“Johnathan! Why did you just stick your tongue out at me?” Rachel yelled.
“I didn’t!” he replied indignantly. “I was just stretching it!”
And there it is, folks — a disagreement in the Carlson household.
Let’s just admit it and face it: our world is ripe with disagreements these days. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted from it.
Wear a mask; don’t wear a mask. Go to church; don’t go to church. Get tested for COVID-19; don’t get tested. Open up businesses; don’t open up businesses. It’s enough to make our heads spin.
As Christians, how do we deal with disagreement?
Humble. Gentle. Patient. Forgiving. Loving. Striving for unity. Could the people you’ve come in contact with in recent days use these words to describe you? Think about that for a moment.
I believe it’s all too fashionable these days to be quickly perturbed or even outraged. The loudest voices are those that scream their discontent, frustration and disgust at us ad nauseum across our plethora of streaming devices. Where have all the moderates gone? Why do cooler heads no longer prevail? Why is anger the emotion du jour?
I dare say this is not the way Jesus would respond if He were still walking in flesh amongst us. Jesus liked to keep it simple, probably because we have simple minds.
That’s it. Love others the way He did. Jesus didn’t agree with much of anyone while He was here on earth. We are a mess, after all. But He also didn’t shout and condemn everyone, and tell them how stupid they all were. He listened. He spoke wisdom in the form of parables they could understand. And then He left them to make up their own minds. He didn’t keep dogging them until they voiced agreement with Him, as many of us are prone to do. He allowed them to make their own choices.
When we insist on our own way and constantly assert our righteousness (read “right-ness”), we push others away.
Let’s stop bickering and sticking our proverbial tongues out at each other. It’s not like any of us have dealt with a pandemic before, anyway. We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.
May we all strive to show one another the grace and love that Christ shows us.