Life is not fair.
We have all heard this statement from our lips or from the lips of others. If you are my age, you certainly know about fairness because you have experienced unfairness you didn’t invite.
We all have opinions about what is fair. Depending on the “life experience” glasses we wear and operate through, it is very possible that our opinions will differ from those of others. Thus, their opinions can lead them to decisions that will seem unfair to me or to you.
There are some opinions different from mine that I can’t wrap my mind around. I have, at times, sought out knowledge and wisdom from people who are a whole lot smarter than me in certain areas. I want to know if I am way off base in my thinking so that I can try to make needed changes in my thoughts and further educate myself. Sometimes those wiser than me tell me that the opinion in question comes from an irrational point of view. Their perspective on the topic has helped me know I am not crazy or ignorant. At other times I have changed my mindset, realizing I was wrong and misinformed. Seeking that wisdom has been invaluable to me and allowed me to grow tremendously.
God created all of us to constantly grow and change, a process Scripture calls sanctification. It is not true that “you are too old to change.” I have heard that many times. This is a very ignorant and arrogant mindset. Carol Dweck, Ph.D. calls it a “fixed mindset.” Sadly, too many people choose this mindset.
Professional Christian counseling has been invaluable to me and has helped me to embrace the process of sanctification. Dumping old mindsets that were wrong and toxic and replacing them with healthy growth mindsets. (Mindsets all biblically based but ones I had twisted or I allowed someone I deemed to know more than I did to distort my interpretation of Scripture.) Counseling also helped me to embrace the tactic of temporarily putting on someone else’s life glasses to emotionally SEE their mindset. It has helped me to empathize with them, develop more patience with them, but also not to pity them into continuing in a wrong or fixed mindset that is irrational. The nature of the relationship, determines how much time, if any, I give to that opposing/differing opinion.
Recently, when the college football rankings came out and my team, Clemson, was not in the top 4, I had a strong opinion. Based on all I have learned in working to live in a “growth mindset,” I was excited to read Coach Swinney’s response, “It’s not worth the brain cells!”
I have learned to put it a different way, “It’s not worth my mind space!” I can keep my personal opinion and I’m not going to worry about everyone else’s opinion. It doesn’t matter!
I have plenty of friends who would disagree with my opinion on different topics…it doesn’t matter what they think. I love these friends and it would be crazy to even bring up the differing opinion.
Opinions really don’t change things anyway, actions do.
I seriously write with the purpose of helping and encouraging others to “lead a life of significance!” I can truly say, if you dedicate too much of your brain cells/mind space to the differing opinions of others, it will take you off your purpose and mission like nothing else.
I can see why Coach Swinney flourishes. He has this principle in place for himself and I am sure he does his best to lead with this example to his family, staff and team.
Trying to change someone’s opinion, if it doesn’t personally affect you, or…
If the “glasses” they are viewing life through are irrational ones–often fashioned by their life experiences…and….
If you have taken the time to educate yourself on that fact, is a waste of your time (time is so valuable)…and mental space… not to mention your emotional health –– for which there is no price tag.
I love this Scripture penned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Learning to mine your mind is an invaluable life-giving mission. It is a mission I encourage everyone to take. Life isn’t fair. We can just look to Jesus and His life. His opinions were very different from those of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were so irrational in their thinking. Jesus was an innocent man who lived a perfect life and died a cruel death. I praise God every day that the unfairness of His death, but His resurrection because He is God’s son, paid the price for my sin.
Even though life can be unfair…and opinions can be irrational and differing from our own…God can use it all for our sanctification and His purposes, if we choose the right mindset. That mindset is fully accessible to anyone who invites Jesus into his/her heart. Jesus empowers you with the Holy Spirit to study and apply His word….which brings growth.
So seek a “growth mindset.” It will direct you on the fairways of life whether unfairness seeps in gradually or slams in unexpectedly.