Maybe you’ve never thought of it like this before, but one of the ways you can contribute to a more thoughtful and respectful world is to learn how to lovingly disagree with someone.
That’s right. Disagree with someone. Lovingly.
Pastor and writer Rick Warren has expressed how we, as a society, seem to have lost much of our capacity to dialogue and disagree respectfully with other people.
He says: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”*
When he originally said that I believe he was talking about sharing your faith with others, including Muslims. But his words can be applied to a variety of situations.
There are a lot of ideas floating around in our world right now. Some you agree with, some you don’t. There are a lot of people with strong opinions. Some you agree with, some you don’t.
Our deep confidence in God’s goodness and sovereignty means that we can be at peace. We don’t have to engage in the game of blame, cancel culture, fear-mongering or virtue-signaling.
In Colossians 4:6 Paul wrote a word that is ever-true: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
So while our culture seems to be getting worse—not better—at having meaningful and respectful conversations about important but difficult topics, we can practice and model a better way.
–*Warren’s quote is from a Christianity Today interview with Ed Stetzer in March, 2012. The link is here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.