You’ve Got Issues

Erik Cooper —  November 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

Issues are simple. Form a perspective. Take a stand. Black and white.

Humans are complex. Layered. Diverse. Shades of everything.

Whether it’s pop culture, politics, or the church, if I can classify you as an issue, you become so much easier to deal with. You’re categorized, labeled, and filed away. Simple.

Big government liberal.



Greedy capitalist.


Fundamentalist bigot (hey, labels go both ways).

We all have feelings about these issues. Sometimes very passionate ones.

But behind every issue is a story, and behind every story is a human being. Real people with longings, fears, insecurities, dreams, talents, pain, beauty, brokenness, and hope for redemption.

Reducing the complexity of a person to the simplicity of an issue excuses me from the (often uncomfortable) effort of learning the whole narrative. Sharing the journey. Stepping into the experience. And I’m not sure that’s OK.

Jesus spent time with criminals, adulterers, and the arrogant religious hierarchy. He was undeniably clear about important issues, but somehow He never seemed to miss the human story. I want to be more like that.

We don’t have to sacrifice truth to love people.

We don’t have to sacrifice people to love truth.

What do you think? Do we ever default to simply-defined issues to avoid the messy-complexity of real people?

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