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Come together.

I recently saw an ad that I want to share with you guys. It was posted according to the article it was attached to, as a response to the heinous Pepsi ad that got a lot of backlash. Pepsi actually removed the video and apologized for its content, since it was seen as so offensive. (If you’re unfamiliar with the story, read it about it here) Since that though, Heineken has actually put out an ad with a similar theme of bringing people together. Now before you watch it, I want you to understand: I am not making any kind of statement about whether or not I agree with alcohol use or any of the political statements made in the video. Please hear me. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with any of it here. If you want my opinions, we can talk privately where my heart and personal experiences can be properly heard. I do not believe that the internet is a constructive place for controversy to be discussed.

What I do want to highlight is the ad itself. Watch.

 

Now like I said. I am not making any sort of statement about alcohol, climate change, transgender issues, or feminism. That is most adamantly not my point. But what I do want to talk about is having conversations.

What Pepsi failed to understand with their tone-deaf ad was that people need to hear each other’s heart before understanding can be reached. You can just hand a riot police officer a cold drink and expect the protest to dissipate. People feel strongly enough about their causes that they are literally moved to action. In any sort of protest or demonstration, people have passion. Whether it’s the Women’s March, a Black Lives Matter protest, a March for Life, or even a teacher’s union strike, people are fired up. and in those emotionally charged situations, no amount of drink, Pepsi or cold brew, will help. What Heineken seemed to understand is that when we sit down with each other in a calm and rational manner we are more likely to hear each other out. Believe it or not, that is a Biblical principle, folks.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)

The Lord himself calls us to use reason to understand things. (I didn’t use the famous “Come let us reason together” passage in Isaiah 1 because in context it’s about being forgiven of sins, not understanding each other)

I think we need to do a lot less forming opinions and a lot more spending time together. Jesus ate with sinners and shared his heart with them. He never wrote a strongly worded Facebook status about how their lifestyle was gross and ungodly. Jesus won followers through love and relationship. And through that relationship, people understood the truth and their lives were changed. In the immortal words of John Mayer, “Is there anyone who ever remembers Changing their mind from the paint on a sign?” conversation-1940x900_31263.jpg

Transformation and understanding is a powerful thing for both parties. And it only happens through that love and relationship. Stop trying to shout the truth into an already overloaded information sphere – speak it tenderly to friends. Support each other in hard times. Love each other as brothers and sisters; equals. As Christians we are called to point others in the right direction, not force them into submission. God will do the hard part.

That is all.

 

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How to talk to anyone about anything.

So this guy, I’ll call him, Steve Lambert, (because that’s his name) had this genius idea. He set up a table in the park, and just… talked to people.

Yeah. He just sat in the park and made with the pleasantries. It’s quite an amazing idea really. Everyone has something to say, and often, there is no one there to listen to them say it. He talked about the Iranian revolution, Native American philosophy, agricultuture, film… anything these peoples hearts could dream up.

He made a list of topics so that you too could talk to anyone about anything. I will share it now.

Things to remember:

Smile.
Make eye contact.
Say hello.
Introduce yourself.
Learn names.
Listen more than you talk.

Things to talk about:

1. How about this weather?
2. What’s new with you?
3. What did you do this weekend?
4. What do you do for a living?
5. Where are you going after this?
6. Where are you from?
7. What are you going to do this weekend?
8. Seen any good movies lately?

It’s pretty simple. Just show people attention. Listen. Love people by letting them know you care. I wish more of us had this mindset. The world would be a much more pleasant place. We would all have more friends.

Let’s make a commitment together. Let’s commit to making more friends. Let’s commit to having more conversations. Let’s commit to being more open to talking. More open to listening. Let’s be genuinely interested in what people have to say.  I bet if we actually take time to get to know people, we will learn some things.

If you want to have friends, be friendly. That is all.