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The Art of Human Relationships

It seems as though we’re all hunkered down in our political and ideological trenches these days. We hurl arguments like grenades, watching them explode from a “Twitter” distance away, high-fiving those on “our” side. Division is competing with COVID for pandemic status in our country. How do we, as believers, make our way through this division? We connect.

Josh and Kit invite Ana Samuel, PhD to share practical ways for you to be loving and kind in a world that is anything but.

You don’t have to slink away from the heated debates. As hard as it is, you can engage people of different world views. This is delicate business but it is necessary and do-able. Samuel is an expert in the art of human relationships and she brings the foundations of a personal approach to being a person.

When it comes to the hot button issues, you don’t have to stick your head in the sand. Rather, come out of the trench and open your eyes to see others as good people, no matter their view. We hope you walk away from this episode with practical ways to love others well, especially those you don’t agree with.

Guest Bio: 

Ana Samuel, PhD, is a Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute and the Academic Director of CanaVox, a movement that hosts reading groups around the world on marriage and sexuality from a natural law perspective. She completed her studies in political theory at Princeton University and focused on the political thought and sexual ethics of Montesquieu while at the University of Notre Dame. She is the grateful daughter of Mexican immigrants, the wife of an Argentine immigrant, and the mother of six children.

Highlights:

Learning to walk with people with tremendous finesse and patience and not coming into the relationship with an agenda but really wanting what is good for that person

Having your heart full of willingness to seek their good at their pace one on one

The principals still apply that there is a very important foundation that I am for you even if I disagree with you.

Homework:

Deposits of Good Will – symbols, signs and actions that affirm you really care about the person as a whole

Build your Base – Find like minded people you can trust. Base friendships offer trust, confidence and nourishment moving out in the world. “The more you work on you, the more you deepen in love and knowledge and understanding of these issues, and the more you talk about it with like minded people who agree, and the more you learn together – what naturally happens is that you don’t fear talking about these issues as much with others.”

Am I looking out for the welfare of others? Do I want what is good for them?

Situational Awareness: Samuel says this is foundational for good decision making.  When we forget our place, we can find ourselves in hot water.


Resources/Extras:

Dr. Meg Meeker –  Her definition of intimacy is – Into Me See

Sean Covey; “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People

William Shakespeare “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.”

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Josh 0:02
So I know that I’m not alone in the feeling that talking about things like marriage and family and sexual integrity. In today’s culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult and increasingly opposed. I think there’s a culture that that I mean, I feel like because I’m in a culture that is opposed to the Christians perspective on these topics, and it can feel difficult and intimidating. But these conversations are have been and are becoming increasingly important, especially for for Christians to be a voice of hope and sharing God’s design in a culture that is for which it’s really foreign. So today, we’ve invited on a Sam Well, I did it and I did it. It’s Anna NSM. Well To join us to be with us she just to share practical ways that we can learn to broach these really important topics with our neighbors or co workers and friends in a way that’s both loving and kind, both thoughtful and truthful. So Anna, welcome. We’re glad you’re with us.

Ana 1:13
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Josh 1:15
Yeah. So and I heard you speak on this topic last fall, the love infidelity network, and it was just so so grateful to hear your insights. So we’ll get to those in a minute but before we do just just so our listeners have some context you are married and have how many kids six kids and have been in the midst of crisis schooling at home for the for the recent past, has it been going for you?

Ana 1:41
Well, now that school is over, we are much better. Thank you.

Josh 1:46
It’s I we were calling it homeschooling for a while and one of our other guests actually said it’s not homeschooling. It’s a crisis schooling. I thought I actually felt much more appropriate. Yes. So and remind me Where do you guys live?

Ana 1:58
We live in Princeton, New jersey?

