Justice, Judgement And Forgiveness

I don’t know why, but it feels sort of awkward to me when I see people praying in public. It’s even weirder for me when people write prayers on the internet. Prayer is a very private thing for me, so when I see people throwing their prayers out there for everyone to see, it’s a bit uncomfortable for some reason.

I know this probably isn’t a good thing, but I even find it hard to pray with other people. I don’t often have the opportunity, so I guess it just throws me out of my comfort zone a little. I don’t think I’m particularly good at praying, so the thought of leading a prayer terrifies me. Some people my age are just so much more eloquent when they pray, and it’s rather intimidating. I think part of my problem is that I equate eloquence with the power or effectiveness of the prayer. I know I shouldn’t and I don’t even have any reason to because God answers my prayers no mater how pathetically expressed they were.

I think it’s uncomfortable for me when people write prayers on the internet because I think there is a fine line between being honest and showing off. I always have a suspicion that people are writing prayers on the internet to show off. They might not even know it, but somewhere in the back of their minds people think, “I’ll show the world how good I am. Watch this.” I’m probably being cynical to a degree simply because of the way I feel about prayer. I pray about things that most people care about and are worried about. I pray about the things that are going on in Syria, etc, but I also pray about very personal things, and it’s the personal stuff that I really don’t want people to know about. I think maybe I just have trouble letting people know about my spiritual life, partly because I really don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

The thing is, I don’t think someone’s spiritual life should be entirely comfortable. I know from experience that it’s an ongoing learning process and I get worried when I feel too comfortable because I feel like I’m missing something. I guess I just don’t want to personally be the cause of someone’s discomfort and maybe that’s selfish. Jesus was constantly making people feel uncomfortable, and I love him for it.

Lately I’ve been a bit worried about the issue of tolerance, courtesy of a post by a friend of mine. As a Christian, how much am I supposed to tolerate, and where is it my duty to not tolerate things? For the most part, I try not to judge people’s beliefs. I grew up among a group of friends and relatives who believe many different things and because of that I believe that for the most part, truth can be found in most philosophies and religions as well as scientific fields.

It’s when we get to morality that the tolerance issue becomes uncomfortable for me. A couple of my friends have told me that had sex in this past year. I still believe that sex and marriage are sacred things and that you shouldn’t do it unless you are married. I haven’t said that of course because I don’t want to offend them. On one level I believe that it’s not really hurting anyone, so who am I to judge? On another level I believe that it’s not my place to judge because God judges everyone and everything. On another level I wonder if I’m ever supposed to judge anything if I’m supposed to be a servant of God and try to spread his Word and his love. On yet another level I simply want to know right and wrong and judge people because it’s human nature. It’s all very confusing.

Ultimately, my worry is that I would end up forgiving people for terrible things and end up getting hurt because of it. On another level, culturally, it’s weird to be very forgiving. I’m not trying to sound self righteous or anything, but I’m a very forgiving person, and I have found myself forgiving people for things and then feeling weird about forgiving them. I also don’t feel that my forgiveness excused them in any way. Forgiveness doesn’t make bad things right. Most of the time I just don’t feel like staying angry at someone does any good. People who do terrible things usually have to pay for them one way or another, whether it means going to jail or just living with their conscience.

I guess that’s all I have rattling around in my head for now.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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