Have you ever been stuck in the middle of two arguments?
It’s a horrible place to be.
It’s a place I’ve been abiding for the past six months. Maybe even the past year.
And I’m so tired. So, SO tired of trying to get everyone to see eye to eye.
If one would look over my blog for the past year, they would have a hard time labeling where I stand on the “hot topics”.
I mean, I’m vaccinated and think that vaccinations are helping. But I absolutely hate the forced vax-passes and realize that these vaccines aren’t perfect, and they definitely aren’t as effective or long lasting as everyone first hoped. Yet, I wish more people would be open to them, I wish people would ask their doctor the hard questions – instead of turning to social media – and share with their health care provider the fears they have.
I hate lock downs and masks. But I see why they’re sometimes necessary.
I am pro-life. But I had a teenage pregnancy and I sympathize deeply with women who feel alone with no other options. I don’t want to stand in front of clinics and yell at them. I want to take them in, love them, and tell them the four things they desperately need to hear: you are safe, you are loved, you are cared for and you are not alone.
I don’t believe that climate change is a global emergency. But I recycle, I reuse what I can, I hate wasting, and never litter. I will wash one hundred dishes by hand before I use paper plates. Our kids live on hand-me-downs. And once their clothes are too ratty I use them as my rags instead of buying fancy Norwex ones. I use reusable feminine products. Every home we’ve owned, every street we’ve lived down, I try my best to improve by picking up garbage until the ditches and grass look clean and healthy.
I hate the way the government mindlessly blows our hard-earned tax dollars. I can’t believe there’s zero accountability for mindlessly spending billions in other people’s money… But I still pay taxes.
But can you bare with me for just a second while I express my frustration?
I am tired of being in the middle of strong opinionated people, refusing to bend their beliefs.
And I am downright exhausted of both sides bending facts whatever way they please, sometimes in the utmost arrogance. With their fixed mindset, unable to even be reasoned with or show any hint of trying to listen or trying to understand. People are thinking the absolute worst of each other. As if they alone know the truth. And the other side is the enemy. The brainwashed, evil-hearted enemy.
I’m tired of getting stuck in the middle of it.
Like, I’m burnt out, tired.
It’s easy to argue our point when we just know we are right. Boy, is it ever easy. Over the past year I have been completely baffled at times. Never in my lifetime have so many common people spewed out so much knowledge.
They know what’s best for everyone.
They know all the statistics.
They’ve followed all the news stories and Facebook posts and they just know that the post they read or the video they watched was true.
And all this “knowledge” is getting thrown back and forth like poison darts, while underneath the surface, something absolutely heartbreaking is happening: People are withering.
As I was meditating on the verses in 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, I found myself deeply yearning for people to see the truth that it held. Sadly, most of our world has lost sight of it. Are you ready for it?
Love is better than being right.
Being right just puffs up our pride. It doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t change anyone. It doesn’t save lives or convince people to do anything that they don’t want to do. All being right does is grow our own ego, which is more likely to push others away than to bring them in.
Love builds up. It humbly puts aside the arguments and takes a deep look at the person in front of us. It cares enough to set aside what we think we know, so that we can truly listen to and understand the people around us.
Love doesn’t ask: “How can I show this person where they are wrong?”
It wonders, “How can I help this person where they are at?”
This doesn’t mean that we won’t ever help others by using our knowledge, but it does mean that we sometimes need to set aside what we know, in order to love the people we don’t agree with.
In our world, it feels as if I’m literally watching the love of most grow cold. It’s a scary thing. Family members are refusing to see one another because they know they are right. People who once lived and served side by side, are now ripping each other to shreds on social media.
“Those who think they know something do not yet know what they ought to know…”
1 Corinthians 8:2
Let me ask you something: When was the last time you truly listened to “the other side”- and I’m not just talking about Covid debates here, but on all matters where one might disagree?
When was the last time you took an honest look at your own heart when you’re arguing your point? Are you constantly trying to find facts to prove yourself? Are you aware of the people around you, if you are hurting them with your words? Do you care? Are you open to the fact that the “other side” might not be the evil person you are making them out to be, rather, they may have a very good reason to believe what they do?
Maybe you are 100% right, but you’ve had the wrong attitude… are you willing to set aside your own knowledge in order to love and build up those around you? A person who feels loved and cared for is FAR more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Maybe the deeper question is this: Are we open to loving others above being right?
“We know that ‘we all possess knowledge.’ But knowledge puffs up, while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.”
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Can I give you a challenge today? It’s an extremely difficult one, but one of the most important and rewarding things you could do. I did it myself a few weeks ago and I can tell you it brought so much peace and unity to that relationship.
Find someone who has been difficult for you to love this past year. Maybe someone who was once close to you. Perhaps someone who you had a fall out argument with, or maybe you’ve just slowly gone two separate ways and grown apart. Set in your heart that you will talk with them and not argue. Avoid the controversial topics, if at all possible, but even if they arise – for once – just listen.
Just lovingly listen. Ask them how they are doing. Ask them how the relationships in their lives are going. Ask thing if they have felt unheard or uncared for this past year. Just listen to their heart, and then pray out loud for them, if they are comfortable with it.
I believe that if every single believer would do this to just one person in their life, the world could change over night. Because something deeply beautiful happens the we feel heard, loved, safe, and cared for: Our wounds begin to heal and our walls fall down.