Picture from Google Images: Aragorn from Lord of the Rings
Text by Me
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you sow."
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Sometimes we end up having to draw our swords against people we really love. We do it because we love them.
I'm going through something like this with several people right now. I don't want to discuss the battle with them, but I need to. It's easy to want to back down... especially when it's one of your friends.
I'm by nature a debating person. I'm hard headed, (often to my own folly...) and if there's a debate, I'll more than likely take it up. I've done this with my best friend before... but the only problem was, we both got perturbed at each other, even though we're SO close! Here's what I've taught myself: If it's not a life and death issue, or an issue of salvation, I'll agree to disagree.
The only problem is... that can turn into a cowardly excuse. It's hard to stand up for what you believe, isn't it?
I love, love talking with people about the Bible and explaining things - what's amazing is, already this year, I've had at least three different people in my life that need things explained to them! That's the most in only five months than I've ever had in a whole year.
I'm happy for these opportunities, but I'm also a paranoid person - several people can testify to this! I worry about how it will end. That's just me. I have to try to get over this.
Jesus calls us to take up the Sword, but He also tells us to carefully choose our fights. How will God be glorified in the end? What's my purpose for taking up this discourse?
I'm sure I'm not the only one that struggles with this - and there's lots more who just try to avoid a good debate all together. My dear mom, for instance. (Sorry, mama - I'm gonna use this example in this post! ^.^)
She hates getting into any kind of discussion - even if it's a friendly argument! She doesn't like conflict at all - which can be a good thing - but she doesn't take up things that need to be taken up. I'm trying to show her a few things here... :D
I, on the other hand, take far after my dad. We're both very passionate and we both go headlong into debates and heated discussions. But, what about having the right words?
I told my best friend several weeks back, that you always have to be ready with something to say. Don't fret about it - it says in the Bible that He will put the words into our mouths. I have a friend that calls me up sometimes, and I never know what she'll say next - I have to have my head around me so I can gently talk with her.
Be ready to draw that Sword.
We are called to battle, and we never know when a fight may come. I'm not at all saying that you should be die-hard aggressive - more than likely, the people you talk with will be your close friends! Here's one thing I always do before I get into it with someone: I assure them then, and throughout the conversation, that I am NOT angry at them. When at all possible, I try to avoid conversations like this over the phone - it's not a good idea. You can't see each other's faces, only hear their slightly aggravated voices, and don't know what the emotions are. Sometimes, you can't help it. But if you are close enough so that you can get together sometime, save it for then!
I generally state right up front that I'm a very passionate person about what we're ready to debate, and if I seem worked up, it's not at all at them. I still try to avoid appearing so, however, because it does and will make that person nervous and feel unliked.
Here's something I have to remember, that my family and best friend have told me lots of times: I'm not the one that's going to change their mind. It's not me. I scatter the seeds, and He has to make them grow. I can't do it.
Here's an excerpt from a story I wrote a long time ago, where I had been talking to someone, and it ended up in my story... it wasn't exactly this subject, but I weaved it within my characters.
Scarlett walked into the cafeteria, spotting Ian sitting alone at one of the empty tables. It was after dinner hours, so all was quiet, except for the few workers that cleaned up. She poured a cup of steaming coffee, and walked to the table.
"Hey, Ian! What's up?"
The blond glanced up at her, shrugging as he stood to pull a chair out for her.
"Not much... "
The beautiful redhead sat down across from him, stirring her coffee.
"You seem a little depressed..."
Ian sat back down, chair scraping on the tile floor. His ocean blue eyes avoided hers, looking reflectively into his own cup.
"Na, it's just..."
Scarlett's heart hurt when she saw him like this. Thomas was like his brother. She knew it nearly killed him every time the Asian would defy his beliefs.
"Ian," she spoke quietly, placing a hand on his strong arm.
"He's what, Scarlett?" His deep voice cut in, hurt, almost scared, keeping it down to a loud whisper in the quiet room.
"Thomas is like my brother - I've spent my whole life with him! I love him so much, and I cannot make him see that he's damned and going to hell!"
His voice choked and he looked away from her. She felt like she was going to cry when under his breath he whispered to himself,
"God I can't save him...I can't do it."
Taking his hand again, the redhead squeezed it tightly.
"Ian, Ian look at me..."
Quietly his blue eyes met hers - they were glimmering with tears. She bit her bottom lip before speaking; she hated seeing him cry.
"Ian... you've been a light to him for the past eighteen years, you've done everything to show him. ...but there's something you're doing wrong."
The blond looked surprised at this comment. His eyes vividly begged for an answer.
Scarlett nodded slowly.
"Yes... you are trying to save him. You are the one that's trying to turn him around. Jesus is the one that saves, Ian. You are merely the tool He uses."
Ian looked back down at the table, trying to hide the tear that ran down his face.
"I just... Scarlett, it hurts so bad. It's like... like he's been shot, or something, and all I can do is watch him bleed to death. I can't help him. I want to hold his hand so bad and tell him that it'll be alright... but I can't do it."
Scarlett squeezed his strong, sinew lined hand again.
"But Ian! You are holding his hand! You're holding it every day by praying for him!"
His voice became more intense.
"But I can't hold on to him! He's slipping, and I can't keep him from falling. I just want to keep him from looking while God mends his wounds..."
Scarlett took both of his hands in hers, lifting his head gently so that she could see his eyes. Her voice was so quiet.
"But Ian... you are. God can work wonders in the worst of people... and he can use you to do it. Don't ever give up on Thomas Arashikage... you are his prayer warrior. Don't ever stop praying for him. Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you sow... you are."