How to Love People You Disagree With, Day 4

Grace and Truth 

We live in a world of individual classrooms, because we get to be taught by the experiences of others. Some of us have endured traumatic events in our lives and because of God’s grace, we have survived, been redeemed, and made completely new in Christ! This isn’t the case for everyone. The very pain and turmoil some have experienced is what led them to turn from God. Because of that, their viewpoint will look quite differently from ours as followers of Jesus. 

When we encounter people with a belief that is contrary to ours, we must understand that we’re representing Jesus, and we might be the catalyst God uses to change their lives. This is where truth, covered in grace, comes in. Often, when people disagree with us, our anger rises and we want to defend our beliefs and even our God. It’s in these moments where we can, and should, speak the truth, but simultaneously allow the Holy Spirit to lead us so that we won’t cave into our sinful desires. When we walk according to the Spirit’s leading, we’ll exhibit His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

If we find ourselves in a discussion with someone who clearly has different beliefs than us, it’s okay to admit that we don’t have all the answers. As followers of Jesus, we don’t know everything about God. If we did, we’d be Him. But, as Pastor Andy Stanley says, “You don’t have to understand everything to believe in something.” So, be honest and let them know that you’re still learning and growing in your faith.

Ultimately, having people in our lives we don’t agree with actually makes us stronger. If we only surround ourselves with people we always agree with, we’ll never be stretched. And as we learn from others, it’s okay if our viewpoints change. Maybe we hear someone’s viewpoint about a political issue that differs from ours, and we decide that we actually agree with them. But, as followers of Christ, we have to remember that adopting our own version of the truth is not what God has called us to. We always line up our views with a godly perspective. We are to live according to His truth. 

As followers of Jesus, are we more passionate about our beliefs on certain hot topics that we forget that we’re to love others? If we’re more concerned with our stance than we are with loving the people God sent His Son to die for, then we have truly missed the mark. These desires can never outweigh our spiritual calling. If they do, we’re glorifying earthly issues instead of glorifying our Heavenly Father.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:5-15 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Given the events that occurred yesterday at the US Capitol is not interesting that the very next day our topic of discussion on how to love people you disagree with deals with putting love for people first over your particular stance on an issue or topic. Within the US right now there are two groups of people who have put their beliefs and stances on issues and topics first over their love for their fellow countrymen and more importantly their fellow human beings. It is time for all people living all across the world to put aside their differences on the issues and topics and come together in love. If we would listen to each other and actually hear the other person’s point of view so many of the worlds problems would go away. But instead we choose to fight and quarrel with each other over things that in the long run won’t matter. Let’s all make an effort to live by the fruit of Spirit, as listed in the verse quoted above. Remember the words of Jesus “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

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