Can we all view the same season in a different way and still love?

We are all in a season right now.

Collectively we are facing some serious ick that we have not faced before.

Pandemic. Social unrest. Election year. Etc.

and then social media sparking opinions on it all and turning people against one another.

It is a hotbed of straight up mess.

Our world has experienced social unrest before. Our world has experienced a pandemic before. And our world experiences a presidential election every four years. However, this looks so much different now because

1- it is all happening at the same time

2-social media gives us all a chance to share our opinion loudly without having to see the hearts of those we are sharing with

We have somehow forgotten that we are in this together. Collectively. We are turning on one another, rather than walking forward towards unity in love. Yes, we will have different opinions, which is the most amazing thing about perspective. However, we need to be listening with our hearts first and moving towards unity, laced in love, in order to move us to a positive place of change.

No matter where you stand on any of the issues occuring in our society right now and really, everyone has a stance, I think we can collectively say that right now is a bummer. It is hard.

All of a sudden you realize that people you deeply love think different than you. That is not the hard part. This is where growth happens if we open our ears and our hearts, before our mouths.

But… sometimes you also realize that people you deeply love think different than you and are not accepting of how you think.

Or worse yet, people you deeply love think different than you and you are not accepting of how they think. Ouch.

We cannot change how others act or how they perceive us. But we can change how we act and how we perceive others. We can choose to put on love and layer our hearts with grace in order to still see and hear the person we love and to see their view.

I am not saying that we cannot have our own opinions. We need to. What are our values and how can we walk in them? However, I think the way in which we share our opinions can be done in a way that works towards unity, rather than division.

We all know the problems right now.

No. We do not. I do not know your perspective. I only know my own. So sit with me and share your perspective with me. I learned through a previous struggle that it is really hard to dislike someone once you’ve sat down and had a cup of coffee with them. I think there is a lot of truth to this. It doesn’t mean I will have their same opinion, but I can see their perspective.

But, we need to sit with each other and have two sided conversations in order to truly hear the perspective of others. Social media allows for only one sided conversations, often spewing one view, without allowing for reflective dialogue between the person sharing and those receiving the view on their newsfeed. I encourage us all, myself included, to have the hard conversations with those we love, rather than using social media to passive aggressively share our thoughts without allowing for dialogue. This is a huge challenge for me, as I despise conflict <insert all the yucky feelings> but I am learning we will not grow unless we lean into the hard stuff. So, I will try to lean in.

We need to work actively to not allow this season to divide us. On the otherside of this ick, we are going to need our people to get us through whatever ick comes next. There will be more ick. That is just how life goes.

How can we use this current season to draw us closer?

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. And be thankful.

– Colossians 3:12-15





I think this is when I must share my email address incase you would like to take this current one sided conversation into a two sided one: ashleyelindner@gmail.com

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