However, the last four years I have found A LOT I have been wrong about. I am the first to admit that I am indelicate about it. For you it must be a forgivable offense, you continue to engage with me. Many others don't.The man with whom I was having the discussion then said this:
In much the same way friends have left you for your ways, I too have lost people I thought were closer to me. (emphasis mine)What is important to know here is that this is an unmarried man who has renounced his faith in God and has stated he is happy living a faithless life. While reading what he had said and noticing he used the word lost, I found I had a pity for him. A sadness that encompasses and goes beyond the sadness I feel when someone denies God's existence. It was an awareness that the human beings in his life and their closeness to him serve, ultimately, as his purpose in life. He does not know living as Christians do: for God's purpose.
Individuals like this must live with either extreme loneliness or they must be willing to conform to a specific and subjective ideal in order to maintain closeness with other individuals who hold those ideals. In other words, moral relativism.
I have pondered whether or not I should feel bad when people I encounter in life make a decision to stop engaging with me be it in discussions and debates or just social contact. Most often it happens when I have displayed an immutable belief or conviction. I don't have the answers to everything in life, by a long shot, however, there are many foundational moral beliefs I possess that cannot be changed. Outside of the obvious, belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, is; biblical marriage, a belief that all abortion is murder, and that which God calls sin is, indeed, sin, to name a few.
Now, I'll admit, as a woman, there is a brief sting of having been cast aside from a herd, whatever that herd might be. However there is nothing within me that maintains I have lost someone. What quickly comes over me is an assuredness that though I may never see the fruits of having displayed a conviction, I have done my part, for Him, and that was what was required of me.
When I have found myself to be wrong, I accept where I have been wrong and move on. I have learned to be generous with apologies and requests for forgiveness. I have also learned there are people who do not accept apologies nor are they willing to forgive. This doesn't cause me but a moment of discomfort either. Again, my focus is God's purpose. I have learned the errors of my ways and would like to move on. The flip side of this is that I tend to be more than generous with forgiveness for those who seek it from me (to RLB's chagrin).
I am blessed to be married, in a covenant with a man who is willing to forgive me, willing to instruct and teach me, and patient with my indelicacies. (I use the word indelicacies because the word tactlessness has been overused by others in describing me.) His opinion of me is the only one I entertain and obeying God has become the primary focus of my life.
And, as is true with other groups of individuals, I lack empathy for the atheist/agnostic who suffers the loss of relationship with human beings. Pity and sadness. That's all I've got.
Christian women, do you concern yourselves with the collective morality of the herd? Do you fear being ostracized because of your convictions? Do you remain silent when you have Truth to bestow? For those of you who mourn the loss of friendships, lost because of your faith and moral convictions might I remind you of Romans 8:31-39:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
You have not lost a thing when you have lost the association of someone who opposes your Christian convictions. Be encouraged.No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.