I’m tired. Tired of the noise. Tired of the controversy. Tired of “hot takes”. Tired of hearing about Hillary’s health, emails, scandals, etc. Tired of hearing about Trump’s latest narcissistic, buffoonish gaffe. Tired of hearing about people’s bodily posture during the National Anthem. I’m tired of having too few discussions where I can’t hear the tone in the other person’s voice or read their facial expressions. Instead I’m left just looking at letters on a screen. I’m tired of that.
If I’m honest, I’m angry too. I’m not angry at Hillary or Donald or Colin Kaepernick or #blacklivesmatter or #bluelivesmatter or #alllivesmatter or that the Panthers lost their season opener (actually I’m still a little angry about that). I’m angry at the way all these things are covered and talked about. I’m angry at a media that barely even tries to be unbiased anymore, if at all, and creates further partisanship in our country. I’m more angry that we’ve allowed ourselves to be duped into believing these peddlers of partisan propaganda.
I’m sad. I’m sad at what we currently are. I’m sad that we have a hard time disagreeing with each other in a civil way. I’m sad that we seem to relish making enemies of each other. I’m sad that we constantly feel the need to prove our rightness and make sure our voice is heard. I’m sad that our country seems to be more divided than it has been in at least 50 years. I’m even more sad that Christians seem to be contributing to the division.
I woke up early this morning with my mind racing and my soul troubled about all of this. As I lay there, the word “peacemakers” kept coming to mind. As it did, I had the thought, “We don’t have enough of them right now.” We desperately need peacemakers right now. I’m not talking about people who just get along for the sake of getting along. I’m talking about people who make the effort to be at peace with those around them and help others do the same.
I am pleading guilty for not being a peacemaker. I am part of the problem. I have spent far too much time trying to prove how right I am. I have been willing to potentially harm relationships over arguments about politics, sports, etc. I hate that. I am part of the problem, but I want to be part of the solution.
I don’t want to spend one more second trying to prove how my opinion is right about the latest thing that everyone is outraged about. My opinion carries little weight and so does yours. I know we’re tempted to overestimate the values of our opinions because we have the ability to expose them and share them more than ever before. But more exposure does not equal more worth.
Christians, I’m primarily speaking to you. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Somehow, I don’t think blasting Kaepernick, calling Trump names or sharing conspiracies about Hillary from far-right websites is what Jesus had in mind when he said that.
I’m making a plea to you: be a peacemaker. Please consider doing less talking, shouting, posting, updating, linking, sharing, tweeting and arguing about your opinions and doing more listening. Ask questions. I’m not talking about the asking where you get more information just so you can poke holes in the answer. I’m talking about asking with sincerity, with humility, with respect. Ask not just what is believed but why it is believed (that tends to be more important).
I’m enough of a realist to know the limited scope of who will read this and the even more limited scope of people that it might affect. I’m fine with that. In some ways, I’m writing this to convince myself to follow my own advice here. After all, I’m tired, sad and angry. More peace sounds pretty good to me right now. How about you?