3 Ways to Maintain Friendships When We Disagree
In these difficult days, we find many family members and friends blocking and unfollowing each other due to political or religious differences.
I actually heard this crazy story of a guy who shared an article from a well-know Christian magazine that only contained Bible verses that addressed the refugee crises. After sharing the article, his mom blocked him on Facebook and sent a message letting him know he dishonored his family.
His own mom!
The fact that we can get so polarized over political topics and become overcome by our own bias that the bible becomes grounds for unfriending, especially other Christians, is a problem.
As followers of Jesus, our relationships should never come second to our political beliefs. In all actuality, Jesus gave the command to “love the Lord…with all your heart” and ” love your neighbor as you love yourself”.
When we choose politics over our relationship with God, or even over the word of God, we have placed a god above our God. Then, the second commandment is ignored when we decide to justify pushing our neighbor to the side due to political sides or fear of the unknown.
You see, some of us have begun to worship CNN, Fox News, or some other link we find on Facebook. We have lost the love we are supposed to carry for our neighbors due to the news we read and the lies we have bought from some of those sources. We have fully neglected to listen to the call of Christ.
So, how do you love your neighbor when you disagree, especially in political differences?
Let’s look to Micah 6:8 for the 3 ways…
- Love Justice: Justice is an important cause, but we must always weigh what we consider just and right with what God considers just and right. When we can weigh each others ideas based on God’s justice, not our own, then we can find a level ground that we can walk on together.
- Love Mercy: Be merciful each other. When we recognize that we are all human and in need of the mercy given to us through Jesus, then we are level. We are no longer looking at the other person as lesser or greater because we are both guilty of sin. When we can view our neighbor through the lens of mercy we might be able to have a wonderful conversation in our brokenness.
- Walk Humbly: Humility leads us to the realization that we don’t have it all figured out. We won’t have all the right answers. Walking in humility will allow us to listen to the other person and try to understand their point of view. We will understand the possibility the other person might have some wisdom to bestow upon us, so we listen for clarity and for what we might need to add to our knowledge bank.
You see, these are three easy steps to love your neighbor, maintain your friendships, and keep your convictions.
It’s alright for us to disagree. We just need to do it with love, peace, and humility in mind.
Our relationships are more important than being right (I had a pastor friend share that once), so let us try to honor each other through the message of Jesus.
May you find ways to bridge gaps with friends and others in division. May you remain loyal to the Word of God over the word of media.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How have you found ways to bridge gaps in divided situations?