Human beings have always had disagreements. A quick look in a history textbook can remind us how many countless wars have represented these disagreements to the extreme. However, even though this is one of the most peaceful eras in history as far as wars are concerned, it feels like there is so much that everyone disagrees about.
The seemingly heightened prevalence of rampant disagreement and argument is largely in part thanks to social media. It’s easy to get online and see the views of several people per day and get into multiple arguments. While having access to a diversity of views is a good thing, it’s the anger, hatred and demonization that we need to get over.
Every person is a child of God. Every person is worthy of dignity and respect. We need to learn how to love others with different views, even when it’s hard.
Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Remember what you have in common
Think of the person you disagree with over an issue or belief. It’s hard not to think of this issue foremost when interacting with that person. Instead, you should try focusing on what you have in common.
Perhaps you have a similar sense of humor. Maybe you enjoy the same sports, television shows, books or favorite foods. You both have loves, desires, passions and fears. These are but a few examples of areas that you may have in common with other people. Working to see these common grounds can help you view another person with more compassion, respect and dignity.
Learn what an enemy truly is
Jesus tells us to love our enemies. Amazingly, many modern Christians choose to ignore this passage or work their way around it … something like, non-Christians are the enemy of God and therefore not just my enemies, but God’s, so it’s OK to hate them. Yeah. We don’t buy into that.
Jesus was very clear about loving your enemies, even the very same ones who persecuted and killed Him. We need to follow His example and love in a similar way.
Furthermore, we want to take a moment to reflect on what an enemy is. If someone voted differently than you in the last election, should that make them your enemy? We don’t think so. We’re all Americans. We all have a lot in common. We all want the best for our nation. We just have different ideas about how to do that. These people aren’t your enemies. They just have different ideas.
Work to make peace
Making peace is not as simple as staying out of conflict. It’s about being active in preventing or ending conflict. It’s about seeking common ground and sowing compassion and respect.
Can you think of some ways you can be a peacemaker to create more peace in your life and those around you? It’s time to stop watching conflict and become an active part of ending it.
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