The Importance of Neutrality

Neutrality

I have noticed, especially on the internet, that people love to have opinions about things. You can’t mention a topic without people jumping to one side or the other. What does this do? It separates us and divides us as a nation, a church and as friends. Now I’m not going to say standing for your beliefs and debating politics is wrong but I would like to make the point that we need to pick our battles.

I am a debater, coming from many years competing and winning awards. One thing that I learned is that arguing and debating are exhausting. It is hard to be constantly defending your position. What makes it worse is that people often take their ideas way too seriously. Some people think they are the sum of their ideas. Others think that their ideas are separate from themselves. It is very easy to take things personally when debating if you are the sum of your ideas. My debate coaches often said “attack the argument, not the man,” which is only truly effective when the debater and ideas are separate.

I would like to propose a new way of thinking. First, pick your key issues or “fights”. My main issues include being pro-life and being a Christian. I will “fight” those battles with all my heart. But if you talk about predestination or starving people in Africa I may have a leaning, but I am not going to spend all my energy and resources to help in that battle.

I have come to the conclusion that I am not Superman. I may be Batman, but even so I cannot be everywhere at once and win every battle. If you look through history, wars were never won by the side that won every battle. Sometimes it wasn’t even the side that won the most battles that claimed victory. Wars are won by the side that wins the “right” battles. Ideas are the same way. Deciding to be neutral on some issues (even neutral with leanings to one side) is not wrong or evil, even if it is a good fight that needs to be won. God has all given us all our own different battles to fight.

In football, every guy on the defensive line needs to be covered by the offensive line. However, each man should only cover one man.  Find your man and keep him from getting to the quarterback. No one else matters. Pick your battles and win them. Be neutral on the other issues.

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