Not Wrong, Just Different
Samantha: Let's get real.
Christian: Who wants to have another surface level conversation?
Samantha: Not us. I'm Samantha.
Christian: And I'm Christian, two friends having raw but truth filled conversations about the messiness of life.
Samantha: So buckle up and don't be shy.
Christian: Because yep, we're Going There.
Samantha: We're Going There.
Christian: We are back again. Hello, Samantha.
Samantha: Hello, hello. We have our wild berry Skittles again.
Christian: Guys, it's becoming a trend so crosstalk maybe one of our faves. I actually normally like regular, but you've gotten me onto these and now they're around us all the time I feel.
Samantha: Well, I would never choose... First of all, do you feel like I'm a candy person? Because I don't, I would never reach for something like that and Skittles would be the last thing to choose.
Christian: If we have to describe each other, via food. What would it be and why?
Samantha: You would be, a Sour Patch Kid?
Christian: Oh, rude, rude.
Samantha: I'm just kidding. I don't know, I throw you a question.
Christian: I don't know what you be. You'd be like mashed potatoes or something.
Samantha: What? To blanch or-
Christian: Just like every know, everyone loves-
Samantha: Oh my gosh.
Christian: ...just a classic-
Samantha: Not everyone.
Christian: ...Southern. I don't know.
Samantha: I know, that's funny. Okay, now I feel I have to think of something better for you, but let me think on that.
Christian: I feel my answer was actually pretty good.
Samantha: Okay. Well we were just-
Christian: And you're like,"Sweet and sour."
Samantha: ...talking about mashed potatoes. We were just talking about mashed potatoes. Maybe you'd be like a...
Christian: We'll make sure to put a pull of who has tried Bob Evans mashed potatoes.
Samantha: Oh yes. Because we-
Christian: So weird.
Samantha: ...Off, we were talking with our friend Hannah, who is a dietician and we were saying the best-
Christian: So weird.
Samantha: ...mashed potatoes, Christian's shocked by, but it's like a Instagram influencer kind of secret diet.
Christian: Makes me want to gag. I'm not going to lie. I'm imagining the flaky, powdery mashed potatoes, you have watermelon too, but not wrong, just different.
Samantha: Just different. Okay. Let's transition into that because we are talking about this phrase that Christian and I have found ourself saying, and kind of dissecting a lot this past year. And it's kind of just this phrase, I think I started hearing you say it first like," Not wrong, just different." And it's just this idea that people in the Christian community are going to be doing life a lot different than you, and unless something is explicitly sinful or just outwardly wrong or right, there's a lot of diversity in the way that people choose to spend their money or parent or how they argue in marriages and how they work through issues and how they problem solve and how they give, and how they serve and host. And so we contend as humans, especially as Christians I think, to think that the way that we choose to do things, is right or above the way other people choose to, and we... It's really a pride issue and we kind of want to break it down.
Christian: Yeah. I was going to say, this episode is dedicated to Mike and Dory Cranford. I learned this phrase from... Andrew and I were in our very first small group as a married couple, literally went on to our honeymoon and came back and started the small group the week after. And I remember we went around one time and someone said," What's your marriage advice?" They had been married 40 years at this point. So obviously successful marriage, and I think it was he, Mike who said," It's not wrong, just different." And we ended up making him a coffee mug with that saying on it because the number of times Andrew and I have used that specifically in our marriage, is unreal at least every day. And it's honestly just kind of blend into many areas of my life, and the older I get, I would like to say the more wise I get. I just recognize this feeling of like," It's not wrong, it's just different." And how quick I am to look at how someone else does something and I'm like," Oh gosh, that was so far from how I would do that." But I'm like," But why am I offended?" It literally does not matter.
Samantha: That's what I was going to say. This topic, you might be sitting here listening and kind of cringing because I feel lately, I have noticed so many people that are truly offended, by the way that other people choose to live their life. And I'm sure, I know I've had moments like that too, but in general I tend to be someone I think that can honestly be like," Oh, that's not affecting me. I don't really care how they choose to do that. I would never do it." But some people really take it upon themselves to care about the way other people choose to do things. And I just think that's really interesting, but we have to break it down and say," What is that about us? What does that say about us?" And also challenging ourselves to say," I want to love on, I want to be a part of people's lives who do things really different than me because news flash, maybe I could learn something, maybe I can grow in some way, maybe I have something to offer them even."
