The Great Debaters

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Hollywood doesn’t often communicate values that I embrace. But, the movie, The Great Debaters, was a refreshing release back in 2007. It is based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman. It’s the true story of a debate coach, Melvin B. Tolson from a historically black college and his efforts to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s. This was a time when Jim Crow laws were common and lynch mobs were a reality for blacks. They eventually competed against the world’s greatest debate team, Harvard University…and won. Great inspiring movie!

It got me thinking about our culture today. So many of us are out to “win.” You know the phrase, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” It is attributed to UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell This is the regular mantra of politicians, sports figures, and many of the rest of us. But it hit me, Jesus’ goal was not to win an argument. His focus was on bringing something that would be most beneficial to those he encountered. A word of hope…the redemption of all who would believe and receive His word.

Just a thought, but is winning your priority or transformation? Dividing or healing? Winning an argument sometimes wins a battle, but loses the war. Bring a word and attitude of hope before you bring the argument. What’s really on your heart when it comes to debating those who don’t agree with you? Just saying.

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