#323 – The Big Picture

Day 5 of 5 of How To Love People You Disagree With

Listen in as Andi and I wrap up this 5 day devotional journey with some great advice from scripture!

Let’s Choose the Big Picture  

It’s no secret that our world seems more divided than ever. Whether it’s political parties that can’t agree on a nation’s budget or religious groups that spew hatred toward each other, there always seems to be a tension in the relational, spiritual, and political climate of our world.

In this study, we’ve discussed several different things to incorporate into our relationships with people we don’t agree with. Loving people because Jesus called us to, showing respect by managing our demeanor, avoiding fruitless arguments, and empathizing with others to see life from their lens are all wise and helpful approaches. It seems too difficult a task to put differences aside, but it isn’t. 

We could pre-decide that we’re going to choose people over policies and relationships over rules.  What if…

…we exhibited patience?
…we chose not to be offended?
…we quit taking everything so personally?
..we changed the degrading way we talk to others?
…we focused on what we did have in common?
…we chose the big picture?

Let’s not forget that God so loved…the world. Every single soul on this planet, past, present, and future, He loves. While we’ll never have His capacity to love people, we are still called to love others. 

Followers of Jesus can’t quote enough Bible verses to force someone to believe in Jesus. What we can do is represent Jesus by showing love, respect, and empathy, all covered with equal parts truth and grace. 

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14 NLT

At the end of the day, the point of loving people we disagree with is unity. Whether the issue is petty or prominent, we can choose people first. Because if we, as followers of Jesus, want people to know our Savior and Lord the way we do, that’s where we have to start. Let’s represent Jesus well so that others want to know Him. And when they do, the Holy Spirit is quite capable of leading them to adjust any viewpoints that are inconsistent with His truth.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,8:13 Greek deeds of the body. you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

Romans 8:9-18 NLT

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