Here’s something. Social media and news media tend to make everything issue based. The result can be ongoing division and deterioration of relationships. It’s like everyone is putting each other in file folders, labeled with issues we disagree on. I’m not saying issues don’t need to be talked about and addressed (Don’t put me in that file folder 😆). I’m saying that each of us are MORE THAN a handful of issues that we agree/disagree on. And it’s actually that “MORE THAN” part that many times makes room for us to grow toward one another on issues that we disagree on. Seems like we’ve settled into just writing people off, left and right! This can’t be good.
Here’s what I need you to know — I’m not looking for a reason to be against you. I’m trying to focus on things we have in common too. Even when I see you post something or say something I think is asinine, I’m not gonna file folder you and use that as the one brush to paint you with. I want to like you. Chances are, if we have spent time around one another, even for a short time, I have GOOD thoughts and memories of you and have even learned things from you.
I’m not all super servant-hearted for taking this approach, because it’s actually very self-serving as well. Ugly anger is exhausting. Labeling people and writing them off wears us down. Keeping a catalog of people you think are against you will either make you ticked off all the time or feeling doomed. Bitterness eats you up on the inside. Admittedly, finding things to love about others (inluding me) can sometimes be difficult 😅, but nurturing hatered is even harder. Giving thought to things you admire and enjoy about people feels good!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not just a spineless jellyfish or a wet sandwich of a person! 😂 I have strong beliefs and convictions, especially what I believe about God. I think that is the most important thing about me. And when I need to, I will defend myself, my family, and my faith. But even if you do “come at me” or even cheap shot me, as soon as I can, I’m gonna need to begin the work of seeking God’s help to overlook the offense, or forgive you, and even forgetting about it whenever possible, asap, even if you dont ask for it. Not just for you and our relationship, but for me and my obligations to God, who has forgiven me of so much, continues to bear with me and calls me to do the same for others.
I don’t always get all this right, for sure. I’m still learning. Probably always will be. But for now I just wanna say, I don’t want to be mad at y’all 😎. I like you, even if we disagree. We can have differences, but still be MORE THAN our differences. Nothing wrong with having strong convictions, but we can’t keep labeling and filing people away and writing them off. We’re hurting ourselves and each other. As we address issues and we find ourselves in opposition, I hope I/we can remember that we still need each other, and we have a lot of things in common that need to be remembered and focused on too.
That’s it. Thanks for letting me share. God bless.