Thinking about bridges this morning. My good friend Trey Harper once joked with me once that the only thing bridges are good for is being walked on. I feel that way sometimes. Rick Warren once said, “it’s easy to be an extremist. Then you only have one group of people mad at you. But if you try to build relationships, everyone will be mad at you.”
In this world we live in, though, we need more relationships. We need more bridges.
I know we are always tempted to say that the thing we are experiencing is the best or worst ever. So I’m sure there have been times that have been more polarized than today. But I don’t think I’ve experienced it in my life. Religiously, socially, politically, in every way, we are so divided.
I don’t know what all the answers are. I don’t. I think that is what creates all the polarization today, we are all convinced of our own rightness. Of all us. One of my mentors once told me – “Andy, show me someone that thinks they are wrong.” We all think we are right.
The best lesson I’ve learned about being married is this. I tell all the folks I do premarital counseling this. You have to love your spouse more than you love being right. Sometimes you are right. And you still have to love them. You have to value that relationship more than you value being right.
In our polarized world, we need more bridges. More relationships. More coffee and conversations. More genuine relationships.
I know we all feel under attack by someone for something. All of us. But being afraid, hardening our heart, and attacking others, that isn’t the answer. No matter what side we find ourselves on.
I know this is naive. I know it’s pollyannish. But I have to believe it’s still true. I have to.
Blessed are the peacemakers.
We need bridges today.
The only answer I have for the polarization of today’s time is Jesus. Only He changes hearts and minds. And if your goal is to convince “them” that “they” are wrong (no matter who they are, or which side they are on) yelling at them will not convince them. But loving them, being in a relationship with them, it just may.
I heard Tim Keller say once, I don’t want to just proclaim the truth, I want to persuade you to follow the truth. And the only way that I can do that is to love. To build a bridge.
We need more bridge builders today.
Will you be one?