Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why is it?

Why is it that people feel compelled to defend themselves rather than simply listening and dialoguing? For example, recently I was talking with someone and they brought up the current tax structure (not something I enjoy discussing). They talked about a rich friend of theirs who has left the country and is now living in Panama. He talked about the beautiful setting, the fact that it was safely behind a barbed wire fence, and that the sunrises were beautiful to see.

I commented that I had a hard time reconciling that with scripture. I asked how they could interact with their neighbors. This person immediately began to talk about how many other houses there were in the compound and how they flew back to the States regularly to interact with others.

I replied that I couldn't see Peter or Paul living like that. That opened the floodgates (it almost always does!). They began to expound on how many good works that person did. The thousands of dollars that were donated to missions in Africa, the number of missions projects that were funded by them.

I simply said that I wasn't telling them how to live. I personally felt it was unbiblical and therefore chose to live more simply, in and among the people of my community. If they felt it was a justifiably biblical lifestyle, then fine. The other person still insisted on defending their rich friend's lifestyle. But they never once cited a scriptural text or precedence—although such texts could easily be found!

So, why is it that they felt compelled to defend that lifestyle in a confrontational way? I didn't say they were wrong. I didn't say they should change. I simply said that I couldn't justify such a lifestyle biblically. I thought it was an invitation to a discussion. I was willing to be shown where I was wrong. I figured that with all the learning and education this person had that they would be able to rise to the occasion with a biblical foundation.

Nope. Didn't happen. Never has. The response is always the same. How sad. We let culture define success. We value the asphalt of heaven instead of the true treasures of heaven...


Joel and Renée said...

They felt threatened and feared the truth, which of course deep down they knew you were right. ~R

That's my 2 cents! said...

I agree with Renee.