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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Riding The Fence

I am sure we all know folks who we would call fence riders. They are the ones who never seem to take a stand on anything. In fact, it seems their views and opinions change like the wind.

Though this may seem thoughtful and considerate, I believe it may be purposeful as it allows people to appear agreeable and tolerant. Which is of primary concern today since many believe “riding the fence” is a great way for us to behave in a civilized society.

In fact, curtailing our opinions while catering to the opinions of others has become a new norm. Because of this, it is hard to really know what people believe on any issue.

The problem with this type of thinking is when we are unwilling or unable to share our own views and opinions it demonstrates a lack of courage and conviction on our part.

You see, by allowing others to perceive us as adhering to a view and perspective that we may not truly hold, we are creating a culture where healthy debate is becoming less and less acceptable.

While being agreeable may sound good. “Riding the fence” is not an effective long-term strategy. This is true because people who practice this type of behavior lack substance and are dismissed more often than they are accepted.

In most instances people will have more respect for someone who is willing to express themselves rather than repeating the expressions of another.

This is truly ironic since the very reason for “riding the fence” is to be accepted.

Echoing the views of another and getting along to get along is not an effective way to live.

It is our differences that make the world a better place. Having the gumption to disagree is required if we are going to be able to learn and improve as we go through life.

Again, “riding the fence” may get us through some uncomfortable situations here and there, but we will never be truly comfortable until we get off the fence.

Having a position as we move through the many nuances of life is freeing. Even when it is not the popular position.

So, we all have a choice to make. Will we ride the fence, or will we choose our own way and go where we believe we are called to go? We each must wrestle with this question. As we do, we need to remember as the rock band Rush sang, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

So, get off the fence because your view is uniquely yours and your opinion matters!

1 Corinthians 15:58, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

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