Words I often repeat to myself, for one reason or another. I have to thank my friend Jen for motivating me to write this post. At a ladies get together a few weeks back, we were discussing all the regulations and rules we place on ourselves, and others. Jen, for example, finally came to the realization that she just doesn't care about health food. It just ain't her thang. And that's okay.
I think it's important, dear readers, that we don't impose rules on ourselves that God hasn't.
Let me explain.
For example, God has specifically told us in His word to honor our husbands (or wives). And while they're are thousands upon thousands of ways that this is possible, the generally rule that we have been told to follow, by God, is to honor our spouse. My point is this – God has given us clear commandments that we should follow and clear direction on the way we should live to love and serve Him.
On the flipside, God hasn't told us what type of car to drive. What sort of clothes to wear. What food to eat. Or what our hobbies should be.
Therefore, we mustn't go around pretending that what we ‘do' should be standard for everyone else.
If I drive an SUV and you drive a Mini-Van or a Hybird or a bicycle, that's okay. Sure, we can have a friendly discussion as to why we purchased the car we did, but according to God's standards (the standards by which we should always be measuring against…and frankly, the only standards that matter) any of these choices are okay.
If I soak my flours and you don't, that's okay.
If I wear a style of clothes that many find distasteful, that's okay.
If I choose to keep my house in a different way than you, that's okay.
If I ride horses, and you don't, that's okay.
You see, God has given us individual liberty to enjoy a variety of things in our life. Some love fashion, or skiing, or drawing, or hiking, or cleaning…and all of these are wonderful things! The ditch I think we tend to fall into is thinking everyone should do, or feel, the exact way we do about those things.
What? You don't iron your cloth napkins? What are you thinking! What's that? You use paper napkins? Are you CrAzY?!
Did you know they are vegetarians? What fools!
Can you believe they are eating store-bought eggs?! The audacity!
Okay, so my examples may be a bit extreme, but not by much! Each of us is guilty of trying to fit other people into our little perfect box of what they ‘should' think or do. If you don't believe me, think about your music choices. Have you ever had a friend with completely different taste? And while you try and reason and plead with them to enjoy Pink Floyd as much as you do, they just don't like it? Somehow, we think that if we like it, or find interest in it, or do it, then everybody should.
I mean, I'm, like, so enlightened. I can't believe that everyone can't see it this way.
If everyone talked the same, walked the same, dressed the same, wore their hair the same, listened to the same music, enjoyed the same hobbies, ate the same food, and lived the way we think they should what a boring and colorless world this would be.
God has given some of us passion for raising food.
But He has given others a passion for sports. Or playing music. Or whatever it may be.
Now, please hear this. I'm not saying that every lifestyle is a good way to live. As I stated above, clearly the Lord has given us direction and commands on how we should live (ie: don't commit adultery). But I think it's important to point out that just because our interests or desires may not be shared by others, doesn't mean their interests or desires are wrong.
They have the right to individual liberty (within the realm of God's commands) just like I have the right to individual liberty (within the realm of God's commands).
If we spent less of our time trying to change people and convince them to live the way we think they should live, and more time trying to befriend them, I think the world could be an even more colorful & joyful place.
Now, ahem, that won't keep me from sharing my opinions and lifestyle choices with you – because, after all, this is my blog. And while I may find it ever so exciting to share the nutritional differences between commercially-raised and grass-fed beef with you, that by no-means implies that commercially-raised beef is from Satan and if you eat it, you're bound for…well, you know where.
As I've mentioned before, our lifestyle (whatever that may be…city-slicker or farmgirl) mustn't become our idol. And we mustn't try to make it someone else's idol either.
Instead of telling people what they should wear, let's tell them about God's grace. And instead of condemning or pitying those who live differently than we do, let's experience the variety!
Lest we become a self-centered, stick-in-the-mud.