Nothing wearies me more than people arguing. It’s been hard to write lately. I’ve been discouraged about what I see and read and how we all treat each other.
Over the years I’ve learned countless valuable lessons. Sometime in my late 20’s–after full formation of my frontal lobe, no doubt–I realized that 1) it was ok to disagree with people–even on really important things–and still respect them, enjoy them and experience a close relationship with them and 2) *I* don’t have to convert anyone to any thing–no matter how passionately I feel about it; I don’t have to convince anyone else to change. I guess the hard truth started to sink in: I am not always right, I don’t have all the answers, and it’s simply not my job to force change in others. Especially as a Christian, I found these truths liberating; it allowed me to be me and God to be God. He, the Creator of the human heart, will change hearts; He, not me, will convict of needed change. If I believe what I say about Him–that He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving–then it follows that He is more than able to get done on this earth what He chooses to do when He chooses to do it. Along with those valuable lessons, came the realization that I’m not the only one He uses to speak. He may use me and you to gently correct or boldly speak truth. But more often than not, I believe He wants me to simply shut up and love. And frankly, humbling myself enough to be quiet and trust is a lot harder than speaking my mind.
As much as I love social media, I guess this is what makes it so exhausting to me. Daily, I witness people trying to change each other. Daily I see people on both sides of the political aisle and the church aisle and the grocery aisle criticizing, deriding and degrading each others views and even existence. So much arrogance… So much pride… Everyone vying for top Truth spot… It’s like a cut-throat game of idealogical king of the hill. Everyone pushes and shoves to dethrone the latest, loudest, most aggressive voice.
It’s like we’re all in a ridiculous stand-off, standing in a circle, pointing our weapons at one another, aiming for the heart. Out of our own fears and insecurities, we, the walking wounded, seek to wound each other; or worse, to save each other. But we’re all in this together, people. We’re on each other’s side–all of humanity–so let’s get off each other’s backs. Let’s lay down our weapons today–the snarky comments, the compulsive need to be right, the back-biting and criticizing, the sarcastic humor meant to cut and harm. I’m not even saying to extend an olive branch– simply declare a ceasefire.
Speak life to others.
I’ve written so much over the past year about my parents and their legacy of love, encouragement and hope, so I ask again, what will your legacy be? Even the legacy of this one day? Will it be more of the same king of the hill? Or will your words and actions be steeped in a deep trust that God is who He says He is so you don’t have to be Him? Or simply rooted in the belief that you’re not always right?
Oh, by the way, I do realize the irony in posting this.