who is commenting on the merits of “pro-choice,” I stick my nose in it and argue.

The other day, I experienced something that made me think. I read an article exposing hospitals that forced nurses to assist in abortions against their moral will under the threat of termination.

Incensed, I posted the link to my social networks.

The reaction was immediate and positive. People voiced their opinions against the practice and I was happy to see that people I had friended were on the same page as I on this issue.
In amongst the discourse, a well-known, pro-life activist whom I had friended jumped in. Although I expected agreement and encouragement, what was received was a holier than thou attitude with statements like, “This is old news—I knew this stuff already” and “You’re clueless so quit posting things that you know nothing about, so quit condemning people.” I was floored. Although we were both pro-life, I understood those comments to mean that unless I have walked a mile in her shoes, I had no business even talking about the subject. I was confused for a few days on what I had even done wrong.

I told you that story not to put down the activist, but rather to say this: Just because you have been up to your eyebrows into a worthy cause or a certain subject, be gentle around those who are only ankle or knee deep.

People have to start somewhere.

Imagine a church whose doors were open only to those with a doctorate in Biblical Theology or a small group where the members scoffed at the new people for asking questions about old topics—saying, “Oh puleeze! We’ve been over that time and time again!”

Or think about that new Christian who, for the first time, celebrated Christmas with a new understanding? What if, while they were realizing the immensity of that day they became visibly and emotionally shaken, and you came up and told them, “Hello? Of course we’re celebrating the birth of Christ. What did you think you were celebrating at this time every year, ya big baby?”

We are imperfect. Yet somehow, we easily forget that. Each of us, including myself, has done this to some degree. I’ve judged people almost as a reflex—opening my mouth and inserting my foot before thinking. I’ve belittled people because they weren’t at the level I was.

I’ve even yelled at some for not knowing what I thought they should know—even though I was or should have been their teacher.

We live in a period of major growth in the knowledge of God, His Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of us is the student at one level and a teacher at another. Hearts are open to new things and new understanding. We must keep ourselves in check if we are to connect together as the body of Christ. I implore you to put this filter in your life!

Father God, help me to be gentle with your children. Forgive me for hindering their growth instead of helping. Holy Spirit, help me to see them with God’s eyes not mine.

I’m grateful that this experience opened my eyes to my own failures. Again.

But I know this. Just because I don’t know everything there is to know about abortion and the pro-life movement, it doesn’t mean I can’t be vocal about it. Hey, ya gotta start somewhere.
Just start.
-Alan

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