0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
The other day I was speaking with a mom and we were just talking about different nextTalk stuff and she said off the cuff I wish I could be open and honest with people when I have a different opinion. In this day and age, it seems like nobody knows how to disagree. I was like, yes, That is so true, so true. So if you’re yelling or people won’t listen to you, it’s like you cannot have a different opinion without it causing a huge clash.
0:01:06 – Speaker 1
Well, i mean friendships have ended. I mean after over politics, over mask, over vaccinated. I mean it’s crazy if you think about it. You know, i like the title of this show, the Art of Disagreeing, because it truly is an art to learn, It’s a craft to learn how to disagree with people and still love them and respect them and be kind to them. We got a problem people. We got a problem.
0:01:31 – Speaker 2
Well, you know, if we had a problem as adults, that is like a red flag flashing alert, whatever. For you and I, Mandy, at nextTalk, oh, oh. This is a great opportunity to teach them into our kids. That’s where we go, they go. Oh, we got to talk about it. They’ve got to learn how to do this. Well, i think that it’s like a critical part of our humanity. We have to learn how to respectfully hear people out and disagree in order to move forward as a society, because that is how we introduce, hear, accept new ideas. That’s how it all works by someone seeing something’s not quite right or different, introducing it, And then we say you know what? that could be better, that could be different. So the problem with that, though, is, if we don’t understand how to disagree and still hold our values and the things that we believe in dear, then it just becomes argument and we actually take a step backwards.
0:02:26 – Speaker 1
I like what you said there, kim, like we can still hold our values. I think something is happening, especially in the Christian world. We’ve seen so many people celebrity Christians. I hate that terminology but it’s a thing We all know. It’s kind of a thing right. We’ve seen them switch on their theology to be more accepted And so now Christians are like I am not going to communicate with anybody who may go down a path where they switch their theology And they’re digging in their heels And what I’m seeing happening is they’re doing that at home and then they’re getting teenagers who are thinking on their own and they’re wanting to have conversations that may question some things or question certain beliefs.
And then the parents do that with their kids And it is not a good situation Because it’s pushing the kids away, it’s shutting down conversation because we’re getting defensive And I understand that wall that’s up because we do see a lot of Christians flip-flopping on their beliefs. There’s a lot of confusion. It’s frustrating, but at the same time we can’t swing the pendulum all the way the other side and say we can’t listen or entertain ideas that are different than us. We don’t want to be known for that.
0:03:38 – Speaker 2
No, no, unfortunately. I think that the flesh is known for that. That is where we go, that is Satan loves that. He loves that our eyes would be closed and our ears would be closed and our thoughts and minds completely shut off to anything different. Because we serve a God of creation. We serve a God who makes new things and new ideas, and if we can not hear that and be open to it, then we don’t get to see the miracles that God has in store for us. And so I think what would be helpful? if we first talk about some of those things that we can probably all relate to when we’re in a disagreement. Where do we go emotionally when someone disagrees with us? Then we can talk about what we could do better and how to communicate that to our kids.
0:04:22 – Speaker 1
Well, yeah, and there’s varying levels of disagreement here, and I think so many times with Christians if it’s something biblically that we believe, we immediately go into defensive mode and we won’t listen because we’re like I’m not changing. I’m not changing my biblical principles for you, and I’m not asking anybody to change their biblical principles. Absolutely Hold firm to that. That’s truth. That is truth, right, but being able to listen what I have found listening to people who have different beliefs and opinions than me I’m able to one, be more empathetic to their story and realize everybody’s got a situation as to why they believe a certain way. You know, they’ve got history, they’ve got baggage, they’ve got something going on, right, we all do. We all do.
The other thing is it allows me, when I hear an argument, that I’m like okay, you know what. That makes sense to me, but it doesn’t line up with scripture. You know what I do. It forces me to dig more into the scripture, and it actually makes my faith stronger, because I’m digging in the word for the answers. So what I have learned is like being able to listen to different opinions has actually made my faith stronger. I think the key, though, is when you listen to people that are maybe far from God, and then you don’t bring it back to scripture for yourself. I think that’s where you get in the area where you could sway on your beliefs, and I think that’s where a lot of Christians get defensive and they’re scared their kids are going to end up there.
0:05:56 – Speaker 2
Well, in the lie that we tell ourselves is that if I listen, it means I agree.
0:06:03 – Speaker 1
Oh, that’s so good, Kim.
