My Echo Chamber

Stephan Tchividjian, CEO and Co-Founder, National Christian Foundation South Florida

One of my favorite scenes from the hit movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which debuted in the year 2000, is when the Grinch speaks with his echo. The scene opens with the Grinch speaking to his dog Max and reassuring himself that he is just fine being alone with his thoughts and doesn’t need anyone. He then proceeds to speak with his echo.


echoGrinch: How are you?

Echo: How are you, are you, you, you?

Grinch: I asked you first!

Echo: I asked you first, you first, first, first!

Grinch: [sarcastically] Oh right, that’s really mature, saying exactly what I say!

Echo: Really mature, mature saying exactly what I say, I say, I say, say!

Grinch: [thinks for a second] I’m an idiot!


Grinch: [gruffly whispering] All right, fine. I’m not talking to you anymore. In fact, I’m going to whisper, so that by the time my voice reverberates off the walls and it gets back to me, I won’t be able to hear it. [covers his ears]


I chuckle every time I see that scene because of its obvious humor but also because I think it’s a reflection of the conversations I often have with myself. The term, “echo chamber” is used often today, referencing the notion that the only people we speak with or surround ourselves with are people who mimic our own words and/or ideas. Therefore, we intentionally or unintentionally are surrounded with ideas, words, perspectives and opinions that we agree with and/or accept. Those that have different ideas are easily cancelled and dismissed. I laugh at the scene in the movie because though we believe we are hearing the Grinch’s echo in the dialogue, the “echo” eventually reveals its own opinion, no longer mimicking The Grinch.


Am I living in an echo chamber?

echoI wonder how much of my life is in an echo chamber. I think about the fact that most of the people that I engage with are very similar to me in so many ways. We generally share the same values, perspectives, lifestyle, habits, routines and forms of entertainment. I live in a world where many of the people I engage with are getting their information from similar sources such as the same books, television shows, news feeds, podcasts and influencers. Therefore, I ask myself if I am living in that “echo chamber” that is being talked about? How comfortable am I with diversity? How intentional am I about seeking out diverse people, ideas, perspectives, worldviews, cultures etc.? I know that I have been in situations where my viewpoint, lifestyle and faith were a minority, and honestly, I didn’t like it; I felt out of place and uncomfortable. I believe that it’s in my nature to want to be comfortable and in familiar territory, which usually makes me feel good about myself, like I am on the “winning” side. I tend to shut down, isolate or grow distant if I find myself in unfamiliar waters, quick to scurry back to my familiar world. Perhaps that’s ok and I am overthinking this, or is there something that God is nudging me on?

Did Jesus live in an echo chamber?

echoI know that when I find myself being provoked, meaning that my perspective is being challenged, it’s important to respond according to my primary calling, that of a follower of Jesus. Therefore, I study His response and rhythm in such situations. Did Jesus live in an “echo chamber”? I start by looking at who Jesus surrounded Himself with. I don’t want to oversimplify, but I see generally four groups of people. The first was His Heavenly family (God the Father and the angels), second was His earthly family and friends (his biological family, the disciples and close friends), third there were the crowds that followed Him (the masses, those He healed, those in the audience) and lastly there were His adversaries (some of the religious leaders, Roman culture and doubters). Looking at how He engaged with such diverse groups triggers my curiosity. I am intrigued by the intentionality of Jesus’ desire to seek diversity in all that He did. Jesus welcomed diversity, engaged with diversity, sought out diversity and yet walked the line of never compromising His beliefs and tenets but also never having to compromise His calling, to reflect The Father. My primary calling as a follow of Christ is to represent Him, in all that I do… to mimic Him. I am His ambassador. For example, the disciples that Jesus intentionally selected were very diverse. He invited political players from both sides of the isle, entrepreneurs, introverts, extroverts, activists and passivists, wealthy and not so wealthy, married and single, and the occasional con artist. I can only imagine the conversations around the fire while eating Tilapia and pita bread on the shores of Galilee.

Therefore, in a season of such division, angst, anger, violence, deception and immorality, I find myself being challenged as a Christian to be more intentional, more curious and more effective in my primary calling. I must seek out civil conversations with people that vote differently than I, live differently than I, think differently than I and believe differently than I. I need to learn to be more curious. I sometimes engage for the purpose to convince rather than engage for the purpose of listening. I realize that when I speak less, listen more and temper my emotions, I learn much and do a much better job mimicking Jesus. My testimony is much more reflective of the Fruit of the Spirit and much less the fruit of Stephan. So, I am challenged to move out of my cave and spend less time listening to my echo and much more time listening to the very people He has placed into my life. I don’t want to be an idiot living in a cave listening to my own voice, God’s called me to so much more than that…that…that…that.


Stephan N. Tchividjian is the CEO and co-founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit to learn more.

Read more articles by Stephan Tchividjian at:

Share this article