No more excursions for this concern
As the saying goes, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. For better or worse, you’re stuck with them that are stuck with you…that blood that’s thicker than water is relatively sticky too. [See what I did there? “Relatively” sticky? And wouldn’t that make a good country music lyric?]
It’s a darn good thing we can’t choose our family ‘cause we’d probably choose others just like us, with our values and politics, beliefs and lifestyle. And we’d be stuck then too…stunted in our personal growth without those opportunities to develop relational virtues that can only be learned through disagreement and diversity. Tolerance, gentleness, patience, humility, self-control. Continuing to love even when you don’t feel that love reciprocated. Those family members who are a challenge to you are making you into a better person, for which you can thank them and subtly assert your superiority at the same time.
No, no, no.
I have a long way to go still towards fully developing those higher virtues, which means I should probably spend more time with my siblings, a few of whom are very un-like me, and probably don’t-like me, though they may love me. My love for them in light of their rejection of Christ keeps me concerned for their eternal destiny, but unfortunately that concern drives a contention that leads to conflict. So I decided to take away concern’s keys.
No longer need any family member worry about being in the same room with me for fear of being run over by my antique and arrogant ideology. Whoops. Shifted into sarcasm there. I guess I have to accept that it may really feel like a threatening situation to them, even though from where I sit I’m driving like an old lady on a Sunday.
So it’s not going anywhere, this concern about what will become of my non-believing family members after they die. It will stay with me until I die. Whereas before I occasionally let it out for a spin hoping to take one or more of them for a ride, now I’ll keep my concern to myself. Unless and until they ask to see it, or need a lift. They know it’s there; they have seen it. But let’s just keep the objectionable, unwanted clunker in the garage, please.