0:06:04 – Speaker 2
Well, friend, that is a lie from second life. Yeah, that is something I think all of us can say we’re guilty of. I know I am like my kids will say something crazy, or I’ll meet someone in there like spewing off some madness And I’m thinking, if I don’t speak into this, then I am verbally or nonverbally telling them like I am on your side and I agree with you, not the truth. It’s so important to allow people to speak their truth And when you do that, this amazing thing happens sometimes that people will then allow you to speak yours. Now there’s going to be people that will shut you down and will not be a good listener and will not hear you, and we’re going to talk about that, what you can do in those situations. But a lot of times, if you extend respect, other people are more likely to respect you and let you share your opinion. That may be a gospel moment for you where you can share God, that you wouldn’t have that opportunity if you completely disagree with someone before hearing them out.
0:07:05 – Speaker 1
So you said something, kim, that was all really good what you said, but you said something that was a trigger, i think, for some Christians and you said let them speak their truth. You know, i’ve seen a lot of posts on social media from Christians. you know it’s not your truth, it’s not my truth. it’s the truth From a Christian perspective. yes, because the Bible, you know, the Bible is true to us, but to people that don’t hold that belief, they have a different set of truth that they believe in 100%.
And so just saying that to them kind of shuts it down where Tell me about how you feel. Let me in on that, and I’m telling you as a mom of two teens if you don’t master this art of being able to listen, even when your kid is saying something that you’re like, oh my gosh, where have I failed? What are they talking about right now? You know you need to be able to listen to them and hear their context and hear what they’re thinking, and then dig into prayer and scripture. And how am I gonna go back to this and tackle these conversations and discussions in a calm manner, to where they see the biblical part of this? Again, it is a craft to be able to listen and not jump to just a combative argument on why they’re wrong.
0:08:26 – Speaker 2
So I think we’re looking at a couple of different roles that we can play in a conversation when we disagree with someone, and the first one is like what’s our posture? Are we listening? Are we allowing them to say what they need to say or share their opinion? And then, on that other side of that, as we’re listening, are we really listening or are we formulating in our head a comeback or a judgment? And that’s really hard. It’s really hard to truly listen and hear someone beyond the words, but hear their heart And, like you said, their circumstances, their story, and then formulate all of that and go back and pray about our response or in that moment. But really listening, i just wanna encourage you because I have to constantly do this for myself because I’m really bad at it. Really listening means I’m not figuring out how I’m gonna pass judgment or how I’m gonna respond to that person while they’re talking.
0:09:16 – Speaker 1
This is so important, not only in your friendships, your coworker relationships. But I’m gonna hone in here with your spouse and your kids, because your spouse, you and your spouse aren’t always gonna agree on everything. The hope and prayer is that foundationally, biblically, there’s some foundation there that you agree on core beliefs, core belief system. But you may disagree on some political things, you may disagree on how to handle certain parenting things. So what are you gonna do with your spouse? Are you gonna ignore that? Are you not gonna address it? Are you gonna shut down the conversation? Are you gonna just write that topic off in your marriage Like that’s not healthy?
0:10:00 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and then it’s easy to go there Satan loves that too And it’s easy to convince yourself. It’s easier. It’s easier just to not say anything or just to think what I think and walk away, or to pass judgment All kinds of things that we do to not have to deal with differences. And I will tell you, mandy, we always talk about creating a safe place. That’s what we’re all about here at nextTalk.
And if you do that in your home, if you’re walking through that process and your kids feel like they can come to you and ask you anything or tell you anything from a young age or at any age, if they start to feel comfortable that, no matter what they say, you’re gonna love them, you are gonna experience more disagreements because your kids are gonna find their voice and they’re going to say I’m looking at the situation and I don’t understand it, or I see it differently than you, and it’s good and healthy if they can share that with you, knowing you will love them. The same Doesn’t mean you agree or validate their opinion, but knowing that they can voice it is huge.
0:10:59 – Speaker 1
If your spouse and kids can disagree with you in a calm manner and you guys talk through it with a healthy dialogue, it’s actually a good sign that you’re moving in the right direction of creating this nextTalk culture.
0:11:14 – Speaker 2
Well and think about it. If they’re not practicing that under your roof like driving, dating, all these other things using on-screen devices if they’re not practicing how to disagree respectfully, then they’re really gonna struggle when they leave your house And they’re against people with really strong, indifferent opinions who will be combative with them. So I think it’s good. It’s good to practice that, it’s good to teach them about healthy relationships and how you can disagree and still love each other the same. So I think that’s a gift that we can give our kids by practicing that at home.
0:11:46 – Speaker 1
One of the things I wanna touch on, too, kim, is we always talk at nextTalk about bringing your kids up with biblical truth, but also making sure we’re teaching them to default to love for people who don’t share that biblical truth. Right, and one of the things that I have found so helpful is my kids hear me say that a lot. Well, what does the Bible say? Well, even if this person doesn’t agree with the Bible, we have to love them. We have to be kind. We cannot bully. They have their own reasons And so, being very respectful, it goes back to treat each other the way you wanna be treated. That comes straight from scripture, from Jesus, that golden rule.
