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What to do when they disagree?
It is unavoidable. Disagreement happens within us all, because we are human and we interact with other humans. Honestly, disagreement creeps into nearly every aspect of our lives because there is so much angst in this world. Disagreement is not wrong in fact it provides a lot of opportunity to grow but just like all other areas we must be very intentional about how we engage in disagreement.
Disagreement can develop into a fight, a very negative association and even war if we are not careful. This is directly related to the fact people make decisions based on their emotions. If we let our emotions control us it could really hurt someone during a disagreement. Especially if we are feeling RAGE. That being said today I want to address how we as Christians respond when “they disagree”. This is an area I have been dealing with a lot especially after moving away from home and into the college setting. Disagreement is good but undermining someones values is not. Letʼs address this further but first....
The number one way we deal with disagreement in our lives is with a four letter word. I bet you can guess what it is... and I bet you already know GOD commanded us to do this. His instruction about how to engage in disagreement was clear-
He said do it with LOVE. L O V E. LLLLL OOOOO VVVVVV EEEEEE
Thatʼs right. He says when they are treating you wrong, bad, mean and just hurtful-LOVE THEM. Love covers all. Love is the only way to respond to someone.
Love thy neighbor as thyself. He says it right here in scripture.
In Mark 12:31
The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.ʼ There is no commandment greater than these.
In Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
In Galatians 5:14
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
In 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
In Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; Plead the case of the widow.
All of the following versus are in NIV version to really help us break down what the word of God is saying. I encourage you to mark these in your own bibles and to explore them in the KJV version as well.
Basically as clear of day God is commanding us to love others. He wants us to do this and to go a step further he tells us it is the GREATEST COMMANDMENT.
Itʼs hard if Iʼm being completely honest to respond with LOVE when someone comes at you head strong in disagreement. Itʼs even harder when they come at you with false information, no knowledge on the issue and without an open mind. These are your big fish as I like to call them-they are the ones that are going to bring you the most grief but also are the ones youʼll learn the most from.
You see engagement across difference is good-itʼs really good because it means we are doing as the Bible says in 1 Peter 4T8 and honestly all of those verses mentioned. Loving across difference is walking like Christ did-he loved everyone and still does LOVE everyone.
If you feel challenged in your discussion see that as an opportunity and as motivation to improve your knowledge on an issue. With the proper preparation and education about an issue you can almost always keep strong in your values. This applies to both faith and secular areas of ideology. For example being an apostolic young lady I can sometimes feel challenged by a student who does not understand why I chose to dress modestly and then comes at me saying I donʼt have to do this.
This is not respecting others values, it is not loving and furthermore I donʼt think this should continue. We must nip this in the bud!!! If someone else choses to do something and if itʼs not causing them harm, you're the president of the United States or you are a celebrity you should leave them be. This is because you are not respecting personal space when you go against their will, furthermore we must be responsible adults!
The main areas of disagreement are religion. Politics and money! These are the conversations we as Christians must be weary about. In the academic setting your values may seem small but they are not. If youʼre on a date and you find that you both disagree about different things use this time to get space!
Finally If you can understand God wantʼs us to love our neighbors youʼll know exactly what to do “when they disagree”. He will guide you, he always guides me when I face this adversity. You would be surprised to hear the people who come against me because of where I stand and it has shown me that responding in love is always going to be classy, college is short, people are not intentional and that I am stronger than what comes against me.
If they engage with you, it must mean you're doing something right.
In conclusion, show love, pray and just be empathetic. Take the time to explore both sides o the conversation and trust that God with help you.
Finally, if you will take the time to understand someone elses perspective you just might be surprised at what you know about the situation.
I recently returned to being vocal about an issue I care very much about on my instagram platform because God convicted me to do so. I hesitated because I was afraid but then I remembered the importance of the issue, the value of the issue and what the outcome could be. Shortly after this some troubled individuals contacted me and basically I just had to give it to God because he knows what is best.
I encourage you do the same but fair warning it is hard! It wonʼt be easy and to be honest you will need Jesus to strengthen you every step of the way!
So “what to do when theydisagree”?
LOVE, love them just as Jesus does.
By Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley a modest fashion blogger at 1998miss.com. A Missouri gal and undergraduate student at Sewanee: The University of The South. Alexa is a Psychology major on the Pre-Med track and is a Chinese minor. She loves people and canʼt wait to work as a doctor in the mission field one day soon! Follow her on Instagram @1998miss.