Please Don't Tell Me About All The Things You Don't Like

Perhaps you know someone like this: Starbucks is too expensive. Democrats are ruining the country. His boss is stupid. He hates the liberal press. Paddle boarding is dumb.

He is quick to tell you about all the things he hates or doesn't like – without ever wondering how you might feel about it. There's no room for any opinion except his. To disagree with him is to invite an argument. He leaves no room for you to have an opinion of your own. He's always on the verge of losing his temper if he can't be in control. He is prickly to the skin of others, while ironically thin-skinned himself. He is opinionated, rigid, inflexible, argumentative, and negative. (And if you cannot think of anyone like this, it may be you!)

Christians get caught up in this too. Who doesn't know a Christian who is cranky, contentious, down on the world, and not at all shy about letting you know about it. Frankly, it's a downer.

If you don't like something that is morally neutral, keep it to yourself. You may think Apple is overrated, but who cares? You may hate professional sports or hunting, but who cares? You may not understand what anyone sees in NASCAR because you love to read books. But watching NASCAR brings that person the same pleasure that reading books brings to you. So let's let everyone be who they are.

Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you... You are my friends if you do what I command" (John 15:12, 14). We could make the world a much better place if we would put loving people before letting them know about all the things we don't like or hate. Especially if it's something they DO like!

How do we do that? Frankly, we can't. But Christ in us can. So the answer is to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Him, we can speak what is good, gracious, and pure. Proverbs 22:11, one of my life verses, says "He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend."

And also, again through the power of Jesus, by NOT feeling like we always need to offer our opinion, or let people know where we stand. As James 1:19 says, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

Of course, none of us is capable of always doing this, but in Christ all things are possible. So let us turn to Jesus, our example, our friend, and our power.

Until every church disciples every man…