I have a long-time acquaintance (yes, I'd call him a friend) who phoned me not long after I got home from the hospital. He said that he was glad that I am doing well following quadruple bypass surgery and admitted how shocked he had been to hear about it. It was good to talk to him UNTIL he said he'd love to come by and share an even greater gift with me, better than the gift of life itself. He's from a different religion than mine, you see, and he just cannot accept that I do not need what he has to offer. I have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I believe that my life is a miracle on many levels. I love my church family, and they lifted me up in prayer as I faced the surgery and now as I recover. I was able to worship in my own church and to thank them in person a little over a week after I was dismissed from the hospital. The deep-seated calm, faith, and peace that I felt as I went into surgery is something I wanted to share with them in person.
My friend, however, does not respect my convictions. He believes that my life was saved so he would have another chance to proselytize. I am tired of the disrespect that represents, and I am sorry to say that I do not want to see him. I know that he genuinely believes in what he is doing, but I just do not want to go through it all again. He’s going to be very surprised to see me in Heaven! In Heaven, I suppose I will not even be tempted to say to him, “I told you so.”
I am also offended by all of the name-calling and alienation that goes on at election time. It's one thing for the candidates to disagree, but it's another for individuals who claim to believe in freedom of speech to go at each other with name-calling. If your opinion is different from mine, so be it. I'm not going around calling you stupid or calling your Christianity into question. "Judge not..." Be very careful, because penalties are very harsh when you take it upon yourself to judge a fellow believer. I am tired of the disrespect these posts represent, and I don’t want to see them.
If you truly believe in freedom of speech, look at yourself in the mirror. If you are guilty of not respecting the other side's political point of view, you don’t really believe in freedom of speech, Democracy, or many of the basic precepts on which the United States of America was founded. You only believe in your own right to spout off.
You are like my proselytizing friend, and you surely know how much you'd hate it if he came knocking on your door. You would refuse to come to the door or you'd slam it in his face as soon as you listened long enough to know what he was doing. Neither one is winning any converts.
And if I happen to see you in Heaven, once again I hope God will shield me from the temptation to say, “I told you so.”