The topic of this blog goes against my very grain. The issue of this blog goes against the heart of who I am and my very nature. Yet, the theme of this blog strikes at the heart of something I’m wrestling with today.
I finished working through Buster Benson’s book, “Why are we yelling?” Benson’s book left me excited for my world. You see, he highlighted both the value of arguments and how we can grow through them. I already shared in a previous blog about the three truths of arguments, you can read them here.
I usually see arguments as unproductive
You see, previously arguments for me appear only to allow hurting people. In-person, I see feelings hurt and regrettable things sad. Online, I see caricatures and people fighting Against caricatures.
Yet I also see the importance of arguments
Yet, on the other hand, arguments represent points where two people feel strongly about different things. The reality here represents health in both individuals. A marriage without disagreement sometimes isn’t that healthy. You expect a couple of healthy individuals to differ in how they see the world at some point. Hence, every healthy relationship and community will have arguments.
Of course, as I say this, I realize people interact in arguments differently. For some, an argument involves yelling and hand a high-volume exchange. For me, an argument refers to a long, tense conversation.
Benson would say that some people take different voices into an argument. Some people bring the voice of power, trying to force a victory in an argument. Some people bring a voice of avoidance, trying to avoid any disagreement. Other people bring the voice of reason or the voice of emotion trying to win.
Arguments don’t change people
I think the idea that arguments don’t change people is one of the more important truths in Benson’s book. I’ve certainly seen this. People don’t argue other people into change. They really don’t. Experience changes people.
This truth that arguments don’t change people is interesting for me as a pastor. Honestly, that’s my business, pushing for change in people. I want to see people change and become more like Jesus.
When I interact with men and women inside the church and outside the church, I encounter many different convictions. People are religious about their religious convictions. I don’t like arguing, so, unfortunately, I avoid opportunities to bring people closer to God.
A different approach to disagreement.
I think if I start to approach more points of disagreement to understand, I might help more people encounter God. If I can’t change mine to arguments, then I can help people improve themselves through experience. Experience does change people. God changes lives.
As a result of this book by Buster Benson, I will work to talk to more people and listen. I will work to ask better questions. I will work to admit the biases that I hold so that I can better understand others. Hopefully, by learning from others and about others, I can introduce a few more people to Jesus. And maybe through encountering and experiencing him, they will change their minds about Him.