Choose your battles wisely
Paul wouldn’t give an inch about the truth of God’s Word, but he refused to be drawn in to a fight about customs, traditions, and people’s preferences. For example, some of the Corinthian Christians thought because certain meats were offered in worship to idols it was sinful to eat them. Paul didn’t handle it by standing up and declaring, ‘I’m not going to allow you to impose your unscriptural convictions on me.’ Instead, he wrote: ‘Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble’ (1 Corinthians 8:7-9 NLT). Then he said, ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some’ (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT). God didn’t call us to win theological arguments; He called us to win people to Christ. So be gracious to people who don’t think like you, dress like you, or care about some of the things you care about. Be gracious to those whose worship style and fine points of theology are different from yours. ‘Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace’ (Ephesians 4:2-3 NLT).
Next time you’re in a conversation with someone you don’t really see eye to eye with, try to discover if you have any shared interests or values. Use those as some common ground to have a more positive interaction.
The UCB Word For You