So today I have wrote a few blogs. All pretty lengthy. Oh well. I know they are “supposed to” be shorter. This is not that. In fact it may be my longest blog. But, I just gotta say what I gotta say. So here it is.
I have said before that I am an introvert. This has been a challenge most of my life as people want everyone to be an extrovert. Well, I have seen how this can be a huge blessings, and I learned one fact: Introverts rock at being in a pandemic.
Truly. I learned that due to my natural desire to be away from people, I have not had the same challenges as others during this Covid-19 pandemic. I have a ton of hobbies because I like doing things on my own, and not having to shake hands when I run into someone or an awkward hug sometimes, because the government says not to? yay!.
Don’t get me wrong I like playing cards, and board games etc. Just with smaller groups and not every day …or even every week. My biggest issue of concern was getting groceries. Just not having the stuff on the shelves was annoying at times.
My hubby on the other hand is extroverted. Its why we work. I bring him back down to calm, and he brings me out of my cave (home). But he has struggled, complaining about the restrictions, and how his social liberties were being taken away etc…
I saw it differently, and still do. As a former practicing nurse (I decided to give up being a practicing nurse for good in Sept. 2019 for health reasons) I get the importance of the measures taken to curb Covid-19, I have a keen understanding of just how easy these little beggars spread. So, to me doing these restrictions for a period of time to quell a nasty little illness, is fine, logical even.
My hubby chaffed at it from day one. I ended up telling him that as a Christian we should look at these restrictions as less about a loss to us and ,more about their impact in helping others not get sick, and as actions to stop its spread as a whole.
What I mean is, as Christians we are to think about others well being before ourselves, and therefore, we should be concerned that should we ignore the rules, and do as we want, we would be acting selfishly, and not thinking of the impact of our decisions, and actions on others. That would be against what we are called to do.It also could have dire effects.
He understood what I was talking about and agreed that as Christians we need to just follow the rules (as they don’t contravene Gods word), and show others that we as Christians need to be accountable for how our decisions impact those around us.
This is really the point of my blog. (I may have blogged about this before but I am going to again because I feel its a really important thing to talk about and think about).
As Christians we are to not be selfish, stumbling blocks to others, disrespectful of the well being of others around us, their feelings, or have the attitude that what others struggle with is none of our concern. We are to come along side others. That is achieved in more than one way.Our Christian attitudes, and approaches to life should be reflective of these things.
For example, lets say I don’t know if I have Covid, I have some cough and sneezing but that’s normal as I have allergies. If I was going out and coughing, sneezing, and not covering my face or washing my hands, that is a selfish attitude because I don’t know if I have Covid-19 and I could be spreading it around, and someone could get it, and take it to their family and get sick. That’s coming along side because I am living the same thing they are. I am making the conscience decision not to be a stumbling block to their health.
Even though I find it annoying , I should wear a mask if I have one, cough in my sleeve and frequently wash or alcohol wipe my hands. Just in case. Because, really, what is it to me on the bigger picture to do that, when it could save lives?
Another scenario, if I drink wine (I actually don’t drink at all but lets say I did) and I invite a friend over to have dinner with my family, and she or her husband are recovering alcoholics or just are not keen or comfortable with alcohol, do I have a glass of wine? … NO. Because to do so, is to say that their concerns, struggles, and comfort is less important to me than one glass of wine that I can have later if I want to.
What would I feel like if I took the view that “The Bible doesn’t say alcohol is wrong just being intoxicated is, so its fine for me to have a glass, its not my issue they have the problem, if they don’t like it they don’t have to come”, and then they come and I find out later that because of the wine out , that one of them became so tempted by it they binged, and now are off the wagon.Or if the wine made them so uncomfortable they didn’t want to return because it triggered pain of their past due to family alcoholism. I would feel like a big bag of crap.
What would God say? Do you think Jesus would say “Oh don’t worry about it Brooke, it’s their issue not yours, it was only one glass, and the word doesn’t forbid one glass of wine”. No, I think he would probably remind me that I was to show love and care to others and to serve others, and that putting myself first will place me last.
And, the other question to ask is, why was the wine so important? and why ask people to your home to make them uncomfortable, and to be a stumbling block to them?
Most people if they knew a guest was vegetarian would prepare at least one dish vegetarian, or if they were Jewish wouldn’t serve pork. But, why not just not have meat at all that night? If the meat is offensive to that guest, why not just not go there for a single meal. What is the big deal? You don’t need to denounce it entirely, or lie about whether you enjoyed the food. I have to ask myself would it be a big deal? and if yes, why?
Jesus died on the cross for the sins of those who hated him and us, talk about discomfort. He was concerned about everyone else, he wanted to have the cup taken from him but he still went through it all to show love to us, to save us. I think I should be able to set aside my desire as a Christian to allow someone I invited to my home, to be able to feel comfortable, and cared about. That’s coming along side them. Showing that you place their well being, and feelings as important enough to care about.
This is something that hits very close to home. I don’t drink because alcoholism runs in my family and my hubby is a recovering alcoholic, and I have a close member who still is struggling at times with it.I don’t feel comfortable around people drinking, I don’t like the smell. I see all the time, Christians that invite my hubby and I over for dinner or out to do something and they bring beer or wine, they order it at a restaurant, even though they know he is recovered and my family history. It really saddens me and makes me anxious and agitated.
My hubby has friends that continuously drink around him, or when they want to get together want to go to a pub or bar. This is a temptation, as this is exactly the scenarios he used to drink in. It’s a trigger. Thanks to God, he has not relapsed, but I remind him that every time he goes to gathering with alcohol or pubs or bars, its another possible time that he could buy the lie that he has it beat. Because I can tell you its never beat. Its always there. He has told me that. How is that acting as a Christian or a friend?
So why do the people that say they are Christian, and our friends do these things. Well, because they believe what I said earlier, “the bible doesn’t say you cant drink”. They are ignoring where it says
Romans 14: 21 “ It is good not to eat or drink wine or do anything that cause your brother to stumble.” or
Habakkuk 2:15 “ woe to him who makes his neighbors drink- ”
1 Corinthians 8:9-13 “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
Now, much of these are talking about food and alcohol, but it applies to all things. I am not talking about doing anything against the direction of God. We always are to put his direction and will, as #1 no matter what. But, I would say, making sure you are not making decisions that are about you and your wants is not going to contravene his word.
When we act selfish it also tells the world that being Christian is no different than non-Christian. We are to stand out. Be the light. Well, if we don’t care what those we call friends are feeling or struggling with, what kind of Christian is that representing. Sadly, I know non-Christians who are partiers, who when around me would not drink and even watch their swearing. Yet I cant trust that another Christian isn’t going to drink around me, my husband or family even though they know it makes me uncomfortable, its a challenge for my hubby, and that my family struggles with it.
Our Decisions as Christians have impact on others, and if we are to say we are Christian should we not be even more aware of those impacts? The Bible is clear.
God Bless stay healthy and safe,