Walking together

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Janine Folks, TPEPost.com Spiritual Columnist

Janine Folks, TPEPost.com Spiritual Columnist

I am one who would say, “Don’t jump on a bandwagon until you know where it’s going.” I would also say that just because it’s popular does not mean it is right. But that does not mean that every popular thing is wrong either.

Some people will disagree with a crowd just for the sake of being and thinking differently. They figure if a lot of people are following it, it must be wrong. Or they don’t want to seem like a follower, so they opt to go the other way no matter where it leads.

We all have a responsibility to examine ourselves and examine what we choose and why. This is where conviction comes in. When you feel strongly about something, it creates conviction inside you. What creates conviction in you?

It’s amazing how our life experiences and state of mind affect our perception of situations and ideologies. Our thoughts are constantly being shaped by propaganda and things we go through. We have all seen different things and have had different experiences that shape who we are and how we think. We all see things differently.

Even when we interpret the same Bible, some arrive at various exegetical conclusions. This is why you have different beliefs or perspectives within the same religion. It’s not necessarily that someone is simply being ‘evil’ or ‘wicked’ on purpose, it could be that their path has led them to different thinking and to them, it is right.

That’s the startling thing. We can think we’re right and be wrong. The Bible says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). That’s why we always need to assess and ask God to search our hearts and create a clean heart in us and show us the way.

It still amazes me how opposite sides can both believe they are right. This is personal for me. In my mind, it is wrong when no crime is in progress and you have teen walking to his father’s house being followed by an unmarked car driven by an unknown man in plain clothes who decides to approach the teen against a 911 operator’s recommendation and ends up killing him because he tried to defend himself. To me it is wrong that ‘stand your ground’ did not apply to the victim. But in the minds of others, it is not only acceptable, but applauded that a man can pursue a teen who ‘appears’ to be a threat, initiate contact and shoot him when he starts getting the best of him because he is ‘standing his ground.’

So who’s right? This is how nations become divided. This is how churches, communities and families are divided when the age old question is asked: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:2-4).

Whether we agree or not, we have to dwell together. It is good and pleasant when we dwell together in unity (Psa. 133:1-3). Unity does not mean we agree on every single thing. It just means we’re united and stand together so we don’t fall. Whether our convictions are the same or not, we must find a way to unite and be respectful without compromising our stance or who we are.

God bless you, keep you, lead you and give you wisdom, is my prayer.

www.gogirlpreach.com New books coming out soon!!!

Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

About Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

Janine Folks is a licensed and ordained minister, inspirational writer of a weekly newspaper column, columnist for a national Christian magazine, self-published author of several books, and co-founder of a women’s prayer group called Women of Transition. Janine holds a B. A. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Business, Sociology and Communications from the University of Michigan. Janine has studied Clinical Pastoral Education in Detroit, MI and works as a chaplain in the medical field. An avid roller skater, 2013 recipient of a Spirit of Esther Award from the Alliance of Women in Ministry, Janine lives in Michigan is a mother of three.