Christian: Yeah. I mean, honesty hour here Samantha, let's go through a few of the areas that you and I are worst at this about. For sure, I will stand up and say right away, it is for sure my marriage, and I am so easily just want to nitpick how Andrew does things versus me. I mean, this could be as simple, I know on our marriage episode or other things, I've talked about how he maybe does dishes differently than I do or how he folds laundry differently, but even goes to other things, like how he manages his time or what he chooses to veg out on, or how he chooses to eat or, I mean, guys, I could go on for a long time. Let's talk about how many arguments we've had, in a marriage of just how you drive or I don't know. I mean, it could be umpteen things, but marriage is number one high on my list of where I am easily be like," No. I'm right, you're wrong." But I have to remind myself like," No, he's not wrong, it's just a different way of doing it."
Samantha: Yeah, and I'm the same exact way. My husband and I could not be more different in the way our personalities are, and the way we like choose to do things. And it's so easy for me to hear you talk about Andrew and be like," Why do you care? He's doing it." But I, it's the same way, and you could look at Justin like," Okay, why do you care about that?" It's easy then though, we can say when you're living with someone and you're that close to kind of nitpick things, but I think where I see this even more common now is the way that, it becomes a gossip thing or even just like," Can you believe so- and- so would choose to send their kids to full- time daycare? I could never." Or," Can you believe, that she would just be content?" I'm kind of coming off of our stay- at- home mom versus work mom episode." Can you believe that she would just be content staying at home?" Or," Can you believe they spend money that way?" Or," They don't spend money this way?" Or...
Christian: Yep. I mean, yeah. So parenting one of the other areas, I mean the number of times I've heard other people be like," Oh my gosh, can you believe that, that's what she feeds her kid?" Or... I mean, I'm even sometimes nervous as a mom sending my kids like," Is this what they're going to wear to school? Are other parents going to judge me? They're my kids, don't look as cute as other kids?" I mean, it is so dumb, but I'm like," No, it's literally not wrong, it's just different." But yeah, finance is another huge one. I think we are so quick to judge someone else's way of spending money. If that's outwardly like, what house they buy, what car they have, what clothes they wear or if that's just like, I don't know.
Samantha: Maybe they don't spend a lot of money and your judgment of like," Wow, they are really tight." Or they don't do this or that, or they can't. I don't know. Yeah, speak both ways.
Christian: But I think in all of those areas, I mean, we are just so quick to jump to," Wow I do it." I think we said this on our mother in episode about... We probably all think the way we do it, is the best way, because that's how we do it. When I think all of us could easily say like," Oh yeah, I do..." I don't know, whatever task. I'm thinking about tasks around the home a lot. I make my bed this way. I know it's probably not the best way, I can think of a lot of other people who do this better than I, but then when my husband does it differently than me, I'm like," Oh no, no, no, that's so wrong."
Christian: "Why do I think that?"
Samantha: Yeah. And I don't know why it is this tendency that we just care so much, especially in the Christian culture, I think we wanted to touch on too. There is a point of saying, okay," When we are living as Christians, even though there are a lot of things that are not explicitly black and white, or do this and don't do that, there's a lot of gray areas, but ultimately we all hope that we're growing in likeness to Christ." And so that means that our lives should be looked different than the world and we should be set apart, and we should be making decisions that maybe surprise people in the world of like," Oh, why would you choose to be frugal in that way or give really generously or make choices for your parenting in that way?" And so when you are living in close community, there's this sense that it's okay to challenge like," Hey, I'm not saying that this is necessarily wrong, but can you explain to me why you and Justin are deciding to do this?" And hopefully that's done in close context, not just random people in town or something. But just putting this emphasis on," Hey, we want you as your friends in your community to be thinking through every decision and have it be glorifying and honoring to God." And so there is a point of that as well, but also recognizing like," Hey, maybe you just don't know the full story." Or," You haven't thought through something that way." Or it's at the ultimate goal, God's going to be glorified both directions and just because you would choose the different path, doesn't mean their path is wrong.