Josh 2:01
Oh, you do? Okay. So and that’s where I heard you speak was at Princeton University. So well, let’s get into that a little bit. So you were talking to students at Princeton, which is a very liberal campus and not very friendly to traditional values in many ways. And and you’re offering students five pieces of wisdom about how to prepare to give a personalized approached to engaging with their classmates on issues like family and sexual integrity. And so I thought we’d just walk through some of those five things, and just have you share with our audience a bit about about what you shared with them. But But if we could start with just the question when you you’re talking to these students, and so for our our listeners, some of them are students, some of them are just have neighbors and co workers that they engaging with. What did you mean by personalized approach and why do you Why do you begin there?

Ana 2:54
Right? What I mean is friendship. I mean, the art of friendship that every relationship we have has to be custom made very personal to the person we’re in relationship with. And so we have to become really great friendship artists. And what that means is learning. First of all, common courtesy, the very typical superficial manners, good manners and politeness that goes such a long way with somebody who’s just like an imprint of an acquaintance or your neighbor that you barely barely know. Or somebody would cross in the hallway at work. From those really superficial common courtesies to deeper acts of kindness with people who maybe we know a little bit more to even deeper levels of friendship with people who need us to listen very carefully and to show empathy and understanding. It’s really learning to walk with people with tremendous finesse and patience and not coming into the relationship. With an agenda, but really wanting what is good for that person, and then just having your heart full of willingness to seek their good at their pace, one on one. With a good foundation for such a time as this, I really appreciate what you’re saying is part of what you’re saying and that to some degree, we kind of earned the right a little bit. Rather than just pounce on somebody or just assume that we can speak that we’re not only doing it kindly with common courtesy, we’re also developing some kind of rapport so that there’s a respect that is experienced 100% mean a lot of these issues I mean, marriage, what you think about marriage, what you think about family, what you think about sexual integrity, these are deeply intimate subjects. So you do have to earn the right as you put it, to enter into that intimate core of a person. I love Meg Meeker. His definition of intimacy. She says intimacy means into me see intimacy. And it’s, it’s really that we can’t, it’s like you have to slowly on, take away those outside layers of your own soul and somebody else has to kind of unroll their soul to you. And you really have to earn that. And it’s done in a kind of courtship, a kind of courtship of friendship, where you’re becoming intimate with somebody, and that does not happen over social media. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes it takes patience and a lot of downpayments of goodwill, as we’ll talk about a little bit later. So absolutely.

Josh 5:50
You know, one of the things that strikes me about this is that I think that the culture we live in, and I think all of us can be guilty of this myself included. We kind of when we find Find out what someone’s perspective is on any given topic, we can automatically then jump to almost this idea of, I know who you are, and I know what you’re like, and I know what you’re going to say and why you’re going to say it. And what you’re saying is, is quite the opposite of that. And I think that those who embark on that journey and who to do get to know people and and seek to seek to know them, to see them for who they are individually, are often surprised that their their assumptions are are not quite what they imagined. And yeah, and I think about the other one the other thing that comes to mind for me as you’re talking is I was just talking to a seminary student recently who was sharing that a transgender friend who had never experienced a Christian being kind to them. I mean, that was her experiences just kind of like you know, you’re you’re the first Christian who I’ve actually had a meal with, and and what you’re describing is something very different than It’s it’s it is. It’s it’s friendship. It’s, yeah. So,

Ana 7:05
yeah, hundred percent.

Josh 7:08
Well, from there You, you, you talked about building a base like so that’s what I remember you talking about it? What do you mean by that?

Ana 7:16
So I was addressing these students who are mostly Christians in very, very liberal environment. And I do think that none of us can do this alone. You know, there is strength in numbers, and we need to have our own sort of home base of quiet allies who are with us. And when you’re in any situation, I think it’s very helpful to build your base. So sort of figure out and we all know how, through context clues through little things, people say this sort of tipped you off, that they might be on the same wavelength as you are when it comes to values like this. And I think we have to approach those people in a very kind of Strategic friendship to because we need to band together and be strong together and have confidence with whom we can get good ideas and get strength before we go out also and help and be a minister or be that nurse somebody who needs help as well. So building your base is basically finding like minded people who can be your trusted friends that you don’t have to convince about these things. Basically, they’re going to be nourishing you and you’re going to be nourishing them without having to argue in any way at all.

