I Am Learning

This election and new presidency has helped me a great deal. Specifically, it has helped me to see that our country is deeply divided. As such, our country needs people who may have diverging interests but seek the common good. I am lousy at math. But I do seem to recall something about finding the common denominator. I need to always seek that out.

My kids had an argument a few weeks ago. And I sat back and watched it for a while. Both had positions to defend. Both had outcomes they were seeking. And both had a winner take all mentality with no room to consider what it would look like to compromise. I had to throw in a yellow flag and walk them through the process of getting to a win win solution.

In my last youth ministry job, I had all my leaders stand in two lines, one line facing the other. And I told them that their job was to somehow convince the other person to change over to their line. That was the goal. And they were to pretend that if they could convince the other person to change lines, they would get $5,000. After much bartering and deal making, eventually someone would cross over. What they failed to realize is that if they had both changed lines, they both could have won. If they both gave up their position, and changed places, they both would have won. it was a great team building exercise in evaluating the situation and figuring out how both could win.

Now, probably more than ever, our country needs win win people. How do we both win? There are certain Biblical mandates that can’t be compromised. But we can move closer to a win. There are certain ideological differences throughout our country. How do we move closer to a win?

I am learning. I am learning to embrace, to listen, to understand. I don’t always agree, like or care for opposing opinions. But I need to find the win win. What can we agree on? What are you learning?

2 Responses to I Am Learning

  1. Arthur says:

    Jesus didn’t pretend to expect his followers to unite people. He expected them to be offensive to the extent that people would become so furious with them that they would be murdered and most people would consider it a public service. He expected them to go into a place where no one wanted to hear them and no one cared about what they had to say and to tell people that they were, deep down inside, no good … that everything in fact that they think is good about themselves and the people that they love and respect most in the world is as valuable as the most offensive kind of trash in the view of a truly righteous God. That they are so deluded and evil that, doing evil, they think it’s good. And that to worship a man who died tortured and disfigured in apparent disgrace on a Roman cross was actually the only way to God. Hate your father and mother; I bring not peace, but a sword, etc. This will almost always be appalling and ridiculous to almost everyone. Christians don’t win, I think, in any sense that non-Christians can understand. We’re called to lose … to surrender and die and to suffer and be rejected. It has always been the most unappealing way of life imaginable from the point of view of our perverse and sinful nature. I think that this is why Christian involvement in politics is necessary, but will usually be, for the most part, symbolic.

    • Arthur. Thanks for your comment. And I agree that as Christians, we will have to surrender and die and suffer and be rejectected. But Romans 12:8 adds to our responsibility which says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” And being at peace requires us at times to find the win win. There can be no debating the Biblical view on abortion or murder or stealing or other hotly contested mandates. And yesterday, I think this entire point was driven home by Rick Warren. He does not agree with abortion or homosexuality. Yet here he is giving the opening prayer for a man who does not share all his same beliefs.
      I agree our involvement with politics is usually frustrating and challenging, especially knowing that the government is truly on Christ’s shoulders. But we must proceed into that arena, like all arenas, and be a light even when people don’t want our light to shine.
      At any rate, great comments. Thanks. And as we all know, at the end of the day, there is only a win in Christ.

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