Just Get Along

27 Nov 2014

“Can’t we all get along?” is a famous quote by Rodney King, a black man whose brutal beating by Los Angeles police during racial riots in 1992 was captured on video and spread around the world.

Almost 2000 years earlier, the Apostle Paul wrote the same message to Christ-followers in the Greek city of Corinth: “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.”*

Oh how easy it is to say. Oh how hard it is to practice.

We get all worked up and fight to defend our position.

Whether it’s Jews and Arabs, people in your workplace, or relationships in your family, people get so worked up and choose being right over being loving.

It sucks. It stinks. It’s a terrible way to live.

Here are some things that help give perspective:

  • We all have limited perception. We perceive through our senses, but we can never get an accurate view of the whole story. We only see slices of reality—the ones we consciously pay attention to.
  • We make judgment calls based on our limited experiences, culture and personality. These are always, by nature, tainted.
  • We construct narratives in an effort to explain situations and the behavior of others.
  • We engage in what academics call fantasy themes when we share those same narratives with others. Right or wrong, accurate or not, we collectively believe certain stories that cause us to pursue particular actions. We follow our fantasies.
  • We commit to actions that end up rarely solving anything. All that’s left are broken relationships.

It sucks. It stinks. It’s a terrible way to live.

I have been involved in several of these “situations” in the past few years. We did not get along. We chose to defend our positions over being loving.

All that’s left are several broken relationships and regrets. It’s a terrible way to live.

I want to learn from mistakes, own up to my share of responsibility, and vow never to do the same things again.

How about you?

Can’t we all get along?


* 1 Corinthians 1:10 The Message translation

Royalty-free image by Juha Soininen; retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1301036



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