Verbally, I am a fighter. I can be opinionated, stubborn, and very convincing.
A few weeks ago my friend told me that I am an excellent communicator. I thought… me? The stutterer? The talk-too-much, mumble-like-a-fool, overly-excited stutterer?
Yeah. That one.
We both have a way with words and a way of getting people on our side.
I remember a particular day in high school in my economics course. Our teacher drew a line across the white board: the far left was the Democrat view of the issue and the far right was the Republican view of the issue. Normally when I had an opinion, I whispered it to the overly-political-without-any-knowledge Republican in our class. He took it as his own viewpoint and was able to make valid arguments because of it. But this day, I decided to talk on my own. When I spoke, people walked towards the side that I was on. Some people walked past me. I convinced them more than I convinced myself. A few walked all the way to the end. Nearly everyone took at least one step. This was not a reaction that had happened when anyone else spoke. My teacher even got nervous and started making arguments for the other side… some people took a small step or so back, but I had convinced them to rethink their views.
It makes sense to me that power corrupts. That feeling was so empowering. I don’t remember what we were even talking about and it’s very likely that my view has changed since then.
Here’s the problem: we’re wrong. Sometimes, we are so wrong. Over the last five years since that day in my class, everything has changed. But my views right now are not 100% correct. I have a lot to change. Yet I talk like I’m right. After all, if I didn’t think I was right then I wouldn’t be saying it.
This happens in relationships too. Truly this is what I bring all my blogs back to. There’s nothing that I am more about than relationships: God, each other, ourselves. Sometimes, I’m wrong. Sometimes, other people are wrong. I might one day die believing that I was in the right when I was in the wrong.
This week I felt convicted at church to apologize to a friend who hurt me. I didn’t feel like I had done him any real wrong. In fact, I felt the opposite. Even the few people that I had told about the situation agreed with me. But… I’m wrong sometimes. I felt right. I thought in my head that I was right. But I know that conviction from God: somehow, I was wrong. It didn’t matter who was “more wrong” or whatever else. What mattered is that I needed to get over myself, shut up with the gossip, and apologize to someone that I love because I wronged him somehow. That doesn’t mean I have to pretend like he didn’t hurt me. (Though for my own sake, it’s best to just let it go and walk away.) It does mean that I have to put that ASIDE when I apologize.
I have a lot of learning to do. I’m young. There’s so much of the world that I haven’t seen. There are so many people who I do not understand. We are far too young to become close-minded. There are few things I respect more than an older person with an open mind. There are few things I respect less than a young person with a closed off mind.
Keep it open. I’m not saying you’re wrong about everything.
But you are wrong about something.
The big question is… what?