We are finding a simple truth that is in most ways nothing new, however it is taking on very real and new meaning as we meet more and more folks in varying areas and about many different things.
Question: Regarding topics held near and dear to you, faith based or no, is there room to have a conversation about them with someone of an opposite view?
Most would say, “yes, of course !” but I would challenge you to think deeper and be honest.
In reality we hold our beliefs very strongly. This is most always good. When outside our own boundaries of family, (where opinions are often similarly held), the conversation about that same topic, takes on new meaning...what is a time to share and perhaps to debate is often mired down into a time of confrontation, sometimes 'soft' and sometimes 'hard' but mostly its done without knowing!
What is a time that could be filled with learning and understanding, (i.e. relationship), spirals into a building of barriers between us. Yes, some things are without compromise ! But even then, as I was reminded when zip lining in Kentucky, there truly needs to be an air of hospitality between us in the conversation. Even a deeply held, non negotiable topic, does not have to be shovel fed without love, (though there are times during or after a discussion where dogmatic issues must be held fast).
Right or wrong, our opinions are ours. When shared, do we remember that there is a person on the other side who holds their own opinions? Even the most polarizing conversations can benefit from the concept of the YIELD sign.
Try giving a bit of room to another where you hold a view which is 180 degree opposite from theirs. See where it heads. You may find room to have a new friend, though you differ in your opinions. You may find that you have the opportunity to dissuade them from further actions in a matter or to even change their opinion wholeheartedly. There's not much of a chance of either if your stance is one of crossed arms.
In the end its the book to the Corinthians living out in our lives. Paraphrasing, '...if I speak with heavenly tongues or the eloquence of man but do not love, I offer nothing but noise...'
From creating vs evolution to abortion to the simple gospel message there is not much ground to be gained with the attitude of arrogance; seems that is the rusty gate or clanging cymbal we all should avoid. Love.......pretty useful. Clanging gongs? Not so much.