Coming back from New York City last night on the train, I was sitting next to a young lady who had just received her Doctorate in child psychology. Wanting to pass the time, we struck up a conversation. It’s a long train ride from New York to Baltimore. Having said that, we steered away from politics in detail and had a pleasant discussion about it in general. Sensing that she was from the very liberal end of academia, I wanted to find out her mindset and how she thought about the current condition of the nation. I also wanted to see if talking about politics using leftist terms to support my conservative beliefs would work. The political part of our discussion began by talking about Brexit and the crash of the leftists in England.
She said she was amazed that conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party won such a crushing victory. My response was that when one looks at democracy and the self determination of government, the people of Great Britain voted overwhelmingly in June 2016 to leave the European Union. Yet it’s been over two years and the will of the people has not been accomplished. All the while my new liberal friend is nodding her head in agreement. Is it no wonder that Johnson won such a victory after two years of stalling by politicians who refused the will of the people just because they disagreed with it, I asked? She replied, “I see what you mean.” I told her the political pendulum swings on this type of inaction.
We went on to discuss the current state of America. I interjected Christian themes into the discussion about how we are to treat one another as we would like to be treated. She thought for a moment and agreed that the state of affairs in this country have become so visceral that nothing can be accomplished because there are no civil discussions. She likened it to a marriage where the husband and wife are so angry that they cannot discuss even the smallest of things without disagreeing. I told her that it was unfair and not right that people are painted with horrible labels just because they disagree. She said that she believed that there can be no progress on anything if people can’t have a reasonable discussion.
A couple of things. This person was reasonable. We were able to have a discussion. Throughout that discussion, I wove in the Word of God, gently and where it made sense. She did not grab on and say that she was Christian or Jew or nothing. She pondered the things I said in the context of our talk. We were able to agree that the visceral in today’s society was not good for its people or for the country. All this to say that in these conversations with others, if we control our tongues, and listen, and resource the Word where appropriate, we can sometimes find agreement. Not everyone who is an unbeliever is unreasonable and mean. As Christ said in John 4:37, “And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps.” May we all be aware that how we sow a seed makes a difference on how it is received.