What is my modus operandi?

I am convinced more and more that we are living in an argument culture. It is as if we approach everything with a warlike mentality so we end up looking at the world – and people and brothers and sisters in our own denominational family – in an adversarial frame of mind. Our default modus operandi for interaction, particularly when we disagree, is mean-edged sarcasm and cynicism. It’s as if we don’t know how to make a point without it being at the end of an arrow aimed for someone’s heart. 

So how do we explore an idea?

A debate.

How do we cover the news?

Find people who express the most extreme, polarizing views and present them as the “two sides.”

How do we settle a dispute?

Through litigation that pits one party against the other.

How do we begin an essay?

Oppose someone, for criticizing and attacking shows that you are really thinking.

I constantly need to be reminded that there are two types of words: life-taking, and life-giving. Life-taking words are cutting, abusive, provoking. They tear down, put down and beat down. They hurt, wound and maim. They stir up, antagonize, and patronize.

Maybe the best thing for me to do is not respond with my own form of justified vitriol or snarkiness, but pray some life-giving words, build healthy relationships with those that I vehemently disagree with, remember that they to bear the imago Dei, look for where they are being a blessing... you know, practice a little Ephesians 4:29.

How can you be life-giving today... even with those that you vehemently disagree with?

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