To those who I offended ... to be clear,
If you were one of the persons who read my facebook post (5/28/20) and were offended, hurt, or it upset you, please accept my apology. I’m sorry, my intentions were not to hurt you at all and I recognize that it was considered insensitive. I truly am sorry that my actions may of triggered, angered, frustrated, and hurt you. Please forgive me. For those of you who reacted without love towards me, please know that I’ve forgiven and love you. ~ Julie
To clarify, I received over a hundred comments on my facebook timeline in reaction to a post that basically stated my belief(actually the way my single mother taught me) that disobeying the law and resisting arrest increases the possibility of physical injury and/or death and that it isn’t necessarily racism. The disturbing outcome included emotional reactions, logical fallacy, name calling, false allegations, jumping to conclusions, bias, prejudice, stereotyping, disassociation from me personally and the ministry, arguing, slander, defamation of character, public shaming and racist comments towards me and others. I will add that there was only one person who took the time to private message me about it and that many of the persons who were commenting so rudely that I don’t even know. I know of them, but they have never or rarely ever commented on anything else that I’ve posted. So, literally, out of the blue, (I posted early evening and hadn’t been back in nearly 24 hrs) I discovered the frenzy, to which I decided to not react, but to spend time in the Word, praying and seeking wisdom as to whether or not, or how to respond. Even after I wrote this blog, I have waited 3 days before making it live.
I think I’ll start here. I purposely do not engage in arguments or debates, especially on social media because they are potentially dangerous emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for all involved. I also have established strong boundaries on my facebook timeline regarding arguments, name calling, personal attacks, etc., which most disagreements result in, sadly. I have a no tolerance guideline for abuse and will block someone if they choose to engage in such behavior on my timeline. However, I’m perfectly comfortable agreeing to disagree with someone without any hard feelings, because I don’t take it personally that they don’t agree with me. I’m also not going to try to manipulate or try force them into agreeing with my perspective and beliefs.
Now, I should probably add in here that I’m 55 years old and it’s taken me over 25 years of transforming my mind with the Word of God (the Bible), years of biblical counseling and training, 16+ years assistance from a professional helper aka licensed clinical social worker, 17+ years of marriage, as well as my experience and graduate school education as a mental health counselor. It’s taken a LONG TIME to get me to not take it personally and become seriously offended, when someone doesn’t agree with me.
My interest in better understanding people’s behaviors, in order to help them more effectively, is what led me to go to graduate school to be a mental health counselor. I’m OK with agreeing to disagree, however it’s obvious, evidenced by the emotionally driven comments and posts seen on social media, that a lot of people are not alright or comfortable with this concept of respect and peace.
I add respect because it is respectful when you can accept another person’s opinion, position, and even attitude, though you don’t agree with it. It’s also considered a sign of maturity and an indication of unresolved woundedness and trauma when you lash out at someone because they don’t believe the same way you do.
It appears to me that we exist in a society in which the concept of being respectful is diminishing.
It’s almost as if some people are just looking for an excuse to attack, unfriend, throw shade at your accomplishments, even your testimony, publicly shame you, all because they don’t like what you’ve said or done in a 4 sentence post or tweet. I have come to learn that such divisive, abusive, and aggressive behavior towards anyone tells more about the person that does it, than the person they have targeted.
I thank God for the tests and trials I’ve endured where I was unfairly targeted, abused, taken advantage of, assaulted, misunderstood, rejected and abandoned that prepared me to forgive unconditionally. Though very painful initially, I’m grateful that they, coupled with my experience as a counselor, have resulted in me having more empathy and understanding towards persons that display such behavior at me and others. I once viewed persons who did this to me as enemies, but not anymore. The countless situations in which I was treated unjustly were opportunities for me to grow, for such a time as this.
So, to be perfectly clear on my beliefs and opinions, surrounding the current racially tense and emotional environment our country is in, and in response to comments on my facebook page, please note the following.
- George Floyd’s death was wrong.
- Racism is wrong.
- Police brutality is wrong.
- Riots and looting are wrong.
- Name calling/verbal, mental, and emotional abuse are wrong.
- Jumping to and making false conclusions is wrong.
- Bias, labeling, slandering, and defamation of character is wrong.
- Injustice is wrong.
- Breaking the law is wrong.
- Resisting arrest is wrong.
- Angry mobs are wrong.
- Bullying is wrong.
- An unwillingness to look at situations from different perspectives is wrong.
- Throwing shade on someone, their accomplishments, experiences, and testimony because you don’t like something they posted on social media is wrong.
- Gossip is wrong.
- Public shaming is wrong.
- Not being mature enough to try to understand someone before making broad conclusions is wrong.
- It’s wrong when you say we need to come together to end an injustice, yet you’re not even willing to have a conversation or listen to other points of view.
- It’s wrong to think that your perspective and opinion are always right.
- It’s wrong to think that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is an enemy.
- Thinking that all [any race, culture, occupation, etc.] are bad is wrong.
- Jealousy is wrong.
- Unforgiveness is wrong.
- Sin is wrong.
Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus … (Romans 8:23-24 AMPC).
I hope everyone reading this is safe. Know that you are seen. You are heard. You matter and you are loved. I’d love to hear from you and how you handle being treated unjustly/unfairly.
How are you doing with the protests and riots nationwide? Always remember that we can learn by listening to each others stories and validating their feelings from the experience. We have to be willing to be wrong and teachable though, and not have the mindset that if you don’t see things the way I do, I don’t respect and value you, in order to be a part of the solution to end racism. I’ll be posting on my thoughts regarding George Floyd and white privilege soon, so be sure to watch for it. Get registered to receive them in your inbox and please share. Catch me on social media if you wanna chat. I check it more than I do my email. Stay safe! You matter.
I pray we all have softened hearts, especially towards those we might not understand, like, or even those we want to hate. I pray for reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, harmony and peace. I pray we love God and one another according to scripture empowered by the Holy Spirit. I pray we humble ourselves and that our faith in God be increased. I pray we have a hunger and thirst for God’s presence and would slow down and spend time studying His Word. I pray we help be part of the solution to racism and sin and not contribute to it. Bless those that hate, curse, and despise us, Lord. Thank you, Lord, that everything works together for the good to those who love you and are called according to your purpose. Thank you, Lord, that what was meant for evil you turn around for our good and your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love and appreciate each of you.
God bless you!