“ Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
Agreeing to Disagree
One of the greatest gifts God granted human beings is free will. This allows us to make goodness a choice, instead of being programmed to only do what is right. On the other hand, it also grants us the freedom to choose sinfulness and foolishness. Even those who use Scriptures as the basis for their business and personal decisions, many misinterpret its meaning because of personal bias or rationalization. As a result, any of our behaviors may be called into question, even when our motives are worthy.
The bottom line is: we are not God. None of us has ever been right 100% of the time. So why do we expect others to be?
It is easier to Respect others when they are right or virtuous, just as it is easier to love those who love us in return. It is more difficult to offer the same basic Respect to those we believe are wrong. Yet that is precisely what Scriptures tell us to do.
By showing others Respect, we are not condoning every one of their ideas. Rather, we are acknowledging their right to have opinions – a cherished foundation of democracy – and their right to exercise free will – a gift from our Heavenly Father. Respect does not mean we walk in complete harmony with one another. Only that we share a heritage of creation, a brotherhood of salvation and a recognition of our own limited understanding this side of heaven. We can agree to disagree, treating each other with mutual Respect, in recognition of God’s grace and forgiveness.
As well as modeling Christ’s love for us, there is also a practical side of showing Respect to those with whom you disagree. Respect is reciprocal. It lowers tensions and diffuses anger.
People like to be respected, and prefer to be around those who treat them in this manner. Warmed by an attitude of unconditional Respect, they are more likely to do business with you, support your goals and help you succeed. Being humble, courteous and Respectful of others encourages them to share their views, and listen in return. As these lines of communication become more free flowing, our ability to influence them grows dramatically. This increases our likelihood of sales, viable partnerships and witness for Christ.
Excerpt from TCA Monthly Study “Respect”