What Are We Fighting For? Part 1: Unity Requires Understanding, Not Agreement

*Tiptoes through the carnage of the past week’s social media circus and clears throat.*

Photo by  Richard Felix  on  Unsplash

Can we please talk about the kind of $#!+storm that turns normal, sensible people into raging monsters? It happens in families every day, and it happens in a BIG way on social media all the time. (Last week it reached a fevered pitch on social media, which has prompted this conversation-starter.)

What we’ve seen on social media during the past few weeks (and months, and years) is eerily similar to mud-slinging Scott and I have witnessed during the most vicious, heartrending domestic arguments we’ve witnessed as marriage coaches in the past. Social media has nothing to do with the problem. It only puts a microscope on the problem. And that problem is we’re fighting against each other instead of for each other.

So let’s take this opportunity to reevaluate how we fight and identify how we can fight FOR each other, FOR love, and FOR unity, rather than blowing each other to smithereens. (And I’ve gotta be honest, I’ve never actually spelled that word before and when I looked it up I learned that a “smithereen” is a very tiny piece or fragment of something. And that is exactly what we do to people when we stop fighting for each other.)

Here’s the thing. People who don’t know how to fight well, have a lot to learn about how to love well. True love and acceptance of each other means learning how to work through differences without destroying the foundation of any relationship. So if you are at all interested in creating a more loving world, or community, or home, it’s time to stop turning against each other and learn how to fight beautifully.

There are 12 blog posts coming, including this one, that speak to the truths we’ve got to understand if we want unity in our lives and in the world as a whole. Changing the world starts with the way YOU operate. If you want to be part of the solution rather feeding the problem here’s where to start.

Disagreement is a normal part of life and it is not a bad thing.

Can we just admit that “united” never meant “all in agreement”? From friendship, to marriage, to national and international policies… we have to get used to the fact that relationships with humans have to make room for our differences. Even the people we love the most in this world will not agree with us all the time. That is a good thing! So let’s embrace it and learn from it. Expect it and stop being threatened by it. Otherwise, we’re going to be miserable all the time.

I’m going to go out on a shaky limb here and speak to some of the members of the Christian community. The way a large sum of evangelicals are interacting on social media is not reflecting the kind of credibility that reflects that Jesus modeled for us during his life (as evidence by his humility…to the death). He came to bind up the brokenhearted, not to shame people publicly. He asked us to love as He loved us, not to play God and decide who’s right or wrong.

Behind every person’s belief system is a story filled with experiences that validate our views. Can I challenge my bros and sisters to consider not saying anything at all if you feel the urge to insult anyone who disagrees with your worldview? Rather than expecting someone to change their beliefs, let’s learn about each others’ stories and offer genuine respect for everyone’s experiences without being condescending. That, alone, would be a giant leap for humanity.

Please comment below or visit the Love Better Facebook Page to share your own discoveries and insights about how we can finding unity through understanding instead of agreement.

Emily SutherlandComment