Good Advice When You Don’t Agree
Chew the Straw, Spit Out the Twigs (Digest the Good, Spit Out the Bad)
What do you do when you feel like no one agrees with you? It can be challenging in the classroom when opinions differ. One can even feel alone when others are opposing you. It is nice when someone else in the class has the same view on things as you. But that does not always happen. Here is some advice from Dr. Gary Haines on what he learned along his journey… (Adapted from an email exchange between Dr. Haines and an NBC student)
Regarding your comments about the class you are now taking, stay positive, hear? Don’t get caught up with what one of my pastors called, years ago, “Stinking thinking!” He advised me not to go there! It’ll depress you if you do.
I wish opposition wouldn’t happen, but sometimes it does. Your situation reminds me of what I went through in my graduate studies when I was working on my Masters and then Doctorate degrees. There were times when I did not agree with the theology, because it was too Calvinistic for me, but I followed the advice of one of my NBC Professors, Reverend Milo Arnold, who was one of the godliest people I have ever known. He told us an insight in class one day (back in the early 70’s) that I still embrace to this very day!
He said, “Boys (there were no women in the class), even a cow in a barnyard has enough sense to chew the straw and spit out the twigs!” In other words, even a cow has enough sense to chew on the good, and spit out the bad! He was so right, because if we have enough sense, we too can spit out the bad, and chew the good. I have learned it works with not only books we read, but also with people! Every human being has strengths and weaknesses!
What I have tried to do over these many years is to embrace (chew on) the strengths of others, and spit out their weaknesses that would not be good for me. I may not always have agreed with a few of my professors, but I learned to digest /chew the good, and spit out the bad; and how to agree, to disagree, agreeably!
Just because I may not agree with someone, does not mean I need to argue with them, thereby creating conflict. The truth is, God’s Word tells us to not be contentious, and argumentative, but to “Love our enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that you may be called children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:43-44).
Regarding my situation years ago, I didn’t always agree with what was being taught, but I decided that God did not want me to argue the situation. I knew that He led me to study there, but I just decided that the enemy was trying to lure me into being confrontational, and I wasn’t going to “go there.” I did not agree with them, and still don’t, but I simply gave them the answers they were looking for and let the Lord deal with them. I chewed the straw, and spit out the twigs. It worked for me and still does! It will work for you as well, if you want it to!
*Taken from an email exchange with an NBC student
Dr. Gary W. Haines, NBC National Alumni Public Relations