One More Question for a New Year, New Perspective

Last week I shared three questions that I am using for reflection to start the New Year. After posting, however, I realized that there is an additional question that I want to share. The three questions I shared last week — 

What do I need to forget? What do I need to remember? And what makes me joyful? — are designed to pull back the layers of my heart. In essence, they help me lead myself. 

Today’s question, by contrast, is a perspective-setting question about situations external to you. In fact, I came to this question after realizing how negative I was getting toward other people or situations. 

It’s the kind of question that could change the tenor of our public discourse. In fact, if I ruled the world, this would be the first question I would ask every political candidate about their opposition. 

It’s this: 

What’s the BEST thing you can say about the other person (or about the situation you are in)? 

Here is how it works. 

Situation: Someone cuts you off in traffic. 

“That person is may be in a hurry for an important reason. Perhaps, there is an emergency. Or, perhaps, they are just oblivious and did not mean anything by cutting me off.” 

Situation: My least favorite QB of my least favorite team makes a public statement I don’t agree with. 

“It is clear that they passionately believe in the cause they are commenting on. I respect their passion, even though I respectfully disagree with their take.”

Situation: Joe Biden or Donald Trump is shown talking on TV. 

Everyone I know has an opinion of these two people. I imagine that you had a response just reading their names above. So, what positive thing can you say about both of them? 

Keeping the Door of the Heart Ajar

This question does not resolve all the angst, conflict, and stress present in the current day. But it does begin to give you some perspective. Further, it keeps the door of heart slightly ajar to love. Think about it like this: if you can’t say anything nice about someone, how can you love them?

Maybe love is not your goal. But for the Christ follower, like me, love is not optional. A lot of the readers fall into the same category, so I am poking here. I’ll repeat, you cannot love someone if you have absolutely nothing positive to say about them. You do not have to agree with their stances, but you are commanded to be loving in your disagreement. And above everything else, Christ died for ALL.  

Your Challenge This Week

Coming full circle, I challenge you to ask this question at work this week. If you work with other human beings, there is probably a human (or two!) at your place of work that you struggle to love. What if you began asking this question? How differently would you see them if you did? How much different would things begin to look in general at work if you did? 

Next week, I am going to pivot back to the False Self Series with the 6th installment. The questions I shared last week and today will be applicable, because next week’s post focuses on beating yourself up over mistakes you have made in the past. In fact, maybe the question you need to ask is, what is the best thing you can say about yourself? More on that next week!