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Argue with Me!

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Sometimes I miss just hanging out and talking with people that want to challenge me. I like a good, tough discussion about different ways of thinking. I like having my moral code challenged, or being asked to explain a piece of reasoning or why I hold a certain opinion. Even in baseball, where guys are really competitive, I’m seeing the level of discussion drop off. Now a guy will just as soon say, “Well, that’s cool,” and that’s it. That’s the end of the conversation.

“That’s cool”? That’s the state of dialogue? What about saying, “I hear you, but what about this perspective?” What happened to getting into strange, fun discussions about different viewpoints? Most people don’t seem to want to deal with that. They just want to say, “That’s cool. I don’t agree, but that’s cool.”

Well if you disagree, then obviously it’s not cool. So why do you say it is? I think there’s an idea growing out there that truth is relative. People have decided, “Well, you know, you can believe that. That’s your own belief. You believe your way, and I’ll believe my way.” There’s just no “iron sharpening iron” going on.

If you think I’m wrong, I have no problem with you challenging me. I wish you would! Don’t say, “That’s cool. To each their own.” No, no. If we did that with everybody, we’d have chaos. And anyway we don’t do that. When some guy kills some other guy on the street, we don’t say, “I probably wouldn’t have done that, but, whatever, it’s cool.” It’s not cool! When that happens, we’re challenging it. We’re going to put that guy before a court. We’re going to tell him why we think he’s wrong. And we’re going to have to put him somewhere where he can’t do it again!

That’s an extreme example, but in normal everyday discourse, most people don’t want to be argumentative. And that’s part of why justice is not always being served in this world. There are literally people out there that see injustice and say, “Hey, not my problem. Whatever. I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do.” Well, no, you don’t!

But we’re afraid of conflict. The people that stand up to injustice, right now, should be considered heroes. The staff of Not For Sale are heroic in their endeavors. So is the International Justice Mission. There are a lot of different agencies and organizations that are trying to stop slavery. They may or may not be afraid, but they stand up.

The problem is, they comprise a small group compared to the numbers of people that are now finding out about human trafficking and still go to bed at night saying, “That’s cool, good for them for fighting,” and then move on. It’s going to take a whole society to finish slavery once and for all. Back in the day when there was a social movement, for abolition or civil rights or women’s right to vote, that movement succeeded when a whole society revolted. We didn’t get better as a country because people said, “Well, to each their own, that’s cool, you do your thing, good luck with that.” We got better because we said no to injustice.

We’re losing that. Most people now are afraid of controversy, and I think that’s unhealthy. In the spiritual world and in the common sense world, I think that you have to be okay with conflict. There has to be an iron-sharpening-iron effect.

See you Saturday.

5 thoughts on “Argue with Me!

  1. I agree with you in that truth is reach when inquisitive minds seek to come to conclusions (often through discussion). But at some point in any argument, the Spirit leaves, and I think it’s up to each of us to find that line within ourselves. The Spirit is the teacher and testifier of truth, so if we hope for ourselves to learn or to help others understand our side, we have to make sure we don’t drive the Holy Ghost away by having a spirit of contention in us.

  2. The last couple of years I’ve been around people the years who have been for me, a challenge to be around. When I first met them, I was extremely affected by their ways…very direct, loud, sometimes really angry. Everything Ive struggled being around because of abuse in the past. Over these past couple years,even though we all liked eachother very much, and have come to love eachother almost like family. During this time, our different ways have made positive changes in our lives because of these differences. I can’t say that I had arguments with them..they usually occur between their family, but in taking my sensitive hurt feelings of inferiority and hurt just being around them,yet loving eachother at the same time, God has healed me through the hurt that surfaced and the understanding and support by them. God’s healing is strengthening me and settling a more solid love for who I am in Him and to be able to accept and love others more openly not taking their personal charachter where they are in their walk with Jesus personally. Its helped me to see them as imperfect human beings as we all are, in order to be able to be blessed by their strengths in their ability to accept and have patience and compassion and love for me regardless of my weaknesses. and told me things that I’ve said and done in my walk with God has changed and.blessed them. I Think that God knows who to bring together at the right time to bring those sharpening swipes of iron at the right times to bring growth in us and glory to Him:) Maybe right now, you’re sharp enough at the moment…or maybe feeling frustrated with ppl who are afraid to confront or express disagreement is a new area of sharpening for you maybe:) or maybe I am completely wrong, but open to learn <3

  3. You take me back to the days when we finally stood up to apartheid in this country. In the first decade or two after WWII, people tended to believe the argument that somehow through apartheid, whites were bringing the blacks into “civilization” in South Africa. It was very hard to get people to see the injustice of racism — that was in the 1950s and the 1960s.

    As our nation went through our own civil rights struggles, we learned and we grew. Finally it became clear to people that apartheid was an injustice (just as people will now agree without hesitation that slavery is an injustice). We saw the attitude to apartheid change in the 1970s.

    But how did we get to an activist movement in the 1980s? How did people go from agreeing that apartheid was vicious and evil, to taking to the streets and calling their representatives and insisting that their voice be heard? How did we get from moral consensus to social movement? That is the gamillion dollar question! I have a pretty decent answer, and I can explicate some other time, but here’s my main point: what we witnessed in the anti-apartheid era is happening now. Awareness is spreading. Moral consensus is being achieved. Activists are supplying tools for resistance and setting a good example, and leading the fight by giving the time. Soon you won’t be calling people asking for their help. They’ll be calling you, saying, “how can I help?” That will happen. (Just be sure you don’t answer by asking for money. That’s a big problem with abolitionist groups right now. When you do that, people go away. When they call, have an action plan prepared. They are offering time and passion. Be prepared to help them give it.)

    I believe we are entering a period of history that will be remembered as another “abolition era.” I am heartened. The right things are happening. It’s just incredibly hard to be patient because we’re so connected to the suffering of the slaves.

    Meanwhile, if you want argument, come to my house! My husband and I have very little to argue about in our happy marriage, but we go at it hammer-and-tongs nearly every day anyway. We argue about the Great Ideas of religion, philosophy, and science, or about public policy matters such as education. We have Great Debates around here! Iron sharpens iron every day. It’s wonderful. I don’t know how I’d get by without someone to argue with! :-)

  4. So true, less and less black and white, right and wrong today. Everything is being turned into an enormous gray area with a dangerous lack of moral absolutes. This whole idea of situational ethics and to each his own is causing greater problems in our society today, especially with our young people. Children are not being taught at home and we are seeing the ill effects as a result.

  5. Pingback: Argue with Me! « joliekirsten

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