Christian: Mm- hmm. I think it's so interesting as we have this conversation though, because like you and I, I mean you and I now say this often in our friendship or in our, just life, we will say this now to each other about things. And I think it's just so interesting though, because when I catch myself a red flag, when I am so offended by how someone else does something and it's different how I do it, is I'm like," Why do I care so much? Why am I caring that this person's doing something different?" And honestly like you said earlier in the episode, it really just comes back down to pride. It comes back down to, I am thinking too much of myself and too little of other people, and I'm not assuming the best of someone. I'm not... Just assuming that they have good intentions or they thought through that, just as I would hope people give me the same thought and assumption in return. I don't do that for others quickly, and I think that's a major red flag that I'm like," Wow, I must be in an unhealthy state of how I'm thinking about how God created me and how God created other people, and we're going to be different because we're different people."
Samantha: Or even that, maybe they didn't fully think something through, in like news flash that they're human and that we have decisions in our day to day, that we also maybe don't have the margin in life to think through every little thing and make the best decision based on whatever scale you want to say, if it's down to what our kids are eating up to how we choose to spend our money or whatever. It's like," Yeah." Or giving them grace to say," Yeah, I would've done that differently and I honestly think it would've turned out better for them if they had done it differently." But that's also part of life and they're being brim to fall and fail and learn and grow, and meet, have gotten meet you there and so I think when I hear people do this, maybe you're like," No, I don't think this is true." But I hear a lot of jealousy in people when they do this because I think a lot of times they want, maybe what that person is doing or they wish they were in that position to be making that kind of decision. I think I'm thinking of this of, maybe when you hear people talk about like," Oh, well, why would they spend that on a car or a house?" Or," Why would they send their kids to that school?" Or," Why would they take that trip with their husband? Oh my gosh I would just be crazy that long on a solo trip with my husband." I don't know. I feel when I hear that I'm hearing this small hint of, ultimately I kind of want that too, I can't have it so I'm going to tear it down a little bit. Maybe that's not for everyone, but I think that's the case.
Christian: But even as you say that though, too. Another thing I'm recognizing, I'm like," Gosh, how ugly does that sound?" We all know those friends. I mean, this goes to gossiping too. We all know those people, that in the middle of a conversation that you're having with them, they're saying these things back and you're blaring red lights are going off in your head, and you're like," Wait, if you're willing to talk about this with me like this, what do you say behind my back? To how I'm making decisions?" And so even I've caught myself, I'm like,"Gosh, what? Yeah. Why am I saying that? Or why do I care how someone's doing something so differently?" And then I'm like," Gosh, I don't want people to do that about me." Or like," Why am I even having that thought?" And I think it's so eyeopening because I'm like," Gosh, I do not want to be a person who does that." And ultimately again, it does not matter and they're doing something differently than how I choose to do it, but it's not even right for me to be talking about it, nor worth my time.
Samantha: Well, and the people too, that have to see," Okay, I would do that really different, but because you're my brother and sister in Christ I want to celebrate what you do in life." Again, we're talking about the things that are not blaring, sinful issues. You know what I'm saying? Obviously if someone's having an affair, we're going to be like," Wait, that's not, that's wrong!"
Christian: That's wrong!
Samantha: That's wrong.
Christian: That's right, that's actually wrong.
Samantha: That's not just different, that is wrong. And there's a lot of things, the way that people choose to maybe speak to their kids where it's actually you could be challenged in that. That's wrong how you're choosing to handle that situation or yell at your kids like that, whatever. I'm just saying, these are the things where really, you couldn't argue either way if you boil it down, you just feel really passionate about one way or the other.
Christian: It's just so eye opening. The reason, one of the reasons we wanted to have this conversation though, is I think we live in such a culture right now that is so polarizing. And I even hate that I say that phrase, because when you read through the Bible, our world now is no different than what it was or ever has been. This is the broken world that people have made it to be. That God created it to be perfect, created it to be totally good and people have made that bad.
Samantha: The Jews and the Gentiles, talk about polarizing.
