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.
I look into a mirror
and see my face.
I ask myself,
in your own opinion,
have you treated
I lower my gaze,
see my own heart,
how dark and cold it is,
I have not treated them well.
I hear in my mind,
the sound of
a gentle breeze
the teaching of
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.
”Nuori tarvitsee vanhemmat, jotka ovat huolissaan, pettyvät nuoren toilailuista, ilahtuvat onnistumisista, suuttuvat laiminlyönneistä ja sanovat tarvittaessa ei. Vanhempien tehtävänä on uskaltaa, jaksaa ja kestää silloinkin, kun nuori ei itse uskalla, jaksa tai kestä”, sanotaan Mannerheimin Lastensuojeluliiton sivuilla.
Levollista ja iloista laulu- ja soitinmusiikkia turvallisesta paimenesta. Tutustu tarkemmin tästä.
Runokokoelmassa luonto peilaa ihmisen kokemuksia, mutta myös vaikuttaa kokemuksiin. Tutustu tarkemmin tästä.
Nuortenkirja kertoo koulukiusatun Joonan rippikoulukesästä. Vaikka kirjassa käsitellään vaikeitakin aiheita, siitä löytyy myös ystävyyttä, iloa ja luottamusta Jumalan johdatukseen. Tutustu lisää ja tilaa täältä.
Mitä lapset tekevät purjeveneessä? Mukaansatempaava kertomus lapsiperheen erilaisesta matkasta suviseuroihin. Tutustu tarkemmin tästä.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana. Tutustu ja tilaa levy verkkokaupasta!