How many arguments do you engage in every day? Whether it’s with your spouse, family member, co-worker, friend, or on social media, do you find yourself engaging in trying to prove your point?
Let’s face it, we argue every day and when everything is said and done, we want to walk away knowing we were right.
When you go back and examine the circumstances that led up to the argument and ultimately your desired outcome, was it worth it? I love to prove my point, but more often than not no one knows the circumstance by which my points and arguments are derived. Most of my friends or co-workers do not know how I was raised or what circumstances led to my beliefs. Anyone who chooses to engage with me on social media has no clue who I am or what I’ve endured.
But…then again, vice versa. From politics to sports to even COVID, we have opinions we hold strongly for various reasons. Perhaps someone you know contracted COVID, became very ill, and suffered greatly or even passed away. This will undoubtedly lead you to want to wear a mask, get the vaccine, and expect others to fall in line. The impact COVID has had on me and my family may have been completely different, so my views and opinions may be the opposite of yours. Yet, at the end of the day, who is right and who is wrong? Why are we so divided?
The answer is pride. Our pride overwhelms us, pushes us to the brink, and forces us to become so one-sided that we choose to grossly disrespect the other side. I cannot begin to tell you how many people I have come across from all walks of life who feel the pressure of our nation’s divide. And yet, while we all agree there is an epidemic on our hands, we don’t know how to make an impact to break the vicious cycle we are in.
Just as our pride overwhelms us, we can defeat pride with love and humility.
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself.”
To go further, Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
God knows us to not be perfect; he created us in his image and gave us the will to make decisions for ourselves. This means we are open to free thought and enjoying our own opinions, but with that freedom, we must also choose to respect others…even our enemies.
Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
We were not created to hate or disrespect; our hearts are just not big enough to hold all this in. We have to humble ourselves to God and to each other to break the cycle and begin a new era of mutually agreed respect.
Open debate is healthy and needed; there’s a reason there are two sides to every story or two political parties representing opposite sides of an issue. Solutions don’t come from the one; they are derived by sharing our thoughts and all opinions should be welcomed.
Before you respond, think about James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Let’s break the cycle together and humble ourselves and respect and love our fellow man.