Kit 8:36
There might even be a place there I wonder Anna, what you think about this that I mean, clearly, you’d be looking to people that you respect that are like minded but also that you respect

Ana 8:46
and that you would be learning from them. I guess. Obviously, you can mentor each other. But you would choose someone then that would not only have your same ideas, but someone that you could, that you appreciate and respect the way they know how to do Do it. Yes, yeah, exactly. Because what we’re gonna what we’re talking about when we’re engaging people of different worldviews, it’s very delicate business. And you often have very emotionally revved up moments. And you need to pick up the phone and call somebody who’s level headed and calm and wise and say, Okay, this is a situation, can you please? Am I just crazy? Or is this a prudent thing to do here? And it helps enormously to have that network of people you can call on because none of this can do this alone. Right? Yeah.

Josh 9:32
Yeah. I actually, I really appreciate that. I mean, I think about I get revved up and in and sort of the idea of, of having safe people to kind of just come back and say, just let me bounce this conversation off of here. Let me bounce what’s going on in my head. I also think like, what are the things that I’ve been, you know, my kids and I will have lots of conversations about cultural things and, and sometimes one of them especially will say, okay, no, this is probably wrong. I know. This is gonna sound right. really mean? And I usually stop and say, You know, I think that there’s so much tension around these topics that it gets really scary to say what we’re thinking and to try to have the try to process these things. But we need to have some safe place where we can try ideas out and have people say, You know that I don’t like the way that sounds I think you’re misguided in this I think your logics not so good in this, where it’s not a it’s not a sparring match. It’s it is a, it’s just being helpful for each other and giving us room to process both our emotions about these things, our thoughts about these things. Yes, logic, you know, so.

Ana 10:35
And, you know, I’ve also found that a lot of people, their first reaction to what’s going on in the culture will be one of anger, or they’re just upset by what’s happening and it really, and they need somebody to be able to call on to just express their righteous anger. They’ve been calm down so they can then Calm down, recover their serenity and get back out there with with with us. Calm optimism, you know, like, we all need a trash can, you know, to sort of dump some of our first reactions on to so that we can regain that composure and then be that friendship artists to other people who might be a little more challenging to be friendship artists to

Josh 11:18
have you have a sense of I mean, in your experience as you’re engaging these conversations or I think in some ways, like just the the conversations you have day to day may may be really kind of frontline to this about why anger is often the first thing that people are experiencing.

Ana 11:34
Mm hmm. I think I think it’s because those of us who see things the way we do see that how many vulnerable children are suffering as a result of the new gender ideology. Not only children, I mean, so many children are being manipulated into the new ideology. So many children are being actually separated from their biological lines so that they can be part of new experimental family structures. We also see a lot of sexual minorities themselves, who are being, you know, manipulated and given harmful ideas to as solutions. And so I think a lot of people just sort of want to go inside their bathroom or in their closet and just scream, because they’re so upset at how vulnerable individuals are being trampled upon. And so there is a lot of righteous anger, I think. But we have to understand that that’s not going to get us anywhere, you know, it’s understandable that people are frustrated. But if we really want to make a difference, we’ve got to hold it together and fight for those vulnerable persons with diplomacy and composure. And if you can’t hold it together, then just keep your mouth closed and pray, you know, but I do think that the stakes are high and I understand Very much why people can get very angry sometimes.

Josh 13:05
Yeah, that I think that makes sense. I think there. And I know, I felt that as I, as I’ve seen, I think especially young young kids being kind of trained up in kids who would, who would not be given freedom to choose their own food for every meal, because their parents know that they’re going to make choices and are not going to be healthy. Those same kids at the same ages, being kind of handed the scepter of, you know, you tell me what gender you are. I think that’s just doesn’t make any sense. And it is. It’s, it’s, it is incredibly sad to see and hard to see. And that brings me back to think to that first thing you said about the personalized position because it even so even so, those are intimate conversations, intimate situations within a family. And those families came to have their own perspective through whatever means that I may or may not know and so I think I think those those two things go hand in hand. So let me let me go to the next one. Because you you talk about and I love this phrase, you use the phrase deposits of goodwill. What did you mean by that? And what part does that have to play in this whole? This whole kind of conversation?