Christian: Yes, yes. So I'm like," It's no different than before." We act like we're like," Oh my gosh, we don't know how to handle this as Christians." It's like," No, we actually have an entire book of directions and we should be in that book, reading it." I'm off my high horse now, but I'm, I just think it's so interesting in this time where I do feel everyone is just, I don't know blaring towards, or I don't know, pining out for their... Just goal of what they want to be accomplished if that's in... I don't know. Just any cause, that they are a part of, if someone's not choosing to support that cause and exactly how they have decided it would be best. They are so offended and affected by that. And I think in a world where we are so emotionally drained and overwhelmed and anxiety and depression is going out of the roof. I'm like," Well maybe it's because we're spending all of our energy, caring too much about what other people are doing and not doing and thinking and not thinking." That I'm like," Well, of course we're overwhelmed. Of course, it's full of anxiety because you're choosing to now have to be on top of everyone else's choice making." I don't even know how to say that, if that makes sense.
Samantha: That's so true. And that we know about all these minor choices when, I mean your community hopefully knows you well and hopefully you have people that can know you intimately and well, and know how you tend to argue and how unhealthy ways with your spouse or know why you're thinking your decisions of where to send your kids to school, when they start kindergarten, XYZ. However, there's so many things that we get to see of, they're posting an Instagram story and we're like," She bought another new da, da, da, da. Why would she do that? I wouldn't do that." Or whatever it is. We're just, we're let in on so many more decisions of people, because first of all, people want to share them for whatever reason, and maybe they have wrong intentions for wanting you to know what they're doing and how they're choosing to live life. It's kind of the people who just talking about kids, have a certain mindset on either how their kids should sleep or how their kids should eat and you know that about them, because they love to repost the infographics about it, or they love to let that become, this is kind of a phrase right now, but part of their personality, you know what I'm saying? Or the girlies that are gluten free or whatever, it's like they want you to... Some I'm... Okay, please don't be offended if you're actually gluten free and for health reasons and stuff. I'm just saying there's certain people that we know, they want you to know that and maybe they even want people to feel a certain way from their choices, like inferior, or maybe they want people to be envious. I don't know, but I don't even know where I was boiling well.
Christian: Well but I think, but I think the point is that crosstalk.
Samantha: I think we know more. We know more.
Christian: Well. Yeah. And I think the point is, we all have things that we are passionate about, that God has put in our hearts and minds to be just on top of, he created a world that is full of different interests and different things and different creations. There are places for a lot of people to care about a lot of different things, but the fact that someone else may care or do something differently than you, just means simply that they do it differently than you, or they're going to have a different care or love for that, than you do and that is totally okay. And it's literally not our place nor do we even have the capacity to even do that. And honestly, if you're making time for that, I would challenge us all to let's assess where our time's going, where our energy is going, because I would bet that we could probably be doing much, something much more fruitful with our time and space.
Samantha: Mm- hmm. I like this question of, it sounds really bratty, so we need to find another way to say it, but if a friend starts going down that tangent of kind of judging other people's choices or just talking about them in a way that's clearly, just thinking that their way is better of saying like," Why do you care?" Actually I'm saying that, I'm asking all of you listening right now. I know you're probably thinking of someone or something in your life that's just so different, it's like," Why do you care?" Because ultimately I think the main answer to that, is either that I'm just really prideful about the way thing I do things like we said, or I'm jealous or I'm unhappy or dissatisfied or discontent, and so I kind of hyper analyze everything else, everything that everyone else does. And so it's kind of a good question to ask yourself when you start doing that, is like," Why do I care so much about that?"
Christian: Yeah. That's really good. We could all sit in that for a few minutes.
Samantha: I've had to ask myself that before, when I feel my mind's spinning about something that has nothing to do with me, I genuinely have to be like," Why do I care?"
Christian: Yep." Why am I spending my energy?"
Samantha: And usually something else come kind of surfaces from that.
