I’m tired. But I have hope.

I’m tired. The most mentally exhausting thing to do is try to speak to someone about something, and have them look at you and reject everything you’ve said without the least thought. Anyone else have this experience? As a parent, this happens often. For example, when you are correcting your precious offspring about some offending practice of theirs. They nod and express their understanding and perhaps even their regret of having committed whatever offense they’re guilty of. And sometimes it’s that very same day, they do exactly the same thing yet again. Oh, my word. Did they not hear you?

You’d think communication would improve as these children got older. And in many ways, it does. But of course, there are times when no matter how many warnings are given or stern talks delivered, that child still decides they actually know what’s best. I mean really? Why in the world would we, as their parent, actually think we could possibly, maybe, perhaps, know a few more things than they do? What are we thinking?

So before I say anything else, I want to be clear that I am NOT trying to say that a peer would have the same kind of relationship as a parent-child relationship. Obviously, friends are very different than children. However, the thing is when you have had certain experiences that would give you the authority to speak on both sides of an argument, it’s hard not to feel the exact same kinds of feelings that you have when talking to a stubborn, dig in their heels, child who believes they know better. When you are the parent, you obviously know more than that obstinate child because you’re older and wiser. You’ve been there and done that, and realize that what they’re doing is just not a good idea. You’ve tried it already and know better (ahem). In a peer situation, you may not be the older one, and in some cases, you may even be the younger one, but you may just be the wiser one because of the life experiences you’ve had.

For example, many of us have been on the side of the liberal. I completely understand. It’s been a while, granted, but it doesn’t mean I can’t remember. Anyone else? For some reason, many friends and even family believe a liberal to conservative convert must not be thinking straight. The thing is, yes, we ARE thinking straight and there is obviously a very, very good reason to break from the comfort and security of the known and agreed on. Clearly, there is a price to pay for going to the “dark side,” so the decision to break from the narrative would not be easy. Even Ice Cube now knows this, and he’s not even blatantly endorsing anyone! Loss of friendships and loss of respect are just two things that are on the line. It’s heartbreaking. So it’s not as if anyone who does the switch does it lightly. There are many of us, and I’d wager that there are few if any, masochists. There are good reasons for the switch. So why in the world do so many refuse to investigate those reasons, or minimally listen? Especially considering you know both sides of the argument.

Maybe it’s easier to just think the other person has lost their mind and quite a few brain cells. It’s easier to think said person was misjudged. The group can look back and see the cracks in the black sheep’s character, whether or not that memory is accurate. So instead of doing the hard work of having the tough discussions and trying to understand the reason for the shift, it’s just easier to dismiss the offending person in awed disgust. How could she think that way? Does he now think he’s better than us?

LORD have mercy. No matter how hard you try, you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do. If you’re not toting the line, it’s just over. So much for tolerance.

I know that this can obviously go either way. It’s hard to disagree with someone you care about and who has always in the past had your perspective and convictions. But the art of listening has sadly been lost. Assumptions and stereotypes reign supreme right now and civil dialogue has been marginalized at best. Our own opinions are what is right, regardless of any information that may refute those opinions.

So yes. I’m tired. But I still have hope because I know the LORD still sits on His throne and His Word is still true. I have hope that at least those of us within the body of Christ can remember Matthew 18. If we have a problem or a misunderstanding or an offense or a difference in opinion to take up with a brother or sister in Christ, instead of complaining to others or spewing hateful words in a comment or tweet, or making assumptions, we can choose to contact that person personally and reach out. And not just to present our complaint but to communicate and understand. We must choose to do what’s right, instead of what is easy or comfortable. All of us are bent towards the easy. But I fervently pray that the LORD empowers us to do the “right.”

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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