POLARITIES AND PROBLEMS

Calvin S. Metcalf on the Church     Life is filled with many complicated issues.  Chaos abounds.  Trouble is everywhere.  Evil has a way of creeping into any system we may have thought was immune to its tragic power.  We cannot escape the perplexities of our times.  For the most part we are locked into whatever circumstances surround us.  Even church, which offers the saving grace of Jesus, is not free from the turmoil of confusion.  We are in a world obsessed with selfishness, hopelessness and godliness.  Despair  is written on our faces.  We are challenged to do the best we can with what we have as we find responsible ways to cope with life’s agenda.
     As we face the complicated issues of life we do well to distinguish between that which is a polarity and that which is a problem.  Polarities are situations which have no clearly defined solution.  They represent un-resolvable difference of opinions on each end of the mental spectrum.  Issues which are clearly non-negotiable are polarities.  People with extreme opinions tend to polarize themselves from the mainstream of human thought.  It is well to understand that we only manage polarities.  We do not solve them. 

     One of the ways we manage polarities is to look at the pluses and the minuses of each conflicting view.  Here we need some consensus without compromise.  We learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable.  We coexist in the midst of our differences.  On such issues our most helpful conclusion may be an admission that we have un-resolvable polarities. 
     Problems, on the other hand, are situations which are solvable with a reasonable amount of effort.  We may not know the solution, yet we know the issues have reconciling possibilities.  We delve into the dynamics of certain problems with the assurance something can be worked out.  We apply the skills of diplomacy and pray for Godly wisdom.  As God’s spirit is allowed to work in our minds, stubbornness gives way to submission and darkness gives way to light.  Forgiveness and grace rule over the problem until its solution is achieved.  Of course a problem can become a polarity if we choose to exaggerate a certain opinion.
     Let us, therefore, grow through the management of our polarities.  We maintain our convictions, yet accept the reality of other opinions.  We likewise pursue our problems with their solution as our goal.  We invite God to make us”wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”  To understand this approach to life’s complexities can be redemptive.

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