You Can Disagree without Being Disagreeable
“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one other” (Romans 14:12-13 NIV).
Many people, including Christians, think they only have to show respect for people with whom they agree. Nothing could be further from the truth. In today’s world, there are many activities in our society that I, as a believer, abhor and actions with which I clearly disagree.
But I still show people respect—even if I know their behavior is wrong.
First, I remember that ultimately every individual will be accountable to God for their own attitudes, actions, and behaviors. One day God will settle the score. Each of us will have to give an account for our behavior.
Second, I’m not God. The people with whom I disagree aren’t accountable to me. They’re accountable to God. It is not my job to be a police officer, running around trying to make everyone who isn’t a believer act like they are believers. In fact, the Bible says people can’t act the way God wants them to act until they have a relationship with him.
The Bible says, “Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:12-13 NIV). It isn’t judgmental to tell the truth to people. If someone is doing something the Bible says is wrong, it’s not being judgmental to tell that person it’s wrong. That’s just telling people the truth. It is judgmental to take the truth and beat people over the head with it, feeling morally superior.
You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Honestly, some of the rudest people I’ve ever met were overly zealous Christians who were so committed to the truth that they didn’t really care about people.
You can be right about an issue, but if you aren’t speaking the truth to people in love, you’re not following what the Bible says. Let’s choose to demonstrate the kind of respect Jesus wants us to show others, even when it’s difficult.
Talk It Over
Why is it difficult to treat people with respect when you disagree with them?
How does realizing that Jesus died for those who disagree with you change the ways you interact with those people?
Do you need to apologize to someone you’ve treated in a disagreeable fashion? How can you take a step in that direction today?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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