Ana 14:14
So years ago, I read some of Sean Covey’s work on, you know, the seven habits of highly successful people. And so this is from years ago of reading, I’m pretty sure I’m borrowing this from covey. He had this whole concept of making deposits and withdrawals in relationships. And when you make a deposit of goodwill, you’re just basically it’s like their love tank. It’s like you’re making all these signs and not just to manipulate people but to truly show that you care about them. You do small things for them you use you say hello every time they walk by you smile at them, you ask them how they’re doing, or maybe you you bring them their their favorite coffee when you know they’re having a hard day. You make deposits of goodwill to firmly established through many symbols and signs and actions and words of affirmation that you really do care about that person as a whole. No matter what they think we no matter what race, they are all of that, right? That we really care about that person, we have to, we have to show it, we have to wear it on our sleeve, we have to make these deposits. Maybe it’s your colleagues and you and you’re just a really great worker or somebody they can really count on. You’re making deposits of goodwill. The reason this is important in so many relationships and every relationship is because when the time comes, that you have to make a withdrawal then there’s enough in the tank that the withdrawal can be it can you can withstand a withdrawal. So what do I mean? I’m recently a person came to me for help because he was working at this law firm in a big metropolitan city and in the month of June, it’s LGBT month and so it’s and the whole office decided to drape rainbow t shirts on every person’s chair and asked every For a $20 donation for the T shirt, and then anybody in the office could wear that T shirt on Fridays in June. So this person had a conscientious objection to to supporting the cause to giving money to the cause. But luckily, she had been this outstanding person at the office. She was a hard worker, everybody loved her. She She was always that kind colleague who was was paying attention to everybody. So when the time came, when she went to HR and said, You know what, I can’t, I just can’t do this. They didn’t give her a hard time about it. They understood and they gave her that flexibility because she, because she knew that art of human relationships and I think that this example carries over in every area of our lives when we have to make a difficult ask or stand up for something that might be contrary to what others in the room think.

Kit 16:56
So this is true across the board have different levels of friendship or relationship to this can be within your family very close relationships, friendships, acquaintances, colleagues. But the the principles still apply that there is a very important foundation that that there is a I, I am for you Even if I disagree with you, there is a sense of goodwill, a sense of kindness, a sense of respect, that isn’t going to move because of a even a very serious,

Ana 17:40
you know, personal kind of conversation. Yes, exactly. And I think a lot of people overlook that, you know, they they don’t, or they don’t believe it’ll really give them the support structure they need for the relationship to withstand that tricky moment, but it will I have seen it time and time again with people Who are so different from what I thought. But if you really do focus on on making all those downpayments goodwill, varying the love language and every which way, you just watch and see how it works magically to soften their hearts and extend that kindness and that patience and understanding and toleration towards you, when the time comes. Yeah.

Josh 18:31
And this goes back to what you’re saying at the start, I think about this personalized approach and this and I think he used the expression giving of yourself because I think that there there is an element here of I mean, honestly, I think this piece of making deposits of goodwill, calls out and encourages us to need to take kind of some stock of Am I looking out for the welfare of others is, is my is the way that I approached My colleagues, my friends, my neighbors, is it because I want what is good for them? Or is it because I’m comfortable with the culture that I have? And I’m uncomfortable with, with what they’re doing? Like, there’s a big difference between those two. And they, they may go hand in hand. But But if if they don’t, then I think I think it just it, it’ll, it’ll show and so So what are some Can you give us just some examples? And I’m sure we could brainstorm some, but I’d love to hear from you. Just from your experiences. You say you’ve seen this work time and time again, like, what are some examples of deposits of goodwill? That someone that student could take people in the neighborhood? People with, with colleagues?

