I'm very opinionated and have never really been one to bite my tongue. Because of the way some of my friends struggle expressing themselves, I am really proud of this. Except for the times when I run into strong Christian women. It seems each one is strong in a timid, gentle way. They don't need their voice to be heard, except in prayer where it speaks louder than any other. I would love to be that way, but I hate not saying what's on my mind.
My social work classes make this very challenging. There's a lot of debate and discussion on opinions. Over this past semester, I've grounded myself in knowing that what I say, won't change anyone's mind. And even if I did manage to get them to see things my way, it wouldn't change the world. There's really no point to arguing.
That being said, I still LOVE to get my opinion in. And do just that on most days. But I've gotten better at reading a situation and evaluating if my words would prove effective. I think the points where this is the hardest is when God comes into play. About a month ago, a woman, clearly emotional said she didn't understand how God could send her son to hell for being gay because he was such a beautiful person. Ok, there's a plethora of things I could say and I wanted to, believe me. It would have been something like "Sin is sin. And homosexuality is no more a sin than lying, or exaggerating or anything else we humans do. The difference is God's grace and mercy. He can help us choose the right path. And God doesn't send anyone to hell, we choose hell OVER God." But seeing how emotional she was, I decided that calling her out and preaching to the class was not the way to go. Then, about 2 weeks ago, after disclosing information on how her brother died from alcoholism, she expressed how angry it made her at God. Again, I let it go.
Last Monday, I was putting my books in my book bag and I heard her sigh while waiting for the teacher. Normally, I would assume that she was just sighing out of habit: a paper, a bad grade, having to wait for the teacher to get done with other students. But I felt like I should check. "Are you ok?" She shook her head and said no. Apparently, the place she works at just burnt down and last week she lost her father. I told her about how I lost my dad a year ago and asked if I could pray with her.
I think it was the worst prayer I had ever done. I felt like it was choppy and I said the same things the whole time. But walking out of that classroom, I thanked God that He allowed me to be there for somebody. And I thought to myself how that opportunity probably wouldn't have happened if I had "set her straight" on what the Bible has to say. I think it would have offended her and set us at ends with each other.
I will never be one to soften the gospel so I don't hurt feelings. But, I think there's a time and a place and neither of those will be there if the Holy Spirit isn't there first. This was definitely a lesson: God would rather us be His reflection, than His bullies. Praise Him.