so whenever a person goes through changes, it's usually in hindsight when you notice that it actually happened. it's very seldom you stop all of a sudden and think, "hey, i'm changing." it's normally after a significant event do the words, "Hey, i've changed." come out.

like last night.

i was in a meeting with the other leaders that help run the fellowship that i've been going to for years. the meeting was good, which had us go through the normal business, then we gave thanks for the past year. we ate, and then just hung out yapping the night away. to cut the story short, we ended up having a discussion that was... in a word, pointless. at least in my eyes. i found myself a passive part in a discussion where i felt i didn't want to be in. although none of it was directed at me, the topic of discussion was Americans and how they have been stereotyped a certain negative way. It was simply uncomfortable to be in that situation, because i was the only american present in a group of 5.

what was said, how, who when- none of it matters at all. this blog is about how i've changed. after that conversation last night it really hit me that the process has already happened. hindsight. i've recently been doing what i can to invest in people's lives. i've been running around town and really sitting down with people to achieve one thing only, and that is to get them closer to God. one of my 'to-do' things each time i go out with someone is to pray with/for them. usually, when i go have a drink with someone and encourage them to get closer to God, some heavy stuff comes out. Basically, whenever i go hang with people, we talk stuff that has meaning, stuff that has eternal significance, stuff that's sometimes so profound that it will have lingering effects for days or weeks, and others so disturbing that it moves me to continue praying days after the meeting. i feel like i've been like this for a while... when i became like this i dont know, but all i know is that i'm not really into talking about nothing in the sake of fellowship. see it through my eyes for a second. my criteria of getting to know someone includes spending time first, sharing things second. simple. i have been doing what i can to exclude other things in my life... it says in the bible that folly is a sin, and i consider many conversation topics folly, gossip, and so on.

a friend pointed out to me last night that many of our conversations are exactly that, useless... she said that as a matter of fact, like that was the absolute truth. i disagreed, but not outwardly. i know that in my heart, i am trying to not let crap come out of my mouth. not judgements, not gossip, not folly... i'm trying to only let words of prayer, praise, or encouragement out of my mouth. it's something that's been hard to keep to, but nonetheless i'm striving. if i find myself in a situation where i'm not doing that, i leave it and search to get back on that path. so it was only through being forced to sit through the conversation between some people that i actually had a chance to really think about it, and then to understand that yes... i have changed.

what struck me from the whole situation was that i felt like i was different. i USED to judge others on their nationality, as i often showed negativity towards ABC's, and american-koreans... so on.. but i dont any more. am i being egotistical and arrogant? no. i simply do not anymore. to me, people are of 2 categories... they believe in the jesus or they do not. there are side levels to it, but those are the main one. at first i thought that i was just being too confident in judging those taking part in the conversation, but then as i prayed, i had peace knowing that i just dont do that... yet i was angry for wrong reasons.. not having compassion for those who don't see it in the same light... or also because i was judging them... the anger was definitely not right... but i knew that later that night, when i came before God, i felt that i had to just pray for all the people present at the discussion. I gave Him my apologies and He spoke to me words that encouraged… whew.

when things such as someone's salvation or relationship with jesus is a basis for a friendship, their accent or cultural tendencies take a back seat to other things that have real significance... if a friendship deteriorates to just idle talk about things that have no significance, then what is the friendship for? but i guess that maybe i need to just chill out... who knows.

question is, do i expect others to hold themselves to the same thing, or do i exude grace and accept that not everyone, christian or not, thinks (or even understands) the same way as i. hmmmm, i just don’t know.


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