Sounds pretty harsh, huh?
Well, this is the attitude many of us take when we disagree with someone. It is so easy to dismiss people as “wrong” when they don’t agree with us. I do understand that there are points of fundamental right and wrong on which people disagree everyday, but I am talking about equating “right and wrong” with opinions and preferences.
Some of our biggest political and socioeconomic debates are rooted in preferential principles, yet we fight bitterly as if our very lives depend on it. We do this because, selfishly, we all want to be right (and no one wants to be wrong). Winning the debate becomes far more important than persuing, or better yet, discovering truth. So in our indignation, we attack people instead of ideas. We quickly tear down character instead encouraging understanding. We internalize our “rightness” as righteousness, so any attack on our theories or ideas is an attack on our person, as if no criticism is constructive and all disagreement negative.
God desires, especially for His people, that we pursue peace with our whole heart. The writer of Hebrews encourages his readers to “pursue peace with all men, and sanctification (righteousness/holiness), without which no one will see the Lord”. (12:14). I know it is easy to get upset, but Paul instructs us to not become sinful in our anger (Ephesians 4:26), responding to disagreements with a selfish desire to be (or more accurately, feel) right. It is far more important that we preserve relationships than it is to win the argument.
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