Yesterday I remarked that God doesn’t want any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), no matter how colorful or limited someone’s vocabulary is.
I saw this again on my way to
After a while, Nick started railing against evangelicals. Without tipping my hand, I countered some of Nick’s misperceptions of evangelicals by saying I’ve read a lot of evangelical writings and never heard anyone espouse the things he was saying they believe and teach.
When Nick asked what I did, I briefly told him about my new book, If God Disappears, which he said sounded interesting. In fact, he seemed quite interested. So I told him about my blog where I said he could find a link to read the first chapter of my book. I then gave him my IfGodDisappears@gmail.com e-mail address and asked him to let me know what he thought after reading what I had to say.
Later that evening in Boston Nick went online, read some of my blog postings, and then read the opening chapter of my book. Nick then turned around and wrote a lengthy, profusely apologetic letter to me via e-mail. He was seriously worried that he had offended me. No, he hadn’t, I assured him. Why? I consciously made a decision long ago not to be offended by someone’s vocabulary or remarks. It’s a decision we all have to make. It’s counterintuitive, I know. But just because I’ll never use such words in anger doesn’t mean I have to judge others who use such terms, especially if they use them flippantly.Yes, I realize some can use such words to denigrate others, which I do find deeply offensive. But Nick wasn’t trying to denigrate me. So there was no reason for me to feel offended or ask him to clean up his vocabulary. Any such remarks easily could have been more offensive than anything Nick was saying.