How many friends do you have?
How would you define a friend?
Sadly a great many people today think they have thousands of friends who follow them on social media. In reality if you have one or two true friends you’re very lucky!
What does this have to do with taking sides? EVERYTHING!
Today we’ve lost the ability to relate to individuals. We put on our best face, show a life of joy and serenity on our profile page, and take passionate stances on topics we honestly don’t know much about.
One side says, “I’m a proud Conservative.”
The other side calls them, “Nazis.”
Someone claims to be, “Liberal.”
The opposition says they’re, “Socialist Communists.”
The only result?
Everyone feels hated and misunderstood by the opposition and digs in deeper to their commitment to their own side. After hate and malice are spread the cause remains completely intact. Simply put everyone gets angry, and nothing gets accomplished.
The underlying desire from this is a need for recognition. People want to say controversial things so they will be encouraged by those in their corner. The real danger from this mindset, is the motive driving it. It does not seek to resolve an issue. Rather, it is only to fuel a desire for intimacy.
People want to be noticed. People want to be respected. People want to be admired. If they cannot find these qualities in a real relationship, they seek them out through social media.
In some cases they will do the opposite. They refuse to take a stance on anything for fear it will cause backlash from those they rely on for their self-worth. Different action same motive.
The solution is simple. When we realize we are loved and created by our Heavenly Father, and His love is sufficient for us, we can stand boldly against issues which truly matter. We can also let go of the issues which don’t carry much weight.
More importantly, we can hear the other side with open ears and willing hearts able to empathize with their views. Even when we do not agree with them.
When two sides of an argument or working together, listening to each other, empathizing with each other, understanding one another, and are devoted to resolving the issue rather than winning the argument, change can occur.
Rather than taking a side, hoping for recognition from those with similar alignments, we should be working together with a commitment to resolve our differences. It simply does not matter how many people agree that something is wrong. What matters is everyone is working to resolve the issue.
If you must take a side, take the side of Jesus. Who stands for truth, but loves everyone. Yes, even His enemies.
Who are you most at odds with? Make today the last day you stand so fervently on your side that you can’t hear what they’re trying to say. Remember a heartfelt relationship will bring more value than winning an argument every time!