"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sometimes a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich

  The entire country, if not the world, has been captivated in recent weeks by a controversy surrounding a chicken sandwich. Oh, the sandwich was not to blame, but the purposes and intents behind said chicken sandwich has led to anger, frustration and retaliation. If I may give my opinion and my opinion alone, I will say that neither side of the arguments acted with the tolerance they preached. The anti-sandwich group was accusatory, judgmental and refused to acknowledge any opinion different than their own. The pro-sandwich group was accusatory, judgmental and refused to acknowledge any opinion different than their own. Neither group would calm down to listen to the other group with any attempt toward reconciliation.
It has been a mess, continues to be a mess, and I’m tired of mess.

  Our country, and Henry County, is currently embroiled in a political election mess. One side wants to have good elected officials and the other side wants to have, well, good elected officials. However, instead of presenting true and positive qualities of the various candidates, many of the political parties and individuals spend their time and money trashing the other candidate and their supporters. Here in our own County, some of our community leaders are routinely accused and harassed by candidates simply for trying to keep the truth in front of the community so we can make logical, educated votes. No one seems to want to get along and have an honest communication anymore. Political favors and back-room promises run rampant in our local and national elections until it is no wonder our voting results are so low. No one knows who to trust or even cares any longer.

  Now, read Proverbs 15:18 - “A hot-tempered person starts fights. A cool-tempered person stops them.” James 1:19 tells us to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

  If we tried our best to follow these two guidelines for living (stay calm, watch our anger and listen before we speak), would it make our community a better place? Probably not immediately, but in time, and with God’s help and blessings on our efforts, I do believe a difference would come. The hardest part would be to not return hateful speech with hateful speech (slow to anger, cool-tempered). Don’t repeat gossip and take everything you hear at face value unless you have educated yourself (slow to speak). Just because someone else has an opinion different from you does not automatically make them wrong. Or make you, right. I have friends who are at the opposite end of the spectrum than I am on religion, social issues and lifestyle….but we talk and communicate with honesty and openness without getting all crazy.

  Folks, I honestly believe that we in our country, and community, are far too intolerant of each other. We judge others too quickly and do not concede that other’s opinions are as valid to them as ours are to us. We jump to conclusions without taking the time to listen….and talk WITH each other. Jesus did not teach intolerance. He taught tolerance and acceptance, tempered by love and compassion for our fellow man. He gave us rules and guidelines, but they are all to be lived with tolerance and Love. Christians are to be the “salt,” the flavoring of this world and to set the standards of God, but, with Love. I don’t see a lot of that any more. And it saddens me. And frustrates me. Think of how Jesus must feel.

  If you have to place the blame, then place it on ourselves. Not the poor chicken. And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


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