247 – I Don’t Like You Either
#faithbites #faithjourney like
The full dialogue exchange in the title goes something like this:
“He doesn’t like you”
“I don’t like you, either”
If don’t recognize this exchange, it’s between Luke Skywalker and Cornelius Evazan in the Mos Eisley Cantina at the beginning of Star Wars. Now, you may ask why I am using this exchange to start a #faithbite. Well, I was reading facebook, CNN, and other websites and starting looking at the comments. I know, stupid thing to do. The hate and vitriol were immense. The trashing of political candidates. The theory that you either believe 1000% what I believe or you are evil. In the exchange above, Cornelius and his friend don’t like Luke because of who he is, or better yet, who they think he is. There is no discussion, no debate, no exchange, except I don’t like you.
Apply this to your daily life. I was reading comments about a press conference one of our local officials had. So much hate towards the official because they supported the other candidate. Lies and half-truths thrown around rather than discussing what is going on. I’m always up for a good debate about religion, sex, politics, and money all the things you aren’t supposed to talk about. You may have ideas and beliefs that I don’t support but I can still think you are a good person. Our words are powerful. Use your words kindly and gently to invoke debate, not to separate and divide. As I was researching this #faithbite, I learned a new word: Ad Hominem. It means “(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
Scripture on Debating Respectfully
- But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.- Titus 3:9
- Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.- 2 Timothy 2:14
- If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. – Proverbs 18:13
I have been called the tone police and that I am trying to stop people’s opinions. That’s not what’s going on. We are told to listen before we give an answer. We are to avoid foolish controversies as they are worthless. I will debate on any policy that you want but I won’t get into name-calling and character trashing. Not perfect by far, but I’m working on it. God wants us to debate and discuss as we grow. At the same time though, as we’ve spoken, we don’t want to be so harsh and so argumentative that we turn people into the others.
I don’t know about you, but as I grow in faith, I find myself with less patience for “foolish controversies” and more willing and able to have deep debates about what matters in our life. I hope to continue that as I grow.
Is there a politician you hate? Maybe a cause that drives you nuts? How about a law or policy that you can’t stand? Think about one of those and write down what it is you don’t like. Try to get to the policy issue or the bottom of it. Then have a debate about that issue with someone. Stick to the key points you wrote down and see if you can do it without it devolving into name calling, generalizations, or personal attacks. It is a very difficult thing to do this day and age. Just keep working on it.
Lord, grant me strength and knowledge to not get into foolish controversies. Help me to enlighted people on your truth and allow me to use that in every discussion I have, everyday.