You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable
by Rick Warren
“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one other.” (Romans 14:12-13a 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. As a believer in today’s world, there are many activities in our society that I 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 are accountable to God. It is not my job to be a policeman, running around trying to make everyone who is not 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 14:12-13a 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 and then enjoy it and feel morally superior because of it.
You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Honestly, some of the rudest people I’ve ever met were over-zealous Christians who are so committed to the truth that they don’t really care about people.
You can be right about an issue, but if you’re rude about it, you’re wrong. If you aren’t speaking the truth to people in love, you’re wrong.
Jesus is watching to see how you treat the people he died for. Jesus died even for those with the most despicable lifestyle.
Talk It Over
- What makes 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 how you will interact with those people?
- Who is someone you’ve treated in a disagreeable fashion that you need to apologize to?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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