But one of the things that I have discovered that is so critical is they need to see that in action, and what I mean by that is they need to see me love people who are different than me, who disagree with me. Honestly, i have some of those rare friendships in my life that we disagree on a whole lot I mean politically, on sexual and gender issue, like all of it. Right, but there’s a respect and there is a. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe, but it’s between you and God and I just love you as the person And being able to live that out with people it’s just such a gift because then my kids know I’m not all about just quoting love others, but then I’m not actually living. And I think it’s just really important in this divisive world that we live in that our kids actually see that. I think it’s a good thing we’re modeling Christ-like behavior when they see that in us.
0:13:35 – Speaker 2
I think that’s. You know, kids will call you out. They see behind the words, they are watching. So I think that’s critical to do what we say in all things. They need to see that.
I just want to, you know, point out here also that one of the reasons that we talk about with learning the art of disagreeing and why it is so critical that we learn to do that better as a society and we’ve kind of gotten away from that, especially on social media, it’s magnified like 10 million times, like people just say what they want to say and they argue and yell and it’s crazy.
It’s so important to realize the value of disagreeing. I mean there are injustices in our society that would have never changed if someone didn’t say I think that’s wrong. I mean, think about Rosa Parks, you know, on the bus, and think about different huge changes in our culture and society that if everybody just went along and they didn’t say you know what, i hear what you’re saying, but I’m seeing this perspective we would never have the opportunity to shift the needle and change our culture and move forward. And so disagreeing is very important beyond your family and beyond just standing up for what you believe in, but in moving our culture into a place that’s healthier. So if we can do it well, then things get better. It’s when we get stuck where we are now, i think, culturally, where it’s just a lot of yelling and opinions and we’ve stopped listening, that we’re kind of stagnant and everybody is just in their own corners.
0:15:03 – Speaker 1
Well, i love how you bring up this, the value of being able to improve our world by being able to listen and disagree and hear other sides to the spectrum, right? I think in all of this too, we have to remember that we’re humans and we get it wrong all the time. We get it wrong all the time. All of us are still learning. There’s only one who knows everything. You know, he is the creator and it is in his word that we go to to find that Amongst us, in our opinions, we get it wrong all the time And I think you know, coming from a place of humility, when you look at disagreements, i think that’s necessary to realize we are flawed.
You know, i do get a lot of people saying to me I’m called to speak up on this, like politically, i feel like I need to be in here and I don’t doubt that. I feel like God does call people to speak out about politics and you know, certain things in our society that’s very divisive. I do look at people and I’m like man go, you know God has ordained you for this moment. Go, sister, and I do agree with that. But here’s where I feel like we need to be very cautious as Christians. If God elevates you to a platform to speak on something, then you’re passionate about it and you’re posting about it all the time. Just because he’s called you to it, it doesn’t mean you get a pass to be a bully. Yeah, and I think what happens in our world today is you’re called to something and I felt this I have felt this more in the last year than I’ve, than I’ve ever felt it. You’re called to speak out on something and the haters come and they throw darts at you and they say horrible things about you. I mean, i’ve had people wishing that I died And it hurts really bad. And so you, you develop this thick skin and Then what happens is your tone changes on social media and you start lashing out just like they’re doing, because it’s like a defensive Mechanism, right.
And so I guess what I’m saying to Christians if you are called to a space and you, you know You believe that God wants you to speak out on a certain topic, i’m not asking you to be silent. What I’m asking you to do is to Instruct in a way and speak out in a way that is honoring to God and that is biblical. And this is the verse I think about Kim, i think about 2nd Timothy, 2, 24 and 25. It says gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts and they will learn the truth. Gently instruct it doesn’t say scream. It doesn’t say criticize. It doesn’t say bully. It doesn’t say you know target.
And I think we have to be true for that. We have to be the example. The people who don’t know Jesus in this world and that don’t read scripture, they’re not gonna raise rice to the occasion and be the example, like we’re called to be, the salt in life. Nope, you’re right, and we’re missing it. We’re missing it because it’s like, well, we have to develop thick skin and take up for ourselves. I don’t know. I don’t think that’s. I don’t think that’s the way.
0:18:14 – Speaker 2
Well, and hey, hey, if you’re thinking, that doesn’t apply to me, i wasn’t called to a platform. Guess what you were. If you’re a parent, if your neighbor, if you’re a parent, you’re a neighbor. If you’re a person, you’re called to a platform at your job, in the line, at HB, wherever you have a voice or an opportunity to speak into someone. So the same applies, because that’s super important that your platform Does not give you a voice to bully. It gives you an opportunity to share with love.
