Listening More Than I Talk

I get frustrated with politics. For a long time I've basically ignored the news on the basis that after mothering 5 kiddos I didn't have the energy to worry about what was happening outside of our never ending mountain of laundry. But I've regained my interest in the world of politics and where our country and our world is headed.

As a young person I was very interested in politics but per my upbringing, I believed that any career having anything to do with politics was not something a Christian could do. I have since changed my mind. Maybe God put my interest in history, government and politics inside me for a reason, I don't know. Maybe it's just a silly passion that I will soon realize is just a manifestation of a worldly frame of mind. I don't know. I'm totally open to being wrong on most subjects, I would rather feel the sting of rebuke than remain staunchly in the wrong.

I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat. Both parties embrace various platforms that horrify me.

Something that frustrates me and a reason I've felt disillusioned for a long time is just the amount of bickering, sometimes over really petty things. Some people will criticize President Obama no matter what he does and some will praise him no matter what he does. Both sides "spin" the action and assign whatever motive they need to to feed their own positions viewpoint.

Nobody really listens to anyone one else and it all just turns into one big game of tug o' war.

I don't have to attend every argument that I'm invited to and I shouldn't. It seems that people get so caught up in being right that they don't even remember the original issue that they became angry about, they just know they are angry and where the anger was directed and so every issue that comes up, no matter how small, they grab onto it and continue the argument as if it were the battle of the ages.

If I get offended by EVERYTHING, my outrage loses its impact. If I get upset about what my local landmark is called and what books the library lends then my opinion about abortion gets lost in the ocean of outrage. People just roll their eyes and close their hearts and ears when they see me coming!

This applies to church too. If I complain about the temperature of the room and what time the services are and what songs get sung and who's preaching and what we have for lunch and whose baby was crying in church then my opinion loses any meaning or impact it might have had.

I don't have to be outraged about EVERYTHING. Sometimes I just need to put on my big girl panties and get over it and realize that the people who make decisions are mostly doing the best they can. I am NOT the only person who has an opinion and when a hundred or more people are involved there are likely just as many opinions...some of MY opinions are not going to be honored. Maybe none. But isn't that what being a follower of Jesus is about? Giving up my rights so my neighbor can exercise his?

Maybe I should try just shutting up unless something REALLY matters. Like, what's at stake here? My comfort or someone's soul? If the answer is my comfort or preferences it's probably time to shut up. If someone's soul is at stake it's time to speak up.

It's time to start making my words and actions count for something. Spend more time listening than talking so that when I do speak up, people listen.

James 1:19-20
Proverbs 17:28
Proverbs 12:15

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