When we are faced with unpleasant people or ideas and opinions that clash with our own, we have two options available to us. The first is, we can reflect the heart of the world by fighting and dividing. Christ will not be magnified by such an approach. The second, we can unite around the person and work of Jesus, live the way he lived, and magnify our maker in ways we can’t now imagine.
It feels like people are dividing more than ever and losing the ability to talk through their differences. Have you noticed? Our world is fractured in many ways; yet, instead of talking cordially with those we disagree with, we often ignore them or seek to unfollow them like life is a social media account.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were created, in part, to connect people. I’m not convinced it’s working. I’m afraid these platforms have created environments where people disconnect by ignoring opposing viewpoints and dividing at every turn. For instance, if you see something you don’t like on Facebook, you can unfollow it. If somebody says something offensive on Twitter, you can block them. Opposing viewpoints and those who hold them are easily avoidable on social media, and it’s causing some real issues in day-to-day, face-to-face life.
One of the oddest developments I’ve seen in recent years is people feeling personally attacked when an opinion of theirs is challenged. What used to be a simple disagreement is now seen as an attack on a person’s identity. A sure way to be blasted with derogatory remarks is to disagree with a person on a given topic. These are strange times, indeed.
How Shall We Live?
How does one navigate the complexities of the modern age? What do we do when an opposing point of view is not encountered on a screen, but rather, face-to-face? What do we do when a coworker disagrees with us on a matter we deem important? How do we interact with an instructor who promotes an idea different from our held beliefs?
In such cases, we can’t simply unfollow people or block their ideas. The real world doesn’t grant us that option. If you interact with people at all, you’ll be confronted with something you disagree with.