I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine, well, at least an acquaintance of mine that we’ve had good “rabbit” conversations together. She doesn’t believe in God and I had a disagreement over something she posted on her facebook page. The end result of our conversation left me feeling dissatisfied. Her opinion is that I am not respecting her opinions if I express disagreement with them. When does disagreement equate disrespect? I don’t understand that mindset.
BUT as I read this chapter Controversy and Faith, I’m given an inkling as to why I feel dissatisfied. There will always be a divide between people of faith, and people who aren’t.
Look at Jesus as an example. All those meetings he had with the Jewish leadership. Their challenges and questions. Their mistaken impressions of him and God.
All the people that Jesus collided with simply didn’t understand who Jesus was, and they certainly didn’t understand who God is. They didn’t understand God’s grace upon and love for his people.
Most of the Jewish leadership seemed to think that God’s love for them was conditional on how well they kept the laws. They had forgotten, or at least separated, God’s grace from his commands.
Did you notice though, that Jesus kept doing what he needed to do? He kept visiting with the sinners of the world AND he kept talking with the religious leadership.
Jesus didn’t let that divide stop himself from interacting with them.
This is my battle … how do I stay connected with the “not of faith” community. How do I stay involved and willing to share my faith with people who think I am not respecting them when I disagree with their sentiments?
Be More Like Jesus
I am starting to think that I must be more like Jesus. Go figure eh? Seeing as that’s his calling upon his people. 🙂 Let me explain what I mean.
Willing to share anger when it is warranted. THIS I would need to be very careful about. But Jesus showed anger at the flagrant disregard of the people about his father’s house.
Quick to forgive. Jesus forgave people all the time. Even at his time of death.
Asking more questions and answering questions to put me. All those questions Jesus answered (conversation with Nicodemus for example) and how he asked questions when confronted.
Talking about matters of faith to those willing to listen. All those talks in front of crowds, preaching in the temple, talking with his disciples etc.
A willingness to sit with them at parties… like when he ate with the tax collectors.
I think that if I deliberately sought out Jesus’ methods for interacting with a world opposed to him, I would be less dissatisfied in my conversations.
What do you think?