I don’t know about you, but I have been experiencing an influx of videos on my social media sites addressing social justice issues. There are videos drawing attention to animals being abused all the way to racial tension. It is frustrating.
I mean, if I am honest, I would much rather see pictures of kittens playing with a ball of yarn or being trapped in a box, than see people being beaten by police officers or animals being abused.
Let’s face it, kittens playing in boxes or kids playing in the yard, create an easy way to forget about the tension. The tension that is found in injustice and issues require my attention and action, which is why I find myself getting frustrated.
It is easy for me to ignore the wrongs instead of working to make them right.
We see Native Americans standing up for what they see as a significant problem for their people. There is a pipeline project that is going forward that has potential to pose a risk to their tribe.
Then again, there are those who say that this actually isn’t an issue and it is being blown out of proportion.
We see racial tension overflowing in the streets as a marginalized group of people have been pushed too far and are looking for ways to change the systemic racism that has plagued this country for years.
However, there are people (even some of the same race as those who feel marginalized), saying that this movement means nothing. Racism does not exist and we need to quit buying into the propaganda.
We hear of animals losing their habitat. The glaciers are melting and polar bears are dying. The rainforest is gradually disappearing and there are species going extinct due to deforestation and global warming.
Yet, there are scientists and groups of people suggesting that global warming is a myth. There is no need to be afraid and the issue is a way for a certain group to push their agenda.
So, who is right?
The reality is, either side can show support for their side and they both are right.
What do we do with that?
My answer: honor both sides of the issues.
Every person has their side and each one can be validated. We need to be willing to listen and walk through the thought process of both groups.
When we validate the other group’s ideas, we gain the opportunity for them to honor our perspective.
Everyone can be right depending on how you look at it, but it doesn’t mean they are.
The way we discover the right answer is through healthy dialogue that opens the door for legitimate conversation that honors both parties involved.
We cannot negate people’s feelings just because they don’t mesh with ours. We have to step into the hurt and/or concerns and strive to understand each other.
Even if we can’t come to an agreement on the issues being addressed, at least we can be civil and see how we can still maintain a healthy relationship with differing views.
When Jesus spoke with people He didn’t agree with, He didn’t respond with anger, but with thought provoking ideas that challenged the thoughts of the other group. They had the opportunity to hear His side and He understood theirs. They had to choose what was right.
Hint: Everything Jesus said was right.
We are called to stand for what is right, but how do we know what is right?
Look to the Word of God.
Standing for what is right is found in the idea of “Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves”.
If we can’t love our neighbor more than we love our opinion, we are missing the message of the gospel.
Loving our neighbor is way more important than proving our point. We need to be wise in how we handle our relationships and strive to keep them healthy.
A good friend of mine said, “Never give up influence for the sake of an argument” (www.tensionleads.com…a quick plug for my friend Justin)
May we remember we don’t always have the right answer. May we remember that we are all broken. May we strive for unity and seek ways to bridge gaps with those who are separated from us.
QUESTION: How can you be more active in loving your neighbor more than being right?