Two years ago I hid several of my Facebook friends from showing up in my newsfeed. A controversial subject was making headlines at the time, and in my perspective then, some of my Christian friends had gone “liberal” on me, posting views completely counter to mine. I couldn’t understand why these friends – some with whom I had prayed with, prayed for, and studied the Bible with over the years – decided to “sell out” to the mores of the world. Or so I thought.
The decision to hide their posts was made because I genuinely loved these friends and I didn’t want to nurture ill feelings toward them. Perhaps I was weak, but that was the best way I knew to deal with it.
But something has happened to me in the past two years. Little by little, by the grace of God, I’ve come to understand in a small way where my friends and others with similar viewpoints were coming from.
To my conservative friends reading this, please hear me when I say, my understanding of this viewpoint doesn’t mean I agree. It simply means I understand better.
What I learned by seeing the person behind the viewpoint was that this view counter to mine isn’t always about bucking God or His Word or His truth. In many instances, I saw my friends choosing love instead of condemnation. I saw them exposing the hypocrisy my “side” seems to be blind to at times. I saw them seeing the person as more precious than the issue.
In some instances, I saw them looking more like followers of Jesus than I do.
The issues themselves I won’t even name much less attempt to hash out here. But here is the purpose of my post. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own way of thinking that we don’t even attempt to see the heart of the person on the other “side.” We don’t see where they’re coming from. We don’t take time to consider their viewpoints. We don’t give them the benefit of the doubt and realize that beneath their stance on the “issue” there might be a really good heart there who is trying desperately to seek God and walk in His ways.
Let’s open our minds to the people behind the issues.
That doesn’t mean compromising our convictions. It means leaning harder on the Bible and the Spirit than ever as we wade through the murky waters.
It doesn’t mean watering down truth. It means considering that perhaps we’re not 100% right, and what if we actually learned something?
It doesn’t mean giving up the fight on injustice. It means conceding that we each fight injustice; we simply are fighting the war on different fronts. It means that perhaps, just perhaps, both “sides” might have more in common than we think.
We can learn a lot from one another while desperately seeking godly discernment and being on guard against the deception of the enemy. Our struggle is not with flesh and blood after all. But perhaps, in the humility that comes from seeing another’s viewpoint, we can more closely see the heart of God.