Devotionals
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May 27, 2017, 11:29 PM

How can you love those who live on the opposite side of an issue you are passionate about?


How can you love those who live on the opposite side of an issue you are passionate about? I remember several years ago I was really hooked on one of those reality TV shows.  I watched it intensely.  So I thought that everyone should be watching this show, but my feelings were not shared by my friends.  Go figure!  All I got was yeah I watched it and it was OK.  “OK”, What do mean just OK?  As I hovered over the un-friend button on facebook, I tried to come to grips with how someone that I care for could be so wrong in so many ways. Who didn’t love the people from show?  Was their soul dead?  Seriously, what was wrong with this person…how could they not love this show?

 

Along with breaking my heart and witnessing the error of their ways, I experienced a different emotion. Anger and disgust. Their utter disregard for the best show on television infuriated me. They were blind to the greatness of this show. At that moment, clarity came over as I finally understood my life’s purpose – to give this blind person sight and show them why their life was incomplete without this show.  Gripping tightly to “the truth” that was on my side, I began to respond to their Facebook post. The keyboard started to smoke as I feverishly typed a manifesto in defense of the show. However, for whatever reason, my snarky retort did nothing to change my friend’s mind. Instead, we engaged in an hour-long heated debate over what truly constituted “Must See TV.”

 

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

When it comes to the things we love, are passionate about and believe in, we can very easily lose perspective on what truly matters. Our emotions dictate our response when we encounter disagreement and push back. Instead of thinking about others, we make everything about us.  We believe that our viewpoint is the only way to see the world around us. Whether it is musical taste, movie choices, parenting style, political views, or religious stances, we can construct walls and burn bridges that prevent connection.  If you don’t reside in our camp than you’re an outsider.

 

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

In those places where disagreement or tension exists, as believers we should fight. But, not in the way one would think when people don’t see eye-to-eye. We fight for the relationship and connections to remain intact. We battle to truly understand the other side. We wrestle with wanting the best for the other person. We combat our pride and arrogance and look for ways to display humility. We resist our tendency to think “me first” and instead try to live peaceful lives that glorify God. Where do you need to fight for connection in the midst of disagreement?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to not lose sight of what truly matters. Lord you’ve given me a voice, but You didn’t intend for me to use it to diminish or belittle others. Jesus I desire for my words and my actions to spur on the connections You have arranged for me. God help me to pursue peace where discord is present. In Jesus name, Amen.


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