Funny how people see things so differently.
I've been intrigued by the film "The Book of Eli" since I saw the trailers several weeks ago. I know it's violent and has bad language but two facts about it stood out: the story is about a man trying to save the Bible and Denzel Washington is the star.
I've seen some of Denzel's films that have spiritual themes, like "Man on Fire." I believe he's a Christian man who is raising children to be believers. Would he go against his deep beliefs to make films that denigrate his faith? I don't see how a person can do that.
One of my blog friends saw Eli and recommended it. I plan for us to go see it this week (if everything works out.)Another friend, who is a believer, saw it but saw nothing good in it. She only saw the violence and heard the bad language.
Last night, at small group, I made a statement that evidently isn't believed by some in the group. (That happens A LOT!) One person wanted to get right into a sword fight (giving scriptures to back up his belief, then I would give a scripture to back up mine, etc.) I stopped him. We will never agree on this subject. I have reasons for my belief and he has reasons for his. As far as I was concerned we could just disagree and let it go. He didn't feel the same way and had to take me aside to press his point. Although I continued to tell him I wouldn't agree with him, he couldn't give up. He absolutely believes he is right and I'm wrong.
Now why can't we just disagree?
I've been where he is before and pressed my beliefs, not in a kind and gentle way either. I may still do it more than I want to, but in my own heart I just want to allow God, not me, to change people's minds if they need changing.
It's amazing how God created us each to be so different. We don't look alike and don't think alike. For that reason Paul tells us in Colossians 3 to "Bear with each other." The Amplified Bible puts it this way: "Be gentle and forbearing with one another, and, if one has a difference against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness (which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony.)
Once someone tells me they don't agree with me, is it up to me to change their mind? Only if it is a matter of life and death. Evidently the person last night considers his opinion that kind of matter. But once I hear someone say, "I don't agree with you and I have my own reasons for my belief," I need to back off. Even when I told this person some of the reasons for my belief (which I shouldn't have bothered to tell), he let me know my experience was probably false.
I wish I had been more loving in my past with people who disagreed with me, but that's done. I can regret it, but better yet, I can learn from it. My prayer is for this man to only hear from God Himself and not from any past judgements. That's the same prayer I pray for myself.