I have two blogs. One is public and the other I keep private. On this blog, My Soliloquy, I write about whatever is on my mind, and I rarely share it on other social media sites. I don’t share because this is the blog that I have given myself free reign to talk about whatever I want, and sometimes it is a topic that would offend some that I care about. I have felt it’s best to just type the words out, send them into the world, and leave it at that. It makes me feel good, and doesn’t offend any loved ones. I might just decide to share this post that I’m about to write though. I haven’t decided, but if you read this, and you actually know me, then I guess I decided to share it even though it then opens the door for my other posts from this blog to be read by those that I never intended to read them, but oh well.
This past week has been a tough one for most Americans. Whether you voted for or against the new president elect, your emotions have likely been stirred either by the results or by the reactions of others to the results. If you’ve been on social media at all, then you are aware of how rude and hateful people are being toward each other. Whatever direction you’re coming at our country’s current turbulent condition from, you have a formed opinion on it I am sure. I have. But where ever you happen to stand on the matter/s, you can likely agree on that fact that our country is horribly divided. People are not only not seeing eye to eye, but are in most cases I have seen, are unwilling to try and even look at each other in the face, and this is the problem because it then allows you to not see the other as a valuable human being. There are various reasons for upsets, but few seem to be willing to acknowledge any reason but their own. Some voted for one reason, and someone else voted for another, and because these two reasons (plus many more) oppose each other, people throw up their guards, and yell under their banners that they are right and that everyone else is foolish, idiotic, and plainly in the wrong.
Well there are some people who are plainly in the wrong. Those who have racist and sexists ideas, and who don’t like people who are different from themselves, are absolutely in the wrong. I do not believe that most of the country is like that though. I do however believe that the majority are just not hearing each other despite how loud everyone is yelling. If you’re yelling your views and opinions, then you cannot hear those of others. If you put up blinders that only allow you to see things from your perspective then you will only ever support further division. What our country needs is people to take off their blinders and take a look around them. Everyone needs to do this. Some way more than others, but everyone can benefit from trying to see from another’s perspective. And the people who should be leading this march toward understanding and unification are Christians. If a person truly loves the Lord, then they know they are suppose to love others, and loving does not involve belittling their feelings, making light of their opinions or experiences, and certainly doesn’t involve any hateful attitudes toward others.
The majority of my Facebook friends are Christians, and my heart was broken repeatedly this weak as I saw too many of them belittling those that they do not agree with, and do not understand. I have witnessed way too much “Christian hate.” Perhaps they think they are standing for what is holy and good. I don’t know, but what I do know is that Jesus would not be standing there beside them. Jesus did not speak with hatred, even toward those that he disagreed with. He did not take a stance and then lob stones at those who didn’t agree. Rather he said blessed are the peacemakers. You do not make peace by creating war. Peace is brought about when people stay calm and listen to one another. Who is ever won over by yelling and name calling? Who lowers their guard toward the person belittling them? No one. Since when does unity come by telling the other side that they are wrong? It doesn’t. I suppose there are some, even “Christians,” who aren’t interested in unity, but Jesus was and the Apostle Paul was. Did you know that Paul said that to win people over you should become like them. “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). This verse popped into my head last night and so I read at least ten commentaries on it. The one that I felt explained this verse best said “Not in the sense of sacrifice of principle, but by the operation of a wide reaching sympathy, which enabled him, without compromising his own convictions, to approach all men from their most accessible side” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges). Obviously Paul is dealing with converting others to Christianity, but the principle is the same. You cannot expect to win over someones heart (how they feel about things) if you refuse to see where their head is. If you want to be used as a tool to unify, and especially if you want to “win” people over, then you must act in sympathy and love like Jesus and Paul did, and see things from another’s perspective. Of course a white American born man can never fully understand the views of an immigrant woman (nor can any man fully understand any woman for that matter) but these people can listen to each other. These people can acknowledge the humanity and experiences of one other, and these things bring validation to a person’s emotions and reactions about any situation.
Obviously this post is mainly addressing how Christians should be behaving during these times, but every person, not just Christians, will benefit from shutting their mouths for a few minutes and listening to someone whose views they do not understand. I’m not saying you have to say you are in the wrong, but I am saying that you need to realize and then acknowledge that you don’t know everything. I certainly don’t.
I admit that I have not been perfect this past week. I have very strong feelings about what is going on. I have a few that I’m willing to share my heart with, but for the majority I keep my mouth shut because I know I will not change anyone’s mind by arguing. I did post a couple of comments on threads this week, but only because they had drifted from being political to “speaking in the name of Jesus” things that Jesus would never say, and I wasn’t able to let a few of these remarks slide off my back. I am trying to hear others out though, and I am wanting to understand where others are coming from. There are even those who voted the same as I did that I need to better understand because we voted the same, but for different reasons. We all need to listen to better understand, especially if we hope to come into a united state once again.