Christian: Yeah. But I, we wanted to also talk about, but what does it look like? Because obviously we're talking about things that are not blaringly like the 10 commandments. Obviously if someone's having an affair that is wrong, if someone has killed someone or hurt someone that is not right. But what do we do with these things though? When we do see people not making good choices or making choices that we believe like," Hey, I know you well, and this is not going to help you flourish, this is not glorifying to God." What do we do with that? Because I do think that's hard. I do think there's a time we talked about that momentarily, but I think there's a time to challenge people. I think there's a time to speak into someone's life. Obviously you guys know, Samantha and I are friends and we spend a lot of time together and so even in the small ways, that if I could see something in Samantha's life she has given me that permission, which I think is a really important thing, but it is also my responsibility to say to her like," Hey, I'm concerned for how..." Maybe I see her and Justin arguing in a way, that I'm like," Hey..." I will say Justin and Samantha argue differently than me and my husband, but I've actually grown in ways that she's taught me some things too, that has been freeing to me. But I'm also like," Hey..." There's also space for me to say," Hey, Samantha, I just want to challenge you. I think in the way that maybe you talk to Justin, wasn't really encouraging to him. I think that's actually probably not a productive way, I'm just, wanting you to check yourself." And I think there's a place and a time for that too, and so maybe even asking yourself like," Am I in a community who will do that too? And who have I given permission to?" Maybe if anyone.
Samantha: Yeah. And I think it's all about the way you say it too. I mean, but even recently, okay, you've kind of gone through a year where you're a full time working mom, you have two kids, you do a podcast, you have a wedding planning business, you have a lot on your plate and you're very social and you have a lot in your calendar each week. And you had mentioned to me something about possibly taking seminary classes, which I was like,"Well, that's annoying because now we can't go off on a whole shtick that we're not seminary trained." Whatever. I'm just kidding.
Samantha: I would totally take advantage of it too. I just let you say that and I... The red flags were going off in my head, but I let you just say it and in the moment, I didn't say anything.
Christian: Sat on it for a week. I'm so proud of you.
Samantha: But then the next week, it kind of got brought up again or you mentioned something and I was like," Actually, I was planning on telling you or just challenging you to think through, if you do that, I think you have to take something off your plate, because here's what I've heard that this year has been really hard for you, and you've had too much on your plate already." And so to have someone in our lives to say like," Actually that wouldn't be wise for you, I don't think that would make you the best wife and mom and friend, if you took that on or if you are going to take that on and you can validate reasons why, what are you going to let go of?" And you were, you had already come to that conclusion.
Christian: Yeah. I already come to that conclusion, but it was so freeing that I'm like," Wow, I'm really glad I have friends like that, who will call me out in that way." I think I've had, when I've talked to other people about community and how do I even cultivate a community who will call me out? And how do I even give someone permission that feels so awkward? And I actually have boiled it down to people I'm like,"It is simply just saying the words." It is simply saying like," Hey, I give you permission. I trust and value your opinion. I trust and value that you are pursuing Jesus just as I am and I hope that you would speak into my life if you see something." And I think that obviously it's uncomfortable. It feels kind of awkward, but I do think we are built for community, we're made in community. And so I think the reality that we think that we can do this alone without people challenging us, and without people challenging our thoughts that do make us a little bit uncomfortable, we're going to just have to state the obvious and invite people into that.
Samantha: Yeah. And I think I've had to grow a lot because the reason I think we're so hesitant to do that, or feel burned by is because I have been the one where I had thoughts, right in that moment when you were saying that, but I didn't. I was about to kind of, come off more harsh probably than I should and probably tear you down more of like," Are you kidding me? That would be so dumb. All you've done is complain about how you're overwhelmed for the last year." That's kind of...
Christian: Oh, cool guys. Cool.
Samantha: Okay. We can talk about this now and dissect it because that's what I think we're talking about, even with me talking to Justin in a harsh way you could easily in the moment be like," Oh my gosh, you sound such a brat or you're being so mean." Whereas, I kind of wanted to think through how I could say that to you gently, and then I can filter through of thinking like," Okay, am I just annoy..." I had to process that I'm like," Why was I, why were red flags going off when she mentioned that she was going to do that? Is there anything in me that just doesn't want her to do that? Or feels like were-
Christian: "We'reyou jealous? Were you being prideful?
Samantha: I was not jealous. I was thinking I... Honestly probably more selfish of like," Wait, we can't do our podcast and that, and all the million things she has."
Christian: Yeah. But it was so good because then when you did bring it to me, you said it in a really gracious way and like you said, I had already come to that conclusion, but I needed to process and have that time.
