You read an article online and you’re torqued. You type a comment, you’re about to hit send . . . Don’t. At least give it five minutes.
Same thing is true on Facebook, or at that school board meeting. Or over coffee with a co-worker who has a different view about life. Give it five.
That’s the advice of Baylor’s Alan Jacobs—a man who should know, because he’s stuck between two worlds. He’s an academic, and an evangelical Christian.
In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Jacobs talks about the many academics who can’t imagine evangelical Christians who help the poor with no spiritual strings attached. Just like there are many evangelicals who can’t fathom liberal secular professors who are fair to students who don’t share their worldview.
These days, as Jacobs writes, people are known and accepted in large part for who they hate—the “culturally repugnant other.” But civil folks do exist. It’s possible for each side to get to know each other and to discuss differences civilly. But it takes effort.
And taking five minutes helps, too.