IT IS OK TO BE INTOLERANT – IT IS CALLED
CARING ENOUGH TO CONFRONT – part one
– M. LaClair
The next two columns will deal with Christians standing their ground – one might call it being rightfully intolerant of wrong, which by the way, others think we must tolerate. But we don’t.
Young people today DO challenge. Can we, with a smile on our face, meet those challenges in a satisfactory way? Here is an example of handling those who challenge us even on our own turf.
Case in point: There was gathering of young people in our town. My children invited some family and friends to gather and help monitor our property against the foray. One youth showed up on our property with a t-shirt with satanic symbols. He could stay, but the shirt had to go. I met him with some options. He could (1) go home and change (2) go shirtless (3) turn it inside out. This was my home and his shirt was uninvited. I was firm. It did not take him long to turn that shirt inside out. Advance warnings from my sons kept him from even thinking about turning it back later in the day.
Four years later, a young man at another gathering at our place proudly introduced his wife and son to me. “You don’t remember me, do you?”.
“Should I? Refresh my memory if you would.”
“Do you remember the kid you had turn his t-shirt inside out? That’s me.”
“Oh, I’m glad you are back. I like your shirt today!”, I said smiling.
Could I really believe my ears in what he said next?
“Mrs. LaClair, I want to thank you for how you handled that. I’m a father now, and I understand these things better. I wasn’t too pleased at the time, but now I am. I’m glad you set that example for me back then and made me think. It was more important than I would have thought at the time. Thank you.”
Wow! Did I feel special, or what !
Youth respect adults who care enough to confront and who will satisfactorily meet their foolish challenges. Be careful that it is their actions which you disapprove and not them personally and you will be on your way to standing your ground in an acceptable manner.
This youth came back as a man to thank me. I’m sure this man’s son will have a proper upbringing.
“Cast your bread upon the waters and in due season it will come back to you.” – and it won’t even be soggy.