Cumberland Times-News


April 6, 2014

Why are compromises so difficult to achieve?

Why is it, that in this great country, people seem to have such a problem with compromises? What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?

And I am talking about politics on all levels as well as religion and faith issues.

Why is it so important having to be right; having to stick to an agenda so often seemingly based on personal biases and preferences?

Why is it so hard recognizing that anytime there are two or more people involved in an issue, there are bound to be differences? What happened to embracing differences, and treating one another with genuine respect? What happened to live and let live?

Sorry about my rant, but it just seems to me that this country is becoming more and more polarized. The left blames the right, and the right blames the left and nobody seems to be mature enough to say, “Enough is enough, let’s look at the real issues; let’s look at how we together can achieve a greater good for all; let’s put personal biases and accusations aside; let’s work together and compromise.”

Polarization is certainly the case in the political arena, but I also see much of this in the religious arena.

Many who call themselves followers of Christ, whether being the fundamentalist right or the liberal left seem to be unable to come to the conclusion that the cross of Jesus is a lot bigger than the arguments we have about sexuality, how much water it takes for baptism to be valid, or who is going to heaven or hell.

Jesus died on the cross for all of us, because none of us are good enough, or righteous enough to save ourselves. We are all in the same boat, folks, so let’s stop the quibbles and focus on treating one another with love and respect instead!

Sometimes it is OK to agree to disagree, put our egos aside, and rather focus on the call to treat one another with love and respect.

Compromises are not defeats, but rather means for how we can live more peaceably in community with one another, and how we can do our little share to make the world a better place. It is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of maturity and mutual respect.

Compromises are not about negotiating one’s own beliefs or values, but rather recognizing that not all people look at things the way we do, and in realizing this fact, listening to the other side, negotiating middle ground ; having conversations over a cup of coffee can go a long way.

After all, we are all in this together, as in life on this planet, so we might as well make the best of it. We can never go wrong if the starting point is love and care for the other.

That means, however that part of our own ego might have to be put on the back burner, and although that is not always easy to do, it surely will make for a much more pleasant way in which we interact and live our lives in community.

Pastor Tormod Svensson

St. John’s Lutheran Church


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