Although COVID-19 restrictions are gradually being lifted in many states and cities, citizens in some places are protesting that their Governors are moving too slow.
Some folks are commenting to media outlets that their Governors or Mayors are being oppressive in their edicts, dictatorial in their demands and unreasonable in their restrictions.
We’ve heard of people receiving citations for just taking a walk in the park. Or taking their boat out on the lake. Some beaches are open, but others are closed. One governor issued an order requiring face masks, but then rescinded it following a public out cry.
Of course, there are those who feel some politicians are moving too quickly. They fear that economic interests are being valued over health concerns. And that the leaders are not listening to the reasonable counsel of health care professionals.
Social media, of course, is filled with many and opposing opinions of what ought or ought not to be done. Which actions would you consider as reasonable? What seems unreasonable?
What seems reasonable to one person sounds unreasonable to another. Our point of view is undoubtedly impacted by our personal circumstances. Our health. Our finances. Our living conditions. As well as our temperament and personality. And maybe even our politics.
This post is not about who is reasonable or unreasonable in these matters, but to help us think about being reasonable in all our relationships. In our families. Churches. And social interactions. And, our posts on social media like facebook and twitter.
Reasonable is defined as being “agreeable to reason or sound judgement; logical.” Being moderate. Not excessive. Rational in our behavior. Equitable. Fair. Just.
Here’s two questions for your consideration:
(1) Are you willing to calmly and respectfully listen to reason from someone whose views are different from yours?
(2) Would someone who knows you well describe you as a reasonable person? Or unreasonable?
Here are five suggestions to help us all act, speak and respond reasonably.
(1) Be kind. Christians are commanded to “be kind to one another” (Eph. 4:32). The fruit of the spirit is kindness (Gal. 5:22). And brotherly kindness is one of the virtues we ought to be adding to our faith (2 Pet. 1:7)
Kindness keeps us from reacting with anger even when we feel the other person is being unreasonable. It resists the urge to hurl cutting, cruel, or crude remarks. It overlooks minor and unimportant issues.
(2) Be Patient. Patience is also a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:23). And it is listed among those qualities with which we ought to clothe ourselves like compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and forbearance (Col. 2:12-14).
A reasonable person is a patient person. If you find yourself being easily irritated, agitated and impatient with others, maybe you’re not a very reasonable person.
(3) Be willing to listen to the reasoning of others whose views are different. It’s difficult. Because we think we’re right. And we believe they’re wrong. A reasonable person will listen to reason (Prov. 18:13). Consider the information. Weigh the arguments. And reevaluate their position. And will admit either a need for change. Or at least the possibility.
(4) Avoid impulsiveness. Unreasonable people are often reckless, rash and brash. The wise man was right. “A fool is hotheaded and reckless.” And his “reckless words pierce like a sword” (Prov. 14:16; 12:18). Reasonable people are calm. Deliberate. And thoughtful.
(5) Practice the Golden Rule. Treat other people the way you want to be treated (Matt 7:12). If you want your friends, family and brethren to be reasonable in their dealings with you, then you too must speak, behave and respond with reason.
Finally, remember that reasonable people can honestly differ, especially in matters of judgment, without being difficult or unreasonable.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman