With all the political talk happening on the internet, it’s so easy to come across those with a viewpoint that is different than yours. It really doesn’t take much searching to find an opposite opinion and to find hate and entitlement regarding that opinion.
Honestly, it saddens me to see this sort of communication going back and forth instead of good old fashioned debating on issues. I wish there were more people who still liked to listen to an opposing view and hear it out, talking through it, and either coming to an agreement or respectfully agreeing to disagree.
I’m not saying your view is wrong and mine is right. What I am saying is that no matter how different our views are, I will absolutely hear you out on yours. I saw a Twitter post a few days ago making its way around the internet that said:
“Be careful not to dehumanize those you disagree with. In our self-righteousness, we can become the very things we criticize in others… and not even know it.”@EugeneCho
This quote prompted me to really check my own thinking and made me realize just how easy it is to talk about an entire group of people (like an opposing political party) as if they are the enemy, and not even humans at all. Whether it’s things I have
So this quote has since inspired this post. I think that because it can be easy to “dehumanize” anyone who doesn’t share our same beliefs that it’s about time we reminded ourselves how to love ALL of God’s people, including those we disagree with.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”James 1:19-20
In the Bible, James tells us to be quick to listen, and slow to speak. Why? Because we were made with two ears and one mouth. Pretty interesting how God designed us this way right? The purpose is so that we would listen more than we speak. I know we’re not all good at this, especially when it comes to something we’re passionate about. And I know it is definitely hard when “the other guy” is swinging some punches your way. Listen Anyway.
I’m serious. No one has ever gotten to an opinion without some sort of influence, whether that be their upbringing, religion, society, or their own research on the subject, something or someone has influenced that opinion. Hear them out. WHY do they believe or take the position that they do? I guarantee that if you wholeheartedly listen, their intent is not malicious and they probably have a good reason for taking the position they do.
In the Gospel of John, he records that Jesus said,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another”John 13:34
Jesus calls us to LOVE one another. It’s His second greatest commandment. First, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, then LOVE your neighbor. This includes those you don’t agree with. This includes those fighting for something that is completely opposite of what you fight for. This includes those who don’t believe the same thing you do. If loving people was easy, Jesus wouldn’t have had to command that we do it. He wants us to love more than the people we share opinions and values with. He wants us to love people who disagree with us, who argue with us, and who are downright hard to love at times. I get it. It’s so much easier to stick with your political party and dehumanize “the other guys” for their belief systems and policy.
My Christian friend, you are called to do more than love those who are like you. Instead of just loving and empathizing with those who share your views, after you’ve listened to what the other side has to say, try to understand why they believe what they believe.
I know it’s hard. Do it anyway.
If and only if you’ve given the other person a chance to share their viewpoint, why they believe it, and how they came to take that position, this is when you have an opportunity, assuming they’re willing, to share yours as well.
Now, don’t take this as a chance to be righteous or act like your opinion is the absolute truth. There is only ONE truth, and that truth is Jesus Christ. Your opinions and feelings are just your feelings, sorry not sorry.
Do, however, take this opportunity to share why you have the position you do. Share your story about what you believe and why you believe it. Share how Jesus has positioned you in this way and the goal you wish to reach.
Hopefully, this conversation can help the two of you to realize that you don’t have entirely opposing views about the end result, simply you just don’t agree on how to get there
I’ll have to admit, there is some pretty heartbreaking stuff out there on the internet regarding political positions. You can find a heart-wrenching video to support either side of an issue so long as you’re looking for it. It really isn’t that hard. If you ask me, I feel like the enemy has his foot in politics, yes on both sides. I know the enemy is a schemer, a liar, and a deceiver and politics is a breeding ground for people of that nature. He likes to pit people against each other so that we are so busy fighting each other on these issues we forget about the real battle that is happening in the spiritual realm. The enemy is a skilled distracter in this way. When we are distracted by hating people, it makes it much easier to forget about loving others the way that Jesus loves us.
My prayer for you today is that you have the hard conversations with someone. Try to understand them. I mean really understand them. Let them know you love them despite having different opinions on the way to a solution. Truth be told, we don’t have to agree on everything to be friendly. We don’t have to agree on anything to give grace. And we don’t have to agree on everything to love.