He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, June 12, 2017

Finding Common Ground

    “You are just plain wrong,” said my friend, as I joined she and another friend having a heated conversation.  “The guy is an idiot and can’t do anything right.”

            “I disagree,” said my other friend.  “I’d rather think we should agree to disagree, rather than argue about it.”

            “But you’re wrong,” countered my first friend, her ire growing.

            “It doesn’t matter.  I think differently than you.  This is just one of those times, we’re not going to agree.”

            “Fine!” she answered, walking away.  “You think like you want to think.  That’s not going to make you right,” she added hotly.

            “Josie,” I said.  “C’mon.  Don’t be like that.”

            “Not now,” she said.  “I’m done and the best thing for me to do is walk away, before I say something I really regret.”

            Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not much of a political person.  While I have my opinions, I usually tend to not share them, because I hate confrontation.  Not being a “great” debater, it’s easier to not say anything at all!  In fact, I remember a debate I was required to participate in, in college and the instructor put me on the opposite side I believed in!  I was mortified!  It was so difficult to comment.  I was grateful there were others on the team, who were able to take the ‘facts’ found and comment, even though, they were not likely familiar with a true life experience with the debate question, for which they were fighting.  For most of them, it was no more than an assignment.

            Yet, I know as a Believer, it is my duty, as commanded by God, to stand my ground when there are those who would disagree with Bible doctrine.  Still, even here, I find when I disagree with someone I try really hard, to be as kind as possible, without ‘ruffling’ the feathers with the person I am having conversation.  ……Unless….I can do it in writing. 

            Recently there was a major issue with someone where we seriously disagreed.  While I didn’t want a face to face battle, I was able to put my words on paper, and ‘discuss’ the matter in a way that enabled me to share my feelings and why.

            Even when we disagree with each other, it is again our ‘duty’ to attempt to find unity.  Paul was really good at this when he faced his opposition in the Bible.  He had the education and ability to draw those who disagreed with him to listen to his views, because he once stood right where they were now standing.  He could identify with their thought process.  In this way, he was able to gain their trust, at least long enough to justify their time listening to him explaining his views.  He was what many today would call, ‘politically correct,’ and therefore, searched for a friendly and familiar position with his would be adversaries.  He had the wonderful ability of finding common ground without compromising his values or beliefs!

            I encourage you to reflect on your last disagreement with someone.  Is there a way of continuing the discussion by finding common ground without compromising your values or beliefs?  It might be the best way of reclaiming a friendship, while making your point quietly.