There is a reason why people see things differently than you.
June 1, 2017, 5:00 AM

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. Matthew 5:5-9


The world we live in is a dangerous place. Not only are we faced with challenging issues, but getting everyone to agree on how to fix the brokenness seems impossible. We often respond to the issues fueled by our emotions rather than deeply held convictions. Why can’t everyone see things from our perspective? We reason that if everyone just thought like us than the world would be a much better place. Yet, we’re surrounded by people who look, think, live and act differently than us. These deep differences push us towards isolation.


We retreat to our safe spaces to protect us from controversial issues and opposing viewpoints. By setting up our different camps that don’t interact, we are hoping to find a place free from bias, conflict and criticism as well as threatening ideas and conversations. Fear drives us to our safe spaces.  These encampments never lead to unity but rather keep us dug in to our differences. Conversations don’t take place. Instead of seeking understanding, we get lazy and indifferent by labeling others. Throwing a label on the person we disagree with which fools us into believing we truly understand them.


Labels take something unbelievably complex and attempt to dumb it down into something more manageable. Just like a label on a can of soup, on the front it may say chicken noodle by a quick look at the ingredients proves there is more than chicken and noodles in that can.  Our misguided labels attempt to tell us very quickly what lies on the inside of the individual and the problem with labels is they are often very wrong.  Labels allow us to keep our hands clean from engaging in the messiness of this world. They are intended to keep us divided and segregated. While we remain in our safe spaces, the world continues to spiral out of control.


As believers in Christ, we must move first and get our hands dirty. We reflect Christ’s heart the most when we’re willing to enter the mess of someone else’s life. We surrender to Christ while moving towards each other. On the side of every issue is a human being. There is a reason why people see things differently than us. Rather than guess, a curiosity is needed to gain a true picture of their “why.” The best way to understand an issue is by understanding someone on the other side of the issue. The safe space we are looking for is a relationship that rests in love.


This is my Prayer: Father God, may I never let my passion for an issue be more important the people that issue affects. Lord instead of thinking I have everything figured out; I pray that I would remain humble and curious. Jesus give me boldness to pursue loving relationships that uplift others, include those on the other side of the issue. May I reflect Your heart in the way I respond to those around me. God help me to seek understanding and peace. In Jesus name, Amen.