There is a universal truth that we all know but rarely think about enough to implement it. It is the one thing that I wish more conservatives would realize regardless of how many facts they have right.
The way that we treat others has a far greater impact than the points we try to make.
The left gets this. This is why they've infiltrated pop culture. It's why they refer to the GOP or conservatives as "the party of no" or "anti-choice." But instead of taking the actions to prove these things wrong, in many cases, conservatives continue to act as 'the party of no.’
Standing for no new taxes, no Obamacare, no more spending etc. is great and all, but it doesn’t present a very positive message. No one is selling liberty to the American people through their actions. And worse, many conservatives have put an evil label on the things that do impact the world around them, the things the lie in "the mainstream."
Stop complaining about mainstream culture and media, and start playing an active role in influencing what goes into it.
Most right-leaning Americans who consider themselves “politically informed” likely grew up in a conservative household and held on to those beliefs or experienced something in their life that changed their worldview. And it most likely wasn’t a heated debate or someone telling them how wrong they are, that their opinions don’t make sense, and that they’re an uninformed moron (food for thought). Something or someone impacted them to the point of change.
The truth of the matter is, the 95% of Americans who don't check Drudge, TheBlaze, or their personal RSS feed of all things political news first thing in the morning are on the fence. They're either part of the mind boggling 45(ish)% Obama approval rating or they're on the other side. Either way, they're not staying up-to-date on the news every time they open their laptop. For those of us that know every story that pops up on our Twitter feed or Facebook timeline, this is easy to forget.
So how do you impact the large majority of Americans who don't know where they stand on every issue? How do you influence the average American who only hears the political ramblings the last 10 minutes of the nightly news before their favorite sitcom starts? Well, ask yourself this question: who has made a lasting impact on who you are and your worldview? How did they do it?
There are two categories of people that will make a lasting difference on who you are and how you see the world. They didn't have an impact on your life because of what they claimed to believe. And it wasn't from an awesome point made during a political debate.
The two categories of people who have the power to mold your worldview and influence your life are those who have hurt you and those who have loved you.
Conservatives can debate, they can argue, they can make the best points that no one in the world can shoot down, but in the end, none of that matters if you're not practicing what you preach and giving people a real reason to stand with you.
"Love" isn't a big seller in political talk radio or cable news. That's why most successful cable news host just spend an hour every night arguing the other side. Don't get me wrong, being informed is important - but what you do with that information, how you use it, is far more important.
The way that we treat others has far greater of an impact on them than what we believe. Somewhere along the way in America there was a shift from 'how we behave' to 'what we believe' being what was important. You can believe all the right things and have absolutely zero positive influence on the people around you. Scarier than that, you can believe all of the right things and have a completely negative influence on the people around you.
When we abandoned our behavior and continue to argue our beliefs and our opinions, we lose our leverage. Just look at how the spending of the GOP during the presidency of George W. Bush has affected the conservative movement?
If we would simply do what we say, instead of constantly arguing about our opinions and ideology, the country would change. The reputation of conservatives would change. The influence conservatives have on culture would change.
Believing is easy, changing your behavior - not so much.
When Glenn first launched GBTV (soon to be TheBlaze) he called it a "movement" and a "verb" for a reason. Glenn gave four verbs last month to help kick start his viewers and listeners making a difference in their communities, but the verb we have to focus on the most is love. If you don't learn how to love the people around you whether or not they agree with you, you're hurting your cause. The opinions we hold of one another should not be based on the ballot box.
The left is going to continue to group the right into one big box, and put an ugly label on it. Don't be like them. Conservatives have never been about "the collective" - we're about the individual. Everyone has a different story that has shaped their worldview, and if we don't start interacting with one another like individuals with different backgrounds and stories, we're really no better than they are.
As we lead up to the final days before Restoring Love, I challenge you to ask yourself these questions before you engage with people who disagree with you: Why do they believe what they believe? Why do they think the way they think? What caused them to have their opinion?
Asking these questions will make you hold those who claim to believe one thing while behaving another way accountable, and it will also help you see the world through the eyes of the people that you disagree with. If you don't ever see anyone else point of view through their eyes, how can you ever expect them to do the same for you?
Coercion is not a path to influence. Behavior, however, has the ability to draw massive amounts of people in. Whether or not you’re a Christian, there’s a good chance that you know a lot of them. Why are there so many Christians? Jesus certainly didn’t coerce people into believing that he was the Son of God, and that’s not exactly an easy thing to believe. Even as a Christian, when I stop to consider Jesus’ own brother, James, was one of his disciples, it’s pretty remarkable. Seriously, take a minute to imagine trying to convince your own brother that you’re the Son of God and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It was His behavior and His love – it was so against the grain of typical human nature that people wanted to know more, and eventually they followed Him.
A person can’t be debated into believing anything, into agreeing with someone, or out of certain kinds of behavior. They can't be legislated to do these things either. If you really want to influence someone's worldview, if you want to make a lasting impact on the future of this country, you basically have two options. You can tear down the people on other side of the argument or you can love them.
Get more information about Restoring Love in Dallas, TX and how you can be a part of the movement HERE.