Ana 19:39
Yeah, yeah. So students in particular, I think, if they’re Hall mates, you know, I knew of a kid who, who had a hall mate who was who at first when they moved into this school, you know, it was a normal guy, you know, and they he noticed that the guy down the hall love to run just like him. And eventually he just started asking Do you want to go on a run together? And so sure, you know, they started going out on runs. And lo and behold, you know, like seven months later the after a good long run this guy basically shared that, that he was thinking of transitioning and and it was it was it just it came out of nowhere and and the the Christian basically just listened to him and and just asked him he just asked him why are you thinking of doing that and and gosh, it How has it been very difficult to manage the distress you feel over your biological sex and he just basically asked them questions right to show understanding and not to not to, not to debate him or anything, but just listen and walk with Him or you know, cool off from the run with him. And when the time came months later, I think it was years later that this Christian found himself in hot water from the university for other reasons pertaining to a paper he had written This trans kid was one of the first ones to pipe up and come to his defense. So, you know, it really, um, it. So and again, I don’t want to stress you’re not doing it to be Machiavellian, you know, you’re not doing it because it’s just strategically smart. Right? Who to make deposits of goodwill with people in all the right places? No, we’re doing it because we wish the good of the other it comes back to with Josh just said, um, you know that the natural law tradition, the definition of love is just that to will the good of the other. That’s what love is for natural law philosophers. So it’s not a feeling. It’s not just like, you know, caring about somebody is willing, they’re good. So you may have no, not really very rosy feelings towards somebody, but you want what is good for them. And that is true love according to natural law, philosophy. And so, by that standard, you can really love A lot of people, every time you look at somebody with a desire for their good, and every time you try to act for their good. So that’s, that’s what I try to challenge students to try to do. That makes love that Yeah, I do too. And it makes me think about how important it is for us to be on our own journey, our own spiritual journey of doing the work in our own heart. Mm hmm. You know, because if we have a sense of our own security, in who we are, and in God’s love, we’re not going to be readily threatened. We’re not going to take everything that someone does.

Kit 22:41
Personally, you know, we’re going to be able to realize that, that our, you know, our well being isn’t going to depend on them agreeing with us or any such thing that our well being comes from a much different deeper place. So just speaks to how important that are personal growth or personal maturing in Our understanding of God and who we are in him is so important. Yes, it really is.

Josh 23:05
I also love that this young college student had the wherewithal to ask a bunch of questions just to learn more. I mean, they basically as his friend opened the door to a whole history in his life that he had known about, like you said, it came out of left field for him, but so he took the time just to ask questions and to learn more. What is that been like for you? I mean, that yeah, that is something is a really, really beautiful thing. Yeah. So we talked about the positive goodwill and withdrawal. The next thing you talked about was knowing the part that you play. What do you mean by that?

Ana 23:39
So I love quoting Shakespeare are sort of paraphrasing him that life is a play in all of us have a role to play in that in that play in that in the drama. And it’s, it’s hard for me to explain this. But in the news lately, there’s been this term that has popped up that I think ties into it, and it’s the idea of situational awareness. So situational awareness is a military term originally. But essentially it means it’s like the foundation for good decision making that you really be aware of the time the place all of your periphery, like what is going on in your environment, and what is the most appropriate action for that moment. Put another way, we all wear many hats in life, right? So in my case, I’m a mom. And I am a parent at a school at an elementary school. In my professional life, I’m a PhD I do research, then I have a friend of friends. So in my personal life, I just am a regular woman with a bunch of girlfriends. So in every situation, you have to ask yourself, okay, what hat am I wearing? What is the situation what is the most appropriate part for me to play in this role? So let me give you another example, from my own Life. Last year, the school wanted to give my kids these surfaces. And they didn’t have any filters on them. They didn’t have anything to block pornography on off of them or anything. And I was super concerned about putting this in my children’s hands for their schoolwork. So I went to go talk to the technology teacher. Now, what was my what was the part I played at that moment? I’m the mother of a child at that school in that moment. I am not the PhD who has done research on pornography, even though that is why I am you know, I’m not going to unleash a can of Well, let me just tell you all about the papers. I’ve been like co editing on this right? My role in that moment is just to be the mother of my child and talk to her as a parent. Now. Honestly, I did have a lot more to say to her because I’ve studied the matter pretty profoundly Sure. All the while remembering my place. relational awareness. I say this because I think a lot of people get into really hot water when they forget their place and in that their role and they come off as pretty obnoxious. And it’s, it’s, um, it’s part of this having refinement in our relationships with people. So who are you in that in that moment when there’s some tension? Are you talking with your boss? And what is your relationship and what are the terms of that relationship? What kind of language is proper to an employee’s speaking to his boss? And you know, what’s the scope of your authority reserve ease him? Who can you appeal to? What are the proper channels that you can appeal to what are the improper channels you should not appeal to? Um, I don’t know if I’m making myself clear but I’m basically just understanding that that we can’t just go in here and like fight these fights like any tool is at our disposal. Yeah, your pipe part. Well.

Josh 26:58
I think that it I keep going back to this idea that all of this really seems to fit under that cover of the personalized approach. This is not just me lobbing grenades, you know, hey, I read this article and I’m an afford to tell my all my coworkers, you know, it’s great, although I do that, but I work with a different set of coworkers. But in any case, it’s it’s, it’s, it’s recognizing that well, well with his co worker, that they might be interested in that because we’ve had a conversation about that specific topic. But But Joe, Joe down the hall, you know, I only know because we we had dinner last year, staff party, whatever. So yeah, I mean, I think you’re just talking about Yeah, I think I think I get it, I think I get what you’re saying is all I’m saying,

Ana 27:38
right. I mean, it’s like these there’s these rules, like if you’re a Thanksgiving dinner table, right? There’s a kind of like, if you’re smart, and if you’re situationally aware, there’s a kind of conversation that is proper and you and if you get into slightly, you know, hot button issues, there’s a way you can participate in that conversation that is proper to the moment at hand. Gently saying things with a good sense of humor and not pretending like you’re at a seminar table with your graduate students, student buddies, you know. So it’s just, it’s just trying to each of us develop that finesse. Because I think it’s going to make you a better representative of the truth, somebody that people admire because you know, what’s proper to your place? This sounds like a very interesting example of the both and idea, you know, because on the one hand, you’re saying, you know, we need to be honest and genuine and truthful. And at the same time, there is some strategy, you know, there you We also want to be strategic, you know, this idea of situational awareness. So it’s both, you know, and they can live together and they can actually be a pretty powerful combination. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m trying to say.

Josh 28:52
So, and let me let me throw another question your way. I know we’ve got one more point to get to, but before we get there, I do find it I mean, you have have been involved in a in a larger scale kind of study and teaching people how to do these things. But what would you say to Christians who are people of goodwill doing their best, but who really like it’s just, it’s hard. It’s scary to talk about these things and so, like even even the sexual situational awareness piece and I’m not trying to negate that all I I affirm and like what you’re saying there, but I think sometimes it can feel like I you know, I really, I just can’t do this. I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to ruffle feathers like I’m not the right person for this job. Yes. Yeah. Would you say to that,

