I can’t complain about the insanity of the noise while adding to it. I have to make a choice to let it go, to walk away, or to accept that some people are in it for the argument not the revelation. The distraction of the noise holds me back from what I need to be doing.
I know this. And yet, I still add to the noise.
It happened yesterday. I looked both ways and stepped in front of the truck anyway. It was a metaphorical truck, but it still packed a punch.
It seemed innocent enough. I comment made by a friend online about the historical acceptance of a man called Jesus. He confessed there was disagreement about what that man did, but thought it interesting that so many historians accepted the man.
He could have just as easily set a keg of gasoline next to a bonfire.
I watched for a while. I walked away. I came back and watched some more. I told myself that I didn’t need (or want) the distraction. I apparently don’t always listen to myself.
They wanted proof. I shared proof. I found some “mainstream” sources that cited the evidence of the man Jesus.[tweetthis]Some people want to argue more than they want to see the facts[/tweetthis]
The response made me laugh. “This information is not reliable because it’s written by a Christian.”
I saw the train coming this time and decided to stay off the rails. I enjoy sharing information and I even enjoy gathering information – even if it challenges what I believe. I do not enjoy arguing to have an argument. And I know that someone who dismisses facts because the presenter has a belief is in it for the argument.
Stop the Noise
- Know the value of the discussion. I listen to my older sons trying to explain to their younger brother that the design he has crafted in his imagination for his imaginary world will never work in reality. There is no value or purpose in taking on this task. Everyone ends up frustrated and hurt. Just walk away.
- Know the people in the discussion. When the discussion starts online, I know to stick to the people that I know personally (and usually I only address them through private messages). The agendas of people I don’t know can run me over before I ever see them coming. Stay off the tracks.
- Know your own motivations. I can know I’m right and I can want to prove to you I’m right even if that means proving you wrong. It is not all about me. If I genuinely want to help then I will find the way to help reveal the truth without harming the heart. Seek to help.
- Know when to say when. I can know the truth. I can answer your questions about the truth. I can show you the truth. If you still want to argue then there is nothing more to do. I have to accept your place because you aren’t going to move. Just walk away.
The noise doesn’t happen in a void. It happens because everyone wants to make their point regardless of the facts and sometimes despite the reality. It is the right of every person, but that does not mean I have to engage with the noise or add to it.
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