Tip #(4). Clothe yourselves with Humility:
Over the last 20 years, it’s amazing how many times I’ve changed my opinions. I’ve converted to and from Calvinism a dozen times. (My poor church in Wisconsin was so confused.) And politically, I’ve been the same way.
For example, up until a year ago, I knew virtually nothing about the Marriage Amendment up for ballot in Minnesota this fall. At first I thought: “Great! Here’s a perfect opportunity for Christians to look stupid trying to legislate morality.”
But as I dug deeper, many of the amendment advocates weren’t even Christians. They were sociologists and experts on child rights. Ironically, I even met a lesbian who was passionately going to “vote yes” in favor of an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. When I asked her why, she said: “First off, I’m not going to throw child rights under the bus for ‘adult wants’—even if it’s MY wants. And secondly, this has huge implications on First Amendment rights and religious speech. And if Minnesota becomes the first state in U.S. history to sue people for their beliefs instead of behaviors, then we ALL lose!”
At first I was stunned. I was like: “What? Child rights? … First Amendment?! State rights?” Honestly, I had no clue how this amendment had anything to do with protecting those things. Of course, the thought never occurred to me that MAYBE there’s actually valid intellectual reasons why 31 out of 31 states have voted in favor of marriage amendments. But here’s the point (before some of you get all riled up with your opinions):
In the end, I realized, I didn’t even know the beginning of this issue. And I STILL might be completely uninformed. I’ve been wrong so many times on so many issues that, just maybe, I might be wrong again. But I’m certainly not going to learn anything if I’m ripping on all the people that God is sending to enlighten me. We can’t antagonize and influence at the same time—nor can we be antagonized and be influenced at the same time. So, posting snarky facebook posts is tantamount to eating an ignorance pill.
That’s why the Apostle Paul tells us to “Clothe yourselves with humility” (Col. 3:12). And “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (3:14).
This doesn’t mean we will always agree. But it does mean that, even when we don’t agree, we can still walk away with a basic sense of respect and human dignity.
That’s why, if you follow these four tips, you’ll finally get sick of that dirty Facebook feeling—and especially during an election year, a time when people lose track of dignity and truth, doesn’t that sound appealing?