The sermon at church last night was a particularly good one~ all about our fear of rejection; how many people want to be accepted by their friends, family, peers, and co-workers to the extent that their morals and beliefs sometimes suffer.
Maybe boundaries and beliefs are so ill-defined for some that standing on the rock is more like standing in quicksand. Hmmm…..
I am happy to report that the fear of rejection is something I’ve conquered. I am no longer a slave to that misery ~ I try to live an authentic existence and if someone doesn’t care to respect my beliefs, then I can sever any tie with them in a New York minute. I know that’s direct and I know it’s very black and white. Drastic? Maybe.
Notice that I didn’t say you have to agree with my beliefs and opinions. There are many people who disagree with me on a number of items and that’s healthy ~ we can agree to disagree or we can have a great discussion or we can be open to changing our minds on some select topics… or we can avoid some subjects altogether. That said, I’m going to respect their viewpoints and I expect the same from them.
No respect = no relationship
Here’s a really good example of what I’m referring to. Years ago, my best friend at the time refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at a sporting event, citing her religion (of which she was a lukewarm participant, at best) forbade the honoring of our flag. To add insult to injury, she had come to this country as a child with her family to escape communist rule. So I had this teensy little problem with her decision to not stand and pledge allegiance to the country that had afforded her amazing opportunities and a safe haven from dictatorship. She felt she couldn’t promise to be loyal (there’s the pledge) to our country…her country. It blew me away and created distance in our friendship. This was long before I even knew I had convictions!
I couldn’t respect the decision and our relationship suffered for a time. In the time since that event, I can’t even begin to the count the number of people who have eliminated me as a friend based on my beliefs or vice versa. I’m not only OK with that, I live in full peace with that. Apologies and explanations aren’t necessary ~ it just is what it is.
Last nights message was affirming to hear because I’ve questioned whether I’m “doing the right thing” by refusing to have people in my life that disrespect boundaries, beliefs or morals. I am clearly “doing the right thing”. Good message for me~ might be a good message for you.