So much of the vitriol in public conversation these days stems from self-righteousness, or so it seems to me. My motives are better than yours. My ideas are smarter than yours. My feelings are more caring than yours. My thoughts are more thoughtful than yours. When we think this way, it’s an easy jump to say, “I no longer need to listen to you, anymore.” Unfriend. It’s that simple. Unfriend. Unfriend. Unfriend. Delete. Delete. Delete. Are you sure? Yes. Delete. Now, we’re comfortable among our own. The divisions grow. And a house divided against itself cannot stand.
Forbearance, on the other hand, allows us to say, instead, “I might learn something from you. Maybe there is another way to look at this. I hadn’t thought of that.” It comes from the humility of understanding that nobody knows everything about anything. Come, let us reason together.