Ana 29:39
yes. Thank you for that question. So, okay. So, basically, okay. So I would say start small. This is where I think building your base comes into play. Let me just say that I am not I am a very non confrontational person. I do not like to be even though I was trained very much in my schooling to intubate I’ve never liked debates. I just don’t like to argue with people. And so this might be just my personality. But I think that anytime you’re in this position where like, Oh, I do not want to ruffle feathers I do not. Okay, don’t start there. Start by building your base start by. I mean, this is one of the reasons I help run cane avox find people who are like minded, but who want to talk about these issues with you and who want to grow who want to sit with you, and talk with them. Okay, talk with him about it. Because what inevitably happens and this you know, kid is referred to this a few times, like, the more you work on you, the more you deepen in love and knowledge and understanding of these issues. And the more you talk about it with like minded people who agree, and the more you learn together, what naturally happens is that you, you don’t fear talking about these issues as much with others. Hmm. So it’s like because you become so deeply convinced of the truth and you realize that It’s all love. Like if you if, if the truth is the truth, then it will bring joy and happiness and flourishing to people. So if you fear ruffling feathers, it means you haven’t quite yet fully understood or internalized the call to love in that moment. So I would say go back to your base, go back and study with people who aren’t scary, like, understand this better, because once that happens, you’re going to be so eager to talk to people in love, right about these things, because it’s the medicine, you know, it’s it’s the medicine, everybody around us is wounded, you know, and so and so, the proper approach and see ourselves as nurses on the battlefield, were nurses on the battlefield to have the medicine and we’re here trying to convince people to just take a little sip of the medicine that’s going to help you them, right. So if you’re scared to do that, then go understand what that medicine is and let it work on you first so you’re not scared anymore. Wow. And that is really great stuff. Really love that.

Josh 32:14
Mm hmm. It’s so it’s so non, you know, pressure or fear based. It’s so yeah. Thank you for that. Yeah. Okay, so So that leads us to this last one. We got a few more minutes but, and I love this last one in part because especially when I heard you share at this conference, it felt like I didn’t expect it. It was stay positive, and be of good cheer. Talk to us about why do you Why do you cap this conversation with with that concept?

Ana 32:44
I mean, one is because none of us wants to get involved in this battle. If we’re just going to be overwhelmed all the time and negative and the world is the world is going you know to hell. Nobody wants to be in this if that’s gonna be what it’s gonna be a steady diet up. That’s the It’s kind of enlightened self interest first, but more profoundly, okay, more profoundly if we are nurses on the battlefield and there are wounded lying all around us. What kind of nurse would you like to be treated by? Do you want to nurse your full with a good bedside manner? Somebody who’s calm and confident in knowing how to help you. You want somebody who’s frazzled, and freaking out and really negative, and they’re not even sure there’s a solution to this whole problem. Right? What kind of a nurse you want. I think we all want these confident, calm, cheerful, lovely nurses, and that’s who we want to be. Okay. The other reason of course, and the most profound reason is because we’re people of faith. Okay, we’re on the winning side. I don’t care how much it looks like we’re losing in the culture. Okay. We’re on the winning team. We already know The how the end is we know what the end is, and we’re on the winning side. So we need to have a very calm confidence that what we’re doing is going to contribute towards that ultimate victory. So if you really believe that you’re not going to have this really pessimistic, grouchy attitude, right? We’re going to, we might have it for a moment, every time there’s like a new, a new crisis, either coming from the supreme court or from whatever, right, we might momentarily feel the hit. And we might be overwhelmed for a bit, but we have to shake it off and remember that the long game that in the end, we’re on the winning side. So that’s also really the reason for the optimism and good cheer.

Josh 34:45
What I want to hear throughout this conversation that I appreciate so much is is how focused on the well being the welfare of others. This is and I think when we you know if the topic is how do we talk about difficult topics People who disagree with us like it can get so we can sink so deep into this place of like, of fear of argument of, of sparring of, you know, getting, you know, getting your ammo ready for the, you know, the argument, as opposed to really seeking to have eyes that are open to see what is real and true and good and beautiful. And to have eyes to see other people as people who need what’s real and true and good and beautiful. Yes. And and that’s, that’s what I’m taking away from this conversation where I want to grow in my own ability to engage with with people who I know, disagree with, with with those things. So Well, thank you, Anna,

Kit 35:38
what you just described and it makes me feel so hopeful about like we could transform some of the reputation that Christians have, you know, gotten about they hate this and they hate that and they’re against this and they’re against that, you know, where, you know, we are for love and we are for kindness and we are for truth. You know that There are, there’s a much different way to approach all of this. That, as you say, is going to be much more appealing. Where do we get to get our foot in the door if we don’t actually allow God to transform how we how we approach these things. So I’m really grateful for everything you’re saying. I’m so glad it’s helpful.

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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

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