Rashional Thoughts: Working to understand the opposite point of view always helps

January 28, 2021

When Jason and I are both home at the same time, I adjust one of the chairs beside the piano constantly. I prefer it angled, while Jason likes it flush against the wall.

The chair is in constant motion based on who is walking by at the moment.

Of course, you and I know angled is the better choice — just teasing, sort of — but to be fair, both options are acceptable. It truly comes down to preference.

Jason looks strictly at the chair and the wall and how he perceives it to be positioned best. I’m looking at the entire wall with the piano and chair on the opposite side (which also happens to be angled, by the way).

The span of our view and the point of what we are trying to achieve influences how we each determine a different position for the chair.

One is more specific and focused; the other is more broad and encompassing. In this case, neither are wrong, but they are different.

Adjusting the chair for the 17,000th time, I stopped, stepped back and looked at it from Jason’s point of view. That’s when I realized I had not attempted to understand Jason’s reasoning and was only thinking about what I preferred.

Taking time to better grasp what Jason saw as the best option doesn’t mean I changed my mind about the chair’s position. In fact, I still think it should be angled, and I plan to continue lobbying for it to be so.

However, I’m not nearly as aggravated any longer when I find it shifted because I know Jason is merely lobbying for his preference, and I can understand and respect how he came to the conclusion he did.

While chairs likely won’t come up often in TAB, we are going to be chatting about several denominational issues soon, and I’d like for all of us to be willing to listen to each other and be kind and respectful, even as we work to convince each other about how to position the various topics that surface.

It will be important to separate the emotions tied to the 2020 presidential election from the upcoming denominational discussions and especially the annual meeting of Southern Baptists coming up in June in Nashville.

As we near the one-year mark of COVID-19 concerns, confusion and restrictions, we are seeing some relief ahead. And while Alabama’s mask mandate has been extended to March, hospitals seem to be managing OK right now and health officials are settling into a rhythm for distributing vaccines.

The past 12 months have certainly taken us to the brink of despair on so many levels and in too many ways, but we can hold on to each other and to Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:8–12 reminds us: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. … So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Thinking about attending the SBC annual meeting in June? Let us know what information would be helpful as you plan

Southern Baptist Convention officers and Executive Committee officials are narrowing their focus toward the June 13–16 annual meeting in Nashville.

New resources such as a weekly video series — The Road to Nashville — are being made available to help Southern Baptists prepare for the meeting, which will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

And four names have already been announced to be on the ticket for president:

  • R. Albert Mohler Jr., longtime president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Mike Stone, immediate past chairman of the Executive Committee and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Blackshear, Georgia.
  • Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church, Saraland (previously North Mobile Baptist Church).
  • Randy Adams, executive director/treasurer of Northwest Baptist Convention.

Rumor is there may be more names surfacing soon, so to help messengers with their research, Baptist Press is conducting and publishing indepth interviews with each candidate. Those can be found at baptistpress.com as they become available.

We at TAB Media will provide a summary bio for each candidate closer to June.

By Jennifer Davis Rash

  • David Garrard Magic