0:18:47 – Speaker 1
Well, in one thing that I’ve I’ve learned a lot in this last year with with more haters coming at me, is One sometime my tone and delivery is off and it does hit a trigger That I could have prevented. And and being able to look in the mirror and just say you know, yes, i was speaking truth with the tone in which I said it wasn’t great. I need to admit that to myself. I need to hold myself accountable to that. But one verse that I’ve found over and over again that I just keep reminding myself now, every time I post on social media or Get into a situation where somebody’s really mad at me about something that I stand for, i think of proverb 167 and this is what it says when a man’s ways or a woman’s ways are pleasing to the, when a person’s ways, i’m pleasing to the Lord, right, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him.
Yeah, tone in the heart in which you say it matters, that’s all I’m gonna say there, it matters. And when you try to speak and gently instruct and they’re still saying I wish you would die, i hate you so much, then I’ve learned you walk away. You walk away and you just say you know what I’m going to pray for this person. But I’ve tried to be nice. I’ve tried to have a normal conversation, like a healthy dialogue, that maybe we disagree but we can at least be nice to each other. I’ve tried that If they’re still sending you death threats or they’re still screaming at you, it’s okay to be like I’m going to disengage here.
0:20:22 – Speaker 2
Healthy boundaries are important for your mental health Your mental health, for sure. I do want to mention two couple of last things. One is we play this role in a disagreement, and part of the art of disagreement is not just thinking about how you say something, but also how you hear something. I talked earlier about being a good listener and not preparing your response or how you’re going to judge someone, but the other side of that is, if you’re in a disagreement with someone you know or someone you love, I just really want to make the point that giving someone the benefit of the doubt is so important. We have all been there especially you, Mandy where you’re just not in your right space.
0:21:06 – Speaker 1
Yes, I’m being mean and faithful to you. You’re so mean.
0:21:12 – Speaker 2
But I know your heart because I’m so kind. Why did you throw me under the bus right there, Camel, If you haven’t been listening for a long time? just so you know. When I make a joke at Mandy, I’m really talking about myself. So when you’re having that, we’ve all had those days where we’re off and we’re irritable or we’re tired or it comes out wrong. If you’re in a disagreement with someone and it just doesn’t seem like them, what a gift to give them the benefit of the doubt, Like you know what. I’m not going to engage here because I know this person and this is not the time for this disagreement.
So I just wanted to throw that out there too, because I think that can be so powerful and such a gift in a relationship when we do that for each other.
0:21:53 – Speaker 1
Well, and you know, i do think there’s a distinction in scripture about how we handle disagreements with believers versus disagreements with non-believers too. And so, you know, take that into consideration as well. And I say this because I see a lot of different denominations fighting on Twitter and stuff, and it saddens me because the non-believing world is looking on that and they’re like is that all that there is? Like they’re fighting over this belief or that belief. You know like how many times to do communion, i mean, is that an essential here? Do we want the world? Is that what we want to be known for? And I think you know this is the call to Christians Pick your battles wisely on what you are really going to stay infirm on.
0:22:36 – Speaker 2
Okay, so we’ve said a lot here. You know a lot to think about. Just a couple of reminders that I think are so important. Allow for sympathy, listen without bias. Don’t interrupt or form a comeback while they’re sharing. When you’re in digital format, you know you’re going to respond to someone. Remember there’s someone on the other side of that. Imagine a person right in front of you. Before you type what you’re going to say, you know when people speak a different language and sometimes people are talking to them louder, as if somehow that makes it make sense. It’s the same with disagreeing. Like the louder you get does not mean someone’s going to understand it better. Like yelling, i feel like you’re.
0:23:20 – Speaker 1
I feel like you are calling me out here because I’m so bad at this. You are, you are. you are calling me out. Low your voice. I know I’ve had team members that be like lower your voice, take it down a notch.
0:23:33 – Speaker 2
You cannot hear you better. This one’s important to you And this is something I tell my kids a lot like know what you believe. The the stronger you know about your faith and what you believe, the more at peace you will be with talking to people about it, Because you’re not trying to defend something. There’s no defense when you believe and no truth. So know what you believe and then be inquisitive. I love this one. This is so important in so many areas of life. It’s okay to ask questions and be inquisitive and learn about new things. That is critical, and a big part of disagreeing is understanding where someone’s coming from. There’s just so many good things that can come out of learning how to disagree well, I encourage you to think it through and talk about it with your family and kids.
0:24:20 – Speaker 1
Man. all those are great pointers. There’s a quote by Rick Warren and I think it just summarizes this show really well. Our culture has accepted two huge lies One if you disagree with someone or their lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. And two to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. Love that. So be kind and learn how to disagree and love each other.
Transcribed by https://podium.page