Sunday, March 29, 2015

When Others Feel Differently

"... and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,"   ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11


From August of 2013. 
(The Flat is still available instantly through Netflix. Did anyone watch it after my recommendation way back in 2013?)

I just finished watching The Flat through Netflix, a documentary made by the grandson of a Jewish woman who lived in Israel, in the same flat, for 70 years. So many decades to spend inside the same rooms, especially to do so contentedly. When the family pulled out drawers of her possessions from the past century, it felt rather like standing at another estate sale. Loved that.

Anyway, if you're interested in genealogy, old Germany and the way Jews were told to get out, family relationships and the ways people react differently to grief, war and The Past, well, you'll like this, especially if you watch it while in just the right contemplative mood.

There's a mystery involved. Travel. Meetings with people still alive who knew the film maker's grandparents. Old photographs, history and family angst. There's more, also.

But what I took away? We need to not expect everyone to feel as we do about the big things like Life, Death and War. In many ways we are all alike--yes! Yet God, Himself, placed unique, varying differences within our minds and hearts.

One way we differ? We each do what we must in order to process what happens to us (or our families or ancestors) so to pass through this life peacefully, sanely:

Some people don't like to ask questions; they prefer to keep a childlike trust in the goodness of God foremost, no matter what evil things have touched them.

Others keep asking questions until they find answers which finally give them a sense of peace.

Some people choose forgiveness. Some seek to forget, compartmentalize. Others learn to live with resentment and anger.

You can probably add a hundred more variations of all of the above.

But The Flat reminded me to respect peoples' feelings rather than believe they should feel as I do. For the first three decades of my life I didn't even realize how prideful it all was, you know, to believe my feelings about Life were all the correct ones, especially when they appeared to be 'biblical.'

(In this documentary, the film maker questions his mother about her way of leaving The Past alone, asking, "Don't you care that you don't care?" To me, that sounded too much like, "Don't you care that there's something wrong with you?")

Only God knows best and gets it right 100% of the time. After all, He's the one who created us as one-of-a-kind individuals and only He can make us more like Him. And He's the one who created freedom to be who we are, to dislike what some people enjoy (or vice versa), to choose Him or deny Him...

A scary freedom, that last one, especially. To me, anyway. But one I must always remember to respect while living as I believe He's asking me, personally, to live.


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."   ... Jeremiah 1:5

Around twenty years ago I began trying out this 'minding my own business' thing. 

I've been much, much happier ever since. 

Ranting when people make choices I'd never make, is a most exhausting, unfulfilling way to live and frankly, isn't pleasing to God who gives everyone freedom of choice.


Free Kindle books:

The Lanvin Murders


Sara in Montana


"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."   ... Galations 5:1

Often, much of our own misery is homemade.


Terra said...

God gave us all freedom, and some of us make evil choices and I think most of us make choices for good. For me The Bible is the right guide to making the best choices.

Debra said...

Terra--so true! But the problem comes when God, for example, told us to be foreign missionaries and suddenly we tell everyone if they're not missionaries, they're missing the mark. Or if God tells us to buy a small, affordable-to-us house and then we think people in large houses didn't hear from God. Or if we give to one charity and tell others they should give to that charity, also.

It goes on and on and I see this sort of thing happen nearly every week. I believe this is a major reason for that 'mind your own business' verse. It can keep us from crossing the line and trying to run others' lives rather than give them freedom to hear from God, themselves.

Thanks for commenting! Blessings, Debra

Pam said...

Debra, this post is very timely for me. In fact I woke in the middle of the night, thinking about how different my life is than that of my parents and in-laws. For me, it was the first 50 years of my life that literally revolved around church affiliation. Around ten years ago, I started looking inward and upward, and some things simply had to change in order for life in Christ to make sense. He had to become the focus, not a church or denomination. There are still some gray areas, and I would never choose to grieve those family members and friends for which the church is still their mainstay. Life can be challenge, but living in truth sets us free.

Debra said...

Pam--I love that 'timely' word! So thanks much for letting me know. Doesn't Life feel lighter when we stop trying to rule the world (or do all the things everybody says we should)? I've noticed that, certainly. heh. :)

Thanks for commenting! Blessings, Debra