Sometimes I find myself defending certain positions ….. not arguing with anyone or saying anything, but being somewhat out of sorts because my position isn’t being shared or affirmed. The topic could range from the important to trivial.
Growing up we usually bought Fords, from the Blue ’49 Ford to the ’53 Ford, the ’62 Ford, to my first “Company Car” which was a big green ’72 Ford…. my brother said it looked like “Hitler’s Staff Car”. I could find myself annoyed when a Chevy or Dodge was portrayed as a better car or truck in an advertisement. This attitude could surface when more important topics came up like “religion & politics”…. the two big taboos to never discuss over Thanksgiving Dinner….and Sports.
Don’t get me started on Sports…. I will tell you that Stan Musial of the Cardinals (Top 5 All Time Player in my book) never got his proper respect in the New York Press, although the Brooklyn fans did give him the name “Stan the Man” because he always dominated the Dodgers. Yikes, I can feel my blood pressure rising…” let’s just calm down, calm down ….”. By the way did you ever hear the great song, “Stanley F. Musial, Swingin Stan The Man…. He’s the man that thrills the fans, Swingin Stan the Man….Ah oooooo”.It was a terrific song, making the top of the charts in St. Louis back in the day. Okay, where was I going with this….
There’s some different directions that this thought process can go….. some good and positive and some not. One negative approach is to drag down the opposing person or position as if it had no value…. “that person is a bum…that position has no merit…zero merit…how can anyone hold that position… it’s my way or the highway…”. Now I may not express this out loud or even believe it, but it can begin to roll around in my head. This is NOT good. If I allow this to continue, I tend to lose my peace, and even say something “stupid”.
On the other hand, if I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to think, I can remain peaceful and actually arrive at a true balanced position. I can appreciate the good in the opposing position…. “ actually that’s a good point…. there’s truth in that position.… that person has done some good things…. that Chevy Truck is actually nice looking…. Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle were pretty good ballplayers.” Affirming others (people, positions..) doesn’t nullify the good in my own position. It actually can help me arrive at a fuller truth, more complete.
When having a discussion, it’s good to agree and affirm truth wherever you find it…. “that’s a good point, that’s true, gee I never thought of that”; it doesn’t negate the truth I bring to the table.
It’s a good time of the year to begin practicing this approach as the Football Playoffs are in full swing. “Hey, the Giants play the Eagles this weekend, how about a joint tailgate party in the parking lot before the game”….. auuuuuuuughhhh, *$?!!*%$&*%#@ …… hmmmmmm, maybe that’s not a good place to start. How about a discussion on the merits of the Hostess Twinkie vs the Hostess Cupcake…… “yes, they are both good ….. I see your point… you have very discerning taste.”
Jesus reminds us “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) Let us be seekers of the truth and all will be well with my soul. And that is very good news.