Respect, don’t reject

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For any relationship to work, we must accept each other’s differences. Within our family we must respect each other’s unique perspectives. We don’t need to agree on every issue, but we must always honor where the other person is coming from.

Paul did that: ‘I try to find common ground with everyone.’ Some of us who claim to follow Christ have a hard time with views and values that differ from our own. We think ‘compromise’ is a dirty word. Some of us have turned from the most immoral lives to faith in Christ, yet after our conversion we won’t associate with anyone who doesn’t agree with us and adopt our newfound values. Sometimes our families fall apart because we try to force our opinions on the people we love, and set boundaries to keep nonconformists out. What a terrible misuse of Christianity!

Jesus didn’t condemn the people who crucified Him; He prayed, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34 NKJV). He didn’t view them as morally bad, but spiritually blind. He told His disciples, ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father…draws him’ (John 6:44 NKJV).

It’s your job to love people, and it’s God’s job to change them! So, stop trying to do what only God can do! If you invest patiently in your relationships, respect other people’s perspectives, and plant good seed, you’ll reap a pleasant harvest in the long term. Your love, not the force of your argument, can give hope to the most severely damaged among us that there’s healing for the broken places of the human soul.

‘I try to find common ground with everyone.’ 1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT

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