I Want MORE Civility, So I Don’t Unfriend More People.

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 40000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Sports might be the last area of civility I see today in our society.

Stephen L. Carter, the acclaimed author of The Culture of Disbelief, proves to readers that manners matter to the future of America. Says, “Civility represents the sum of all the sacrifices that one makes in a democracy for the sake of living a common life.”

Listen to Carter speak at Yale on the topic:

Now the reason I say sports is one of the last places I see civility isn’t because people are not at odds, but yet they play hard and still try to get along after the game and during the game by respecting each other.

[NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 45600, 1/4000, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 170)]

Over the past 25 years, I have watched many institutions undergo significant changes. I watched my denomination, Southern Baptist Convention, growing up from a front row seat, not just divide itself, but is now doing even less of what it was doing regarding missions. I was laid off during the infighting because giving was dropping, and they could no longer support my position.

My first job out of college was for a small daily newspaper. The 1st Amendment protects the media, which are the ones reporting what is happening in America, yet due to so many financial changes are a fraction of the size they once were to cover our country. Yet, at the same time, our country’s population has grown.

I watched as predominately Baptist fundamentalists organized to be The Moral Majority and attach themselves to the Republican party. I would sit in small groups in churches through the years, and it was assumed that you were Republican if you were part of the church because many didn’t see them as separate but the same.

In past presidential debates, the candidates took their turns more than today, where they talked over each other and the moderators. This is only a reflection of how we speak to each other today.

I applaud Andy Stanley’s message not that long ago to his church about the election. Listen for yourself:

I think Stanley’s points around the scripture are what can help us restore civility to our public discourse.

“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”
Jesus answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

Matthew 22:36-40

I think those who are not Christians could also live by some of the guidelines Stanley points out. I love how he encourages you to share your opinion and even argue your point. However, this is where I think his wisdom from the scripture would help reunite America. We should not make our points at the expense of undermining our influence.

The Great Unfriending

This weekend I unfriended a few more people because they crossed that line. They jeopardized their relationship with me. I don’t doubt I have probably done something for someone in my life to do the same.

This election cycle will most likely be remembered by many as the time so many of us unfriended someone on social media.

Business Tip

No matter your political position, be careful that you don’t jeopardize a relationship or the ability to influence your industry.

In my faith, we believe that Jesus died to demonstrate how much God wanted to restore the relationship. We believe there is nothing one can do that God would not forgive to restore a relationship. The only thing we think can break this relationship is man’s rejection of God’s olive leaf.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Revelation 3:20

As business people, we should live this out in our business. We should be trying to recover customers and doing all we can to keep the ones we have.

We should speak up when we disagree with a client. We should argue our point with them. However, as Andy Stanley reminds us, don’t do any of this at the risk of losing your influence or jeopardizing the relationship.

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 45600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

You will score with your clients when you treat them as people. You will continue to have influence when you respect their opinions as well.

By living out Matthew 22:36-40, you will be the most confident, curious, composed, and compassionate people in the room.