Holding hands in praise

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Iroquois Principal's Corner — March 2, 2021

I recently listened to a podcast that focused on how we, as a country, can depolarize. The podcast brought into consideration so many of the polarizing issues that are so strong in our country. Whether it be racial, political, socio-economic, gender-based, and just about any topic you could think of that divide us as people. 

A solution was presented that was so simple, yet so profound. It’s something we teach here every day at Grand Rapids Christian. It’s an expectation of students whether they be in preschool or 4th grade. It’s quite basic. The solution that was presented was to listen. 

Listening is a skill. God gives us ears, and he also gave us a brain that has strong connections to our ears. When we listen to understand, we begin to depolarize. When we listen to respond, we continue to drive the wedge of polarization. Social media, formerly a place of posting pictures of favorite meals, our friends, and family, is now a battleground of opinions where there is little to no room for listening but only responding. In the age we are in, listening to understand is really hard.

My encouragement to you today is to listen to those with who you may not agree. Not to change your opinion, but to understand them.

Take a look at these words from Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”

Every effort! Not some, but every single effort. Let’s listen, and maybe we can get to an amazing place of peace. Peace be with you!

—John Barkel

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