Don’t Hate Me Just Because I’m Right
I had my eyes opened to the power of words with I was in the 10th grade.
There was this teacher, Mrs. Phillips. She was a 60s child. She was outspoken, unconventional, creative and smart. She had ideas that challenged my world…my small Baptist church world. She made me uncomfortable and curious all at the same time. It was the first time in my life that anyone had ever made me color outside the lines in my thinking. I can never thank her enough. Her thoughts and opinions changed the way I saw life. She changed my life.
I’m not saying I agreed with everything that she said. But I couldn’t ignore the way she crafted her words. I couldn’t not hear the tone of her voice and the sincerity of her passionate convictions. All of it drew me into her world and how she saw life. I loved her even though I didn’t agree with her.
I’m not sure when it started, but there’s been a change in how we talk to one another today. We don’t talk. We scream. And we hate. There’s no listening to another person’s thoughts or convictions and then considering what they say and the context of why they believe what they say. If it doesn’t line up with our thoughts, theology or convictions we feel we must go to war. And maybe it’s really not this way, but it sure looks and sounds a lot like hate.
Oswald Chambers once said, “Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong.”
That challenges me.
By really listening to others we earn the right to be heard. By really taking the time to hear not only the “what” of their beliefs but also the “why” can we truly understand what they are saying. And even if we disagree we don’t have to hate or make people feel that we hate them. It could be that we are wrong. (Gasp!) Or it could be that because of our upbringing, our environment and our background we are just predisposed to see things differently from them.