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  • Scott Hescht

Talking Past Each Other

It’s easy to adopt a “tell it like it is” posture when we read and hear things that we don’t understand or find frustrating. That’s not the same as speaking the truth in love. I know that one of the difficulties in 2020 has been deciphering truth, however to “tell it like it is” is more often an anxiety triggered defense mechanism than it is an expression of perspective working toward a solution. It doesn’t resolve. It only adds fuel to the fire.

I have come to believe this is a key issue in our culture. We’re all talking past each other. We want our voices to be heard and we think by speaking louder, we’ll eventually accomplish something. But no one is listening. They’re too busy doing the same. We assume we have informed opinions, but it’s all too predictable. Nobody acknowledges the truth in the other side of the issue. If they do, it’s a quick “Yea, but...”. Things are said that will intentionally trigger the opponent. It just causes a further rift. We grasp on to our corners, honesty not because it’s right, but because we are in a constant state of being triggered. Anxiety makes us stupid. That’s a scientific fact, plain and simple. We function like animals during fight or flight.

I’m haven’t been innocent, but I know that if I’m going to be pridictable, I want to be predicable in my stance for Jesus. Not the Republican or Democrat Jesus. Not the white or black Jesus. Not even the American Jesus. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it is simple. As has been said in other posts, it’s the way of love. If your words are reactive and come from a place of being triggered, it’s probably not the way of Jesus.

“Scott are you saying I can’t be angry?!” No I’m not, but don’t sin. Don’t assume that Jesus always agrees with you. Don’t assume that Jesus doesn’t see any truth on the other side. Be humble enough to be quick to listen and slow to speak. And when you do speak and especially when you act, make sure it’s to build a better world rather than to contribute to its demise. And before we say “amen” to that, can we first say “what role do I play in keeping the problem in place?” That’s the kind of questions I’m asking myself and asking God to reveal in me. I hope that you’ll join me.

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2)

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