Earlier today, a friend posted a link on Facebook with a stance that I totally disagree with, and the rest of the morning I found myself arguing in my mind against their stance. Over and over it continues to roll around in my brain while I try to rebuttal what has been said.
And then I ask myself, Why am I so angry about this? And why do I feel I need to defend my position so vehemently? Why am I allowing this to take up space in my mind?
Do I really need them to see my point of view? Agree with me?
And maybe this is why I’m truly upset: I want others to agree with me. Validate what I believe. But as Christians, there are many gray areas where we can disagree about what exactly scripture means or how it applies to our lives. We can also differ in our opinion on politics, on raising children, and on health care, just to name a few. And we can even argue about seemingly trivial things (just think how upset the whole world seemed to get over the whole Duck Dynasty fiasco!).
And this is where I need to leave room in my life to disagree with someone and still love them.
To listen without anger.
Respond (or not) without resentment.
To know when to build a bridge to people, even while burning a bridge to a former way of thinking.
In the past few years, my husband and I have burned a few bridges. Not with people, but with ideas we’d held too tightly. “Religion” that we’d placed above just loving people.
We’ve burned bridges to old ideology we couldn’t support anymore after reading scripture and actually trying to live it out. New conclusions were made. Growth happened.
And freedom has come. From expectations. From old ideas. From perspectives we’d turned into law and placed on others and ourselves. And, although not perfect, we are loving those around us in a way we haven’t in the past. We’re accepting those around us, giving with no strings attached, and finding ourselves comfortable among those who have differing ideas from us.
We’ve also come to the conclusion that, sometimes, it’s okay if we agree to disagree. I don’t need to defend myself all the time. It takes up too much space in my head. And I don’t want to give it that much room in my life — room I’d rather spend thinking about how I could bless someone else, love someone, or give away what we have.
Time to build bridges to people. To love them no matter what they they think or believe.
Christian or not.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to burn bridges to some old ways of thinking…
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19