brown, bigots and bread-bins

29 04 2010

I sometimes express different views in the car to those I express in public. Sometimes it is because I am still working my thinking out. Sometimes it is because I am exploring new ways of thinking and seeing how they sound. Sometimes it is because human nature can draw us to opinions and values that are simple and easy – and wrong. So we have to work hard to overcome them, to change our thinking.

Whatever the subject, I know that every now and then a bigoted thought drops into my head. Maybe it’s about race or immigration or politicians or other Christians or Piers Morgan. What do I do? Nurture it? Sometimes it feels kinda good to be bigoted. Simpler, easier. Or do I need to challenge it, address it, reason with it, change it?

These unconscious prejudices and generalisations are part of human nature, and part of what we call ‘sin’. They come because we have  not yet been fully changed and transformed by God. Occasionally having bigoted thoughts in my head does not make me a bigot; nurturing them and expressing them does.

If I take those bigoted thoughts and offer them to God, which may well be painful because they can be quite attractive, that is part of dying to self, taking up our cross. Turning around from them (repenting) and asking for forgiveness is part of what we Christians do. We take our opinions to the cleaners and led Jesus deep-clean them.

It doesn’t happen in one easy step. We have to re-learn our thinking. A couple of weeks ago we swapped the microwave and bread-bin over in the kitchen. I keep trying to get bread from the microwave and defrost chicken in the bread bin. It’s like that with our thoughts. We have to re-learn, and sometimes we slip back to our old ways, our old patterns. Especially when we are tired and busy and stressed.

So, when someone makes a mistake and lets an opinion slip in public when they thought they were in private in the car, how do we react? Do we pretend that we never do it? Or do we cut them a bit of slack and act like grown-ups? Because we know we have opinions that can slip out if we are not careful. We do not want those opinions to define us, but the ones we have submitted to God and allowed him to shine his light on.

Then hopefully we will stop trying to defrost chicken in the bread-bin.
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6 responses

29 04 2010

Excellent article! Amen!

29 04 2010

Well said!

29 04 2010

I too have said something silly with a radio mike still attached (in the loo actually!) so I have some sympathy, and if that were it than I would agree with you.

However, look at the undertones and I fear you see something else – a man trying to blame somebody, (Sue) who works very hard for little pay on his behalf, not because he was sheamed or made to look silly, but because hed had a hard time. Politicians are supposed to have a hard time. Also somebody who is plunged into depression because of one below par meeting that would have passed in a few minutes if left alone. Thirdly someone who doesn’t recognise that lots of us have worries about immigration, not because we are bigots b ut because we want this country to handle them fairly and to admit those who are really desparate but recognise we don’t have room for all comers.

In our unguarded moments in a car we can reveal our true selves, who we try to keep hidden. We all have a public mask or three. If we have seen the real self of gordon Brown then he has just confirmed my sispicions – a man not fit to govern at any level much less the highest. Call me a bigot if you like but i think I am a citizen and a voter.

30 04 2010

That may well be true of Gordon; but is is any less true of the others? The election meet-and-greets are so slickly organised they all rely on someone else to make sure it is planned and goes smoothly; this poor “Sue” may well have got some flak – but so would an employee of a lot of companies and organisations when the boss ends up looking silly.

PS I don’t think you are a bigot :-), though you are a citizen and voter.

29 04 2010

Sometimes we need to act our way into a new way of thinking, not think our way into a new way of acting.

30 04 2010

Exactly – because that is when we change, instead of just thinking about changing, or changing without thinking, which may not be a good change. I think.

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