It was the fall of 1982 and our drill team officer group had a huge debate ensuing. We had two dance routines prepared for the pep rally. The problem was we could not agree on which routine to perform. I was in the minority but fought tooth and nail to get my favorite routine picked. My best friend was on the other side with the majority and they won. I was hurt and angry but moved on and agreed to disagree.
I know a major catastrophe averted, right? At this time of my life, it was an extremely important deal to me and my little world. I had choreographed this particular routine and basically the group, and my best friend rejected it. I did not hold a grudge, or “hate” my friends for not agreeing with me. So why in today’s society has it become common practice to become angry and violent when people disagree?
When you look at a beautiful painting you see different colors and objects. Generally, a work of art evokes various emotions and ideas from one person to the next. There is diversity in a painting, as in mankind. We are all uniquely made by God with individual thoughts and opinions. Our world is made of up of a medley of people who look and act divergently. So why do we start hating those who do not think and act like us? We resort to angry actions, words, and violence to get our point across. We talk about a “politically correct” society and yet we alienate and polarize those who look, think, and act uniquely.
It happened to Jesus. He was questioned, mocked, arrested, and eventually murdered because of his beliefs were not the norm. And yet, He asked his Father to forgive them. Where is the compassion and forgiveness when dealing with a vast array of ideas?
“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”- Proverbs 21:23 NIV.
It has to start with me. I can control the way I react to others with differing opinions. One of my biggest struggles is to hold my tongue. Because I have a thought does not necessarily mean it needs to be shared, especially on social media. If I do need to engage in a discussion about differing opinions, I will consider moving it to a more private setting. The world’s stage is not where banter should take place, especially if others can jump in and offer their two cents.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”- Matthew 7: 1-2 NIV.
I should not judge others who don’t align with my beliefs. We are given free will to think and believe different ideas. Even Christians have varying points of view. Last time I checked there were both Democrat and Republican Christians! If decisions need to be made, we should use negotiations and compromise to resolve a situation.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.”-Psalm 37:7-8
In today’s society, we want everything NOW. Technology has afforded us “breaking news” and sensational media. Most stories reported are those of murder and other heinous acts. We find ourselves forming opinions on the information which is fed to us and become judge and jury. I want to step back, be still, and wait patiently before rushing to any conclusions. If it does not involve me directly, then I need to zip my lip and not offer my commentary.
I believe God created us uniquely so we would offer so much to this world and each other. I also believe He gave us the common sense and tools to use in handling disagreements and coexist with one another. I challenge you to think how you can handle a disagreement differently, in your family, at church, or with a neighbor. There are many different sayings which state you can get a lot farther being kind than being stubborn or mean. I think this is exactly what God wants us to do, agree to disagree, and love one another through it all.