The Value of the Contrary Voice

9 09 2020

I don’t like it when people disagree with me, and I don’t like hearing things that don’t align with my perspective on the world.

I was on twitter this morning, and came across a pastor that was posting things that I didn’t agree with.  Do you know my first thought?  “I should un-follow this guy.  I don’t need this kind of stuff on my Twitter feed.”

Why did I want to mute this guys voice?  Because he was saying things that I didn’t like and felt were misguided.  He didn’t see the world like I see the world.  His perspective didn’t align with my perspective. This always seems to make me uncomfortable.  It makes us all uncomfortable.

You see, we all feel as if our view of the world is the right view.  I have reasons for why I hold to the perspectives I have… and you have reasons why you hold the perspectives that you have.  Here’s the thing.  Our perspectives are probably not exactly the same.  

On any given issue, from my vantage point, my ideas are rational, measured, and well considered.  If I didn’t think I was right, I wouldn’t hold to that perspective.  But here’s the problem.  We all are thinking the exact same thing. 

So the big question is this. Do we have the grace and the humility to hold our personal perspectives with an open hand, considering that, just possibly, another voice might actually help me establish a more “Truth-Driven” perspective?

Years ago I was talking with a fellow pastor who remarked that he refused to listen to any messages from certain Pastors that held to a specific theological ideology because he disagreed with it. Just a few weeks ago I overheard a conversation about a person who de-friended a family member because of their constant posting of political views that they didn’t espouse to. Even I had to stop myself from “unfollowing” a Pastor friend on twitter because of his constant posts that are contrary to my views on the world

This should bother us.  How can we be so dogmatic about our positions, so critical of the contrary voice, if we can’t even listen for a moment to the voice on the other side?  Would a warning such as Paul’s in 2 Timothy 4:3, give us any kind of challenge in this regard? 

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”


If I only watch FoxNews, because their perspective aligns with mine, but I refuse to watch CNN because they are “Fake News”, am I any different than those who only will listen to “what their itching ears want to hear”?

Or if I only watch CNN or MSNBC, because I align with their perspective, and refuse to watch FoxNews because it is a “Right Wing Propaganda machine”, how am I not like these that Paul warns us about?

I am not suggesting that we compromise our beliefs, nor am I suggesting that we allow biblical truth to be eroded or shaped by un-biblical perspectives, but could it be that we’ve allowed ourselves to become like the Pharisees, who became so theologically and ideologically hardened that when the Truth showed up to confront their misguided perspective of God and the Law, that they did everything in their power to “unfollow”, “mute” and even “de-platform” his voice?

As a follower of Jesus, I must also be a follower of the Truth.  Not my perspective on the Truth, not what aligns with political or societal norms, not what is traditional, not what is comfortable, and not what is popular.  To do this, I must be willing to listen to the contrary voice.  

I have a little saying that I often use with my staff.  “You will know if an idea is “Golden” if it can stand up to the heat of scrutiny.”  Just as Gold is refined through fire, so ideas and perspectives are refined through honest, and thorough evaluation.  If your idea can’t stand up to the contrary voice without breaking down into an emotional or irrational response, then your idea, posture or perspective might not be as “Golden” as you think.

I’m working hard to be a guy who doesn’t just “mute” the contrary voice, but to let other perspectives challenge, reveal, and inform my own.  I’ll be honest, this is a struggle, but I am discovering that it is important.  If I want to be a follower of the TRUTH then I can’t just assume I have it.  I have to let my perspectives be tested and proven (Romans 12:2, Philippians 2:12) through the challenge of the Contrary Voice.

It’s not easy, but we need to learn not to be fearful of opinions that are different than ours and allow our perspectives to be challenged by the perspectives of others, because as uncomfortable as it might be… who knows… that contrary voice might be the voice of Jesus.

How To Experience REAL LIFE

1 02 2017

A few days ago I shared a sarcastic post about “How To Make Yourself Miserable”. This post was designed to get a person to think about what actually leads to our personal feelings of misery and unhappiness, and to challenge us to get rid of those things. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, you can do so here.

The truth is, we all fall victim to things that fight against our sense of joy and peace, but if we continue to give them space in our lives, then misery is the end result. For just a minute, I want to throw out a few ideas that can help us end the misery and replace it with LIFE… REAL LIFE.

1. Real Life Will Never Be Found In Yourself. – Jesus said “…I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10) but he also said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:27) Do you know what that means? It means that to find your life, you have to lose it. To experience life, you have to let go of your efforts to live life your way. As long as you spend your time and energy trying to make your life what you want it to be, you will constantly find it slipping away. You have to lose you to find you.

2. You Have To Fight For Truth. – Everyday you will hear a myriad of voices that seek to influence your thoughts and actions, but only one voice will lead you to life… and that’s the voice of Truth. Jesus said that when you let Truth influence you, “the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). It is only when you make the tough determination to allow Truth to have the microphone and to speak over you, that you’ll find that the the winds of Life will begin to blow in your soul.

3. Learn From Mistakes But Don’t Get Caught By Them. – Everyone is going to miss the mark from time to time, but if you allow those mistakes to consume you, you’ll never experience the Real Life that God desires you to have. Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow, yet looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).

Think of it this way, when you’re driving down the highway, you probably have had moments where you didn’t keep it perfectly between the lines. However, when this happened, I’m guessing you didn’t turn around and look behind you and then wallow in your driving failure. Rather, you probably corrected your course, got things back on track, and kept moving forward. This is exactly what Jesus is reminding us of… when mistakes happen, learn from them, correct them, and keep moving forward. Failure is only a failure if you stop pressing foward. Mistakes are simply part of growing as a person.

4. Don’t Give In To Feelings. – Your feelings can be powerful, but feelings don’t make great leaders. If you follow them, you will find constantly be blown back and forth by the fluxuating winds of circumstances and expectations. God gave you emotions to help you understand what is happening in your soul, not to define Truth for your life. If you feel it, find out why you’re feeling it, process it with the Truth and move forward. Don’t let the strength of your feelings keep you from stepping into God’s very best for your life.