“But if Christ is amongst us, then it is necessary that we sometimes yield up our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to have perfect knowledge of all things? Therefore trust not too much to thine own opinion, but be ready also to hear the opinions of others. Though thine own opinion be good, yet if for the love of God thou foregoest it, and followest that of another, thou shalt the more profit thereby” (Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ).

I was almost tempted to call the post “Don’t Be a Face Mask Pharisee,” but chickened out at the last second.

I do think that if all you care about are people following the rules and enforcing those rules without bothering to get to know the people, you might be a Pharisee.

Too many people on social media are too busy talking over other people to listen. Too many are too busy thinking up the next clever retort to actually hear the words and get to the heart of the meaning behind the words spoken or written.

Too many of us will insulate ourselves in a safe bubble where we only hear variations and echos of our own opinions, values, and beliefs. We shut down or shout down anyone who disagrees with us at any point and revert to ridicule and name calling over those we deem our enemies in politics and faith.

But Jesus said to love your enemies. Pray for them. Do good to them. Listen to them. You may not agree but you can always walk away with at least one truth from anybody. You might find that your own opinion changes a little or you see another’s point of view.

Jesus didn’t say that the world will know His children by their talking points or how many arguments they’ve won, but by their love. Not the warm fuzzy feel good love, but the love that seeks the best of the loved one over its own, that rejoices for and lays down its life for the one it has chosen to love.

Love is spelled L-I-S-T-E-N.

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