When we read about any controversy in the media, our tendency is to quickly pick a side regarding the issue one way or the other. Sometimes, even before we are finished reading the information or hearing a report, we have made up our minds as to where we stand and how we feel about this issue. There seems to be a built-in response based on our beliefs about what is right and what is wrong and we struggle to see or hear anything that opposes what we believe. The fancy name for this is cognitive dissonance. Basically, it means that when faced with something that contradicts our beliefs or values, we will feel anxiety until we can resolve what we hear or read with something else that supports our belief, even if it is someone else who agrees with us. But there is also another side of CD and that is it is possible to hold two or more opposing ideas or values in our head while dealing with the anxiety that it might produce. An example could be that someone steals food from a store; it’s wrong, yes? But if you understood that the food that was taken because the person’s family was starving and they had exhausted all other resources, our opinion might be changed. Now, your mind must hold two opposing values; laws should be followed and no one should go hungry especially in a country as rich as ours. I think it would be an interesting thing to do a Bible study that takes the major headlines of our world and then do a study on what scripture says on each topic. When we “make up our minds” on something, have we consulted/examined/searched the Bible? What does the Book that we say is our source and norm of living, our guidebook; what does it say about healthcare, immigration, poverty, nationalism, political allegiance? I wonder if this discussion would produce a fair bit of anxiety in us because we find that what we believe to be right is not what scripture states is what we need to do? Or would we find that scripture supports our values? Let me know what you think? Peace be with you!