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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Do we only accept ”good” friends?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.2.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.1. 11:49
2022011911494120220224060000

Text: Vesa Kum­pu­la

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

I got feed­back about my pre­vi­ous blog post that made me pon­der more deep­ly about how we in­te­ract with ot­her pe­op­le. This is part of the feed­back mes­sa­ge:

”At this time of glo­ri­fied in­di­vi­du­a­lism we tend to se­lect even the be­lie­vers that we like to greet and ack­now­led­ge and, ul­ti­ma­te­ly, ac­cept as friends! Ac­cor­ding Je­sus’ te­ac­hing, this is not good or right.”

At a yo­ung age, I came ac­ross a phe­no­me­non that was comp­le­te­ly new to me. One of my friends tur­ned out to be gay. I did not know how to be­ha­ve in this new si­tu­a­ti­on. The to­pic was hard­ly dis­cus­sed at all at that time, or even for a long time af­ter­wards. No dis­tinc­ti­on was made bet­ween ha­ving ho­mo­se­xu­al ten­den­cies and put­ting those ten­den­cies in­to prac­ti­ce. I was, ho­we­ver, ab­le to dis­cuss with ot­her be­lie­vers, and that hel­ped me un­ders­tand the mat­ter. The most im­por­tant thing was that the friends did not le­a­ve him alo­ne but wan­ted to sup­port him in faith.

I know this mat­ter is dif­fi­cult even to­day. Pe­op­le with such ten­den­cies may find it hard to ac­cept or dis­cuss their orien­ta­ti­on. They may al­so find it hard to abi­de by God’s will. And there are ot­her si­tu­a­ti­ons, too, where we need to pau­se and ask for Al­migh­ty God’s will.

God’s will is cle­ar­ly ma­ni­fes­ted in the third chap­ter of the gos­pel ac­cor­ding to John: “For God so lo­ved the world that he gave his one and on­ly Son, that who­e­ver be­lie­ves in him shall not pe­rish but have eter­nal life.”

The qu­es­ti­on that we find dif­fi­cult is whet­her to lis­ten to the voi­ce of God or the voi­ce of man. God has pro­mi­sed to bless His obe­dient child­ren. We can trust in that pro­mi­se.

The per­son who gave me feed­back wan­ted to call at­ten­ti­on to an im­por­tant mat­ter. Do we clas­si­fy pe­op­le in­to dif­fe­rent ca­te­go­ries and on­ly ac­cept the “good” as our friends? Who is our neigh­bor?

The te­ac­hing of God’s word about neigh­bor­ly love is exp­res­sed in this dual com­mand­ment: "Love the Lord yo­ur God with all yo­ur he­art and with all yo­ur soul and with all yo­ur mind. Love yo­ur neigh­bor as yo­ur­self.” (Matt. 22:37,39.)

I was dis­ma­yed to read on Fa­ce­book about a be­lie­ving per­son’s ex­pe­rien­ces of being bul­lied by ot­her be­lie­vers at a con­fir­ma­ti­on camp and opis­to. How could we dis­cuss this? So­me­o­ne with per­so­nal ex­pe­rien­ce of such si­tu­a­ti­ons might want to write a blog post, for examp­le.

While wri­ting my pre­vi­ous post, tit­led ”Alo­ne”, about my son’s ex­pe­rien­ces, I found my­self won­de­ring what could have hap­pe­ned if things had not gone so well as they did. Life must al­wa­ys go on, and in such si­tu­a­ti­ons we as be­lie­vers are re­min­ded that there is one who re­mem­bers us and prays for us.

It is im­por­tant to ack­now­led­ge that all bul­lying is wrong. It is a crime against anot­her per­son and against God. God’s word te­ac­hers us to put things right. Both the one who bul­lied and the one who was bul­lied can pray that God would help them dis­cuss the mat­ter. The gos­pel will help them for­get the of­fen­se and re­vi­ve mu­tu­al love.

God’s cre­a­ti­on is per­fect even when we as hu­man beings find so­me­o­ne dif­fe­rent and ex­cep­ti­o­nal. I al­wa­ys feel up­lif­ted to meet a Down boy or girl who greets me with a ge­nui­ne smile and wants to know how I am doing. They ra­di­a­te ge­nui­ne love and ca­ring for their neigh­bors.


Mir­ror


I look in­to a mir­ror

and see my face.

I ask my­self,

how well,

in yo­ur own opi­ni­on,

have you tre­a­ted

yo­ur neigh­bors?


I lo­wer my gaze,

see my own he­art,

how dark and cold it is,

my fai­lu­res.

I have not tre­a­ted them well.


I hear in my mind,

the sound of

a gent­le bree­ze

the te­ac­hing of

God’s word:

jus­ti­fied as a sin­ner.


I lift up my gaze again.

I see two fa­ces in the mir­ror.

The face that is not mine

is full of

grace and mer­cy.

27.5.2022

Hyvä on sen osa, joka luottaa Herraan, ei etsi apua pahan voimilta eikä käänny niiden puoleen, jotka valhetta palvelevat. Ps. 40:5

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