Romans 12:17-18 NASB
“Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. ” Emphasis is mine.
I’m going to be candid with you. That part about being at peace with all people is NOT an easy rule of thumb to steadfastly maintain.
There used to be a common consensus upheld by the vast majority of our society about fundamental values that were deemed advantageous for all, but not any more. The common consensus by the vast majority has disappeared and all that is left is multiple opposing camps, each camp being more than willing to shoot down the other, given the opportunity.
One would think that there would be a ray of hope being demonstrated within the visible Christian Church with regard to this constant bickering, but unfortunately such is not usually the case.
Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB
“All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Even downright “Biblical” when you stop to think about it, but . . . . for some reason, these directives seem to fall to the wayside when disagreements pertaining to politics, doctrines and a host of other “sensitive” topics are being discussed. One can understand the abandonment of common respect for others, taking place outside of the visible Christian Church, but inside the visible Christian Church it really should be different. It should be but it isn’t, the vast majority of times and for lack of better words, these things ought not to be so.
One of the most difficult mindsets to steadfastly maintain, is to separate discussing a disagreement or a differing perspective with someone, and not transferring one’s dislike or disagreement with the issue being discussed, to the individual to whom you are discussing it with. We are told to love our neighbour as ourselves, and that involves us exercising consideration (respect), love and compassion, towards all whom we interact with, much like the manner in which, we would have those with whom we interact with, show consideration (respect), love and compassion, towards us. The truth that we hold to be true, does not negate our responsibility to do so with consideration (respect), love and compassion, irrespective of whether others may agree with us, or we with them.
The manner in which Jesus dealt with the Samaritans, is an important example that Jesus gave us, in how to interact with those that oppose Biblical truth, and I wrote an article on Jesus’ example a while ago, which I would sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read. You may view it here. In addition, there are many Scriptures that give us guidance on how we are to be patient and deal with one another, and I wrote an article on that also, which can be viewed here. Both of these posts are vitally important, as they relate to the tone in which disagreement should be presented. This Biblical guidance should always be at the forefront of our mindset, in our dealing with others, especially with those that we may have disagreements with, both within and without of the visible Christian Church.
Is it difficult? EXTREMELY, but it is necessary, because it underscores how seriously we take into consideration, our own errors and our own misunderstandings that we ourselves may have held onto in the past and may still be unsuspectingly harbouring in error, today. It’s the mindset that sets the tone.
The tone in which we deliver our argument, does sometimes predetermine how it will be received. Notice I said “sometimes”, that would mean “not always”, because sometimes, no matter how carefully we deliver our argument, it will still NOT be received.
And that’s OK because at least then we have presented the truth we wished to convey, without violating the requirement of loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. And that “balance” is a major requirement.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
Continual Differing Perspectives and How We Deal With Them
Romans 12:17-18 NASB
This is a valuable post Bruce, on a subject not often covered. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you and your family today brother 🙏
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Thank you, Alan. God bless you and yours also!
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