Samantha: But I have been the person to jump down people's throat, and so we can sit here and say like," I don't actually..." I'll push back a little. It's not just as simple as saying those words too. I actually think it's more complex. I think you have to be really prayerful and mindful because when we do just say the words, sometimes it comes out in our sinful way. It comes through those things that we haven't really processed and filtered through. Yes. It is just as simple as literally saying the words.
Christian: Well, I was saying giving someone permission is just saying the words. But I do think even in giving the permission, you need to be prayerful.
Samantha: And thoughtful. Yeah.
Christian: Yeah. Of like," Is this someone who I look up to?" I look to their life and I'm like," No, you are pursuing a relationship with Jesus and I see how you daily walk, and I want that." And I, so I don't think you just give permission lightly to different people. I think that needs to be a prayerful conversation or prayerful thought and then a conversation you have with them, but I do think people have said like," That's so awkward, how do I give someone permission to speak into my life?" And I'm like," It will come very simply once you actually just say the words, and you are praying through that decision." To say like," No, I want you to call me out."
Samantha: Or I don't think I've ever looked at you and explicitly been like," Hey, you have permission to speak in my life." It's more this like," Well obviously we do life together, day in and day out. It would be weird if I was offended, if you spoke into my life." Because we have built trust and so I think you could explicitly say like," You have permission." But also, I'm not going to be offended maybe if, well, I was going to say my mom, but that's because I really trust her and have a great relationship. I know some people might not have that, but I'm saying if you're best, if the person you call like your best friend and people you do life closely with. If they don't have the freedom to say things to, I think that can also be, we have to let walls down and realize people do have to have that. I don't know.
Christian: Yeah. No. I think that makes total sense. Well, and I know this seems maybe a minute topic and we've talked about it before on the podcast, but again, we wanted to bring it up because I think just even as we get older and even as the conversations, our community grows and we have conversations with people. I think it's just so interesting how this theme, if we really adopted this theme into all areas of our life, in our marriages, and in our parenting and how we are make friends and how we walk alongside people at work or coworkers or whatever it may be. I think if we actually adopted this thought of like," No, genuinely how they're doing, something is not wrong, it's just different than me." Then I think our world would be maybe a way more peaceful place. And it would be a place that would allow, better conversations that even when you do disagree with someone, maybe on the level of their opinion of something versus mine, we would actually be creating a space where we can better have a conversation about it and not actually fight about it because we are prideful or jealous or envious of how they're doing something versus us.
Samantha: Yeah. I mean, I remember kind of earlier on in my twenties hearing a girl have a conversation about just wanting to find a group of girls, and really find that community and actually making a point to say like," Well, it's just hard, because you've got to find people that kind of live exactly the same way you do." And I remember being like," Yeah!" At first agreeing and then wait again, those red flags in my head being like," Wait a second." And thinking about some of the closest girls in my life at that time. And if you laid them all out, yes, I have groups of friends or we have a lot in common because that does draw you closer to people, but thinking through, I have friends that are so different than me, but there's some of the girls I admire most because I'm able to look at their life and think like," Wow that's not how I tend to parent, but I really can take a lot from that." Or," I wish I was a little bit more gentle spirited with my kids or with my husband." Or like," Wow, I'm not as much of a homebody, but I love seeing that one friend just really make her home a priority and just the way that she loves to serve her family and friends through cooking elaborate meals and just getting a lot of good time at home like that." And so I actually think it's really narrow minded to think that you can't be really, closely knit with people who don't think extraordinarily different than you. Because I think it then is just affirming maybe all the beliefs you have, which feel good, but who wants to live like that? That's not challenging you, that's not having you, giving you the ability to see the world in a different perspective. And that's really not helping you grow at all.
Christian: Yeah. That's so encouraging.
Samantha: Drop the mic, but not actually, because we would get in trouble. Hey, thanks for going there with us.
Christian: If you loved what you heard, don't forget to follow along with us, @ goingtherethepodcast.
Samantha: And it'd also means so much to us if you subscribe to our podcast and shared it with a friend.
Christian: Talk to you soon.
There are many different ways we all decide to do anything in our life, spending money, parenting, problem-solving... the list goes on. But unless those actions are downright wrong or sinful, why do we care so much? So much of today’s anxiety and angst is over how we think something should be done vs. how someone else is doing it. Today we break down why we all at times decide it's for us to judge how others do things. Listen now!
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