"You can make a point and lose the opportunity to make a difference." A pastor made that statement recently in an interview and it has stuck with me. I can't remember his name, but his thought was provoking. The conversation that he was having was all about making a choice with our words. Is it worth it? To him, the goal is to use his words to influence others toward a relationship with Christ. His point, pardon the pun, was that he may not say what he thinks about a subject to someone, if it alienates his ability to make a difference for Christ in their life. He values the opportunity to make a difference for Christ over the opportunity to make a point.
We see this all the time on social media sites. There's a constant flow of tweets or facebook posts of people trying to get their "point" across. Say it first, say it with a little zing and sit back to enjoy the reactions. For instance, the Super Bowl was played in New Orleans last night. My social media sites were overflowing with "points" being made. Admittedly, some of them cracked me up. Others were rude and obnoxious. Some of them were about commercials, and some of them were about specific people or groups. Unfortunately, these thoughts can go out unfiltered. I'm guilty of it myself. Too often I forget that sending a tweet or facebook update is having a conversation. It's saying something to someone. It has an impact on our relationship. I thought about this a little closer to home. My children hear me on the phone or in conversations with folks all the time. If they are hearing me throwing my points out like fiery darts, am I losing the opportunity to make a difference in their lives? Is it worth it? I think not.
In the interview, this pastor was really getting beat up. The perception was that he wasn't standing up for the truth of God's Word about social issues. I may or may not have jumped on the band wagon! :) However, after listening to him I realized that he's just putting into practice what Jesus said was most important.
Matthew 22:37-40 says, "Jesus replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."