La, la, la, la, la
It’s one of the most annoying sounds on earth. The person standing in front of you has their fingers in their ears, and they are singing, “la, la, la, la,” at the top of their voice.
It’s telling you to shut up.
That what you have to say doesn’t matter.
That they’ll only stop when they can say their piece.
It usually comes from a five-year-old, but it can also come from an adult. They aren’t doing the fingers-in-the-ear-thing or singing la-la-la, but the goal is to shut down the conversation.
Don’t we hate that?
What if this is us?
What if someone is trying to explain their point-of-view, or their view of faith, or how they arrived at their opinion and we put our fingers in our ears and shout la-la-la-la?
I’ve dug deep into my faith lately as I’ve listened to friends and acquaintances and strangers talk in this divisive time. I’ve cringed at “thrown-em-down” statements and heated arguments. Most conversations center around current events, but also faith.
Who believes what. . .
Who doesn’t believe what . . .
If you were a Christian, you’d think this. . .
You don’t think this, so you must not be a Christian. . .
A few days ago I slipped into a safe place with friends and I let all of this spill.
It’s discouraging, I said.
I don’t understand, I said.
I want to hear what you have to say, I asked.
That resulted in one of the most profound conversations I’ve had in a long time. We talked. We listened to each other. We didn’t all agree, and that was okay. I was able to share some things that I am not able to talk about in public, because of the firestorms that are going on right now. I was able to hear what some friends had to say that really made sense, even if I saw it in a different way.
No one put their fingers in their ears and said, “la, la, la, la.”
What does this have to do with believing big when you feel small?
All of the divisive talk in our culture right now — especially among fellow believers — can make us feel small.
Faith plays into this, for our faith is not just what we believe, but who we follow.
Jesus held conversations with sinners, with fledgling believers, with authorities, and with multitudes. His message was welcome to some, and embraced by others.
Faith plays into our conversations — it’s not just about what we believe, but Who we follow. https://ctt.ec/MxsSh+ #ComeWithMe
Some didn’t agree. Some didn’t understand his message. Others suspected it. Some wanted it so bad they couldn’t see straight, but didn’t know what to do with it.
In all of these, we never see Jesus shouting to be heard above them or putting his fingers in his ears, saying, “la, la, la.”
I love the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. It’s a beautiful example of how Jesus held a conversation.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:1-10
Jesus approached this guy as a man worth talking with.
He crossed cultural and traditional boundaries and had a meal with him.
Jesus listened to people. What might happen if we did the same? https://ctt.ec/ubfOe+ #ComeWithMe
When people tried to distract him with criticism, he kept his focus on the person in front of him.
A man was changed.
This isn’t about being right or wrong. It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to agree. It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be changed because of a conversation. It also doesn’t mean that you never say anything.
It’s simply inviting Jesus into our conversations.
It’s allowing our faith to infiltrate the way we listen, the way we respond, and the way we treat each other. . . even when we disagree.
Day #14 of 21 days to believing big when you feel small
- Faith is trusting in Someone bigger than ourselves. How does our faith help us as we hold conversations with people (believers or not) who disagree with us?
- Name one takeaway from Jesus’ conversation with Zacchaeus.
- Jesus never got involved with current events, but steered the conversation back to Christ. Name one way that we can do the same.
- Pray for a friend or loved one who believes the opposite of you. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you why or how they came to believe the way they did.
- Pray for that person (not to come to your way of thinking, but simply because they are valuable to God.)
- When it feels like the world has turned upside down
- Let’s give people freedom to ask the hard stuff
- Video from Come With Me study: