My goal is love...

I have given a lot of thought to leaving Facebook at different times and for different reasons. I'm sure many of you have considered it too. I thought about it again last night. But this morning I felt convicted to stay ... and just try to exercise more self-discipline instead.

I don't want to simply choose to protect myself from disagreement or frustration. I have never been a "can't we just keep things light?" kind of girl. And I don't think I ever will be. But that doesn't mean I can't accept that in you, if that's who you are. I also understand if you don't want to see my posts because I'm not like you. I didn't want to see all the remarks I saw last night. I felt disheartened to see a man of conviction being called a traitor for not falling in line with a political party; realizing that how you feel toward him may be what you think of me. But I'm going to resist the impulse to unfollow everyone I disagree with.

Although I am tempted to unfollow someone daily, so far, I only unfollow when people put real ugliness into the atmosphere.

I want to welcome different opinions because that is the only way we grow in grace and humility. And sometimes a different perspective will provoke a new thought to consider, even if it does not completely change our own opinion.

And if my downfall is my tendency to say too much, then my goal need not be to silence myself. God gave me a mind and a voice for a reason. I have convictions for a reason. There's nothing wrong with using my voice or sharing my convictions. So rather than choosing to just be silent because I might offend someone, maybe I can work on the way I express myself; the words I choose, my tone. Perhaps I can show more respect for others and their convictions. I do not have to dishonor someone or condescend to them because I disagree with them or they have a different conviction from mine. And neither do you.

How do we grow in those areas without opportunities to practice at being better? We develop communication skills through communicating. Some say we shouldn't ever do it on social media. Well, I see their point but I don't entirely agree. Social media is not going away. And we can be good examples on social media rather than just withdrawing completely. That's my opinion. It doesn't have to be yours.

So this morning, my goal is to put more love into the atmosphere. More love than opinion. More love than criticism. More love than consternation.

My goal is to put more encouragement into the atmosphere.

My goal is to put more hope into the atmosphere.

My goal is to uplift as many people as I can with my presence; in person and online. I want my interaction with you to be a positive part of your day and not something negative. So I'm going to work harder at that goal. And if I have been a negative in your day occasionally, please forgive me for that. It's never been my intent.

Nevertheless, I am going to continue having strong convictions and occasionally sharing them. I hope my friendship is worthy of your being long suffering with me if I disappoint or anger you. I will never discard you for not approving of me. And although one of my biggest issues in life has been the fear of rejection, I am handling it better these days. Especially if the rejection is for having the courage to stand up for my convictions, or simply for being who I am.

I just wanted to put this out there. I will not reject you for holding a different perspective. I will not let this adversarial culture do that to my heart. I hope you think about this and decide to make this your goal too. I think it's important in this time of such deep division and polarization.

God, please help me to meet my own standards. Because I will never rise to yours if I can't meet my own. And I cannot love You without loving all those created in Your image.