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You can disagree with someone and still get along with them.

I know that’s not a shock to everybody, but sometimes even we who know this can act like we don’t believe it. Just because you don’t like someone’s opinion or lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be enemies. It doesn’t mean there must always be friction between you. It doesn’t have to mean there will always be tension you could cut with a knife if you’re in the same room.

Personally, I’ve never met a human that agrees with me on exactly everything. As many things as I can agree on with a lot of people, there are about as many things I disagree with them about, even those closest to me. Some of these things don’t matter in the grand scheme of life, like whether pineapple goes on pizza, or what colors do and don’t go together. Some of these things matter a little more but don’t necessarily imply a particular moral standing, like what form of government or economics you like, or what kind of work you like doing. Some of these things are much more important in light of God’s moral standard, like how one chooses to live their life, or the value they place on human life regardless of age or perceived usefulness.

While getting along with some people is a little difficult, and while I’m not friends with every one of the people I disagree with, I’m not enemies with any of them. Even with those that disagree strongly with me, we won’t give each other dirty looks or argue if we see each other. Are there going to be people at some point that I can’t get along with because they’ve made up their minds that we won’t? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to be as angry as they are about it. Disagreeing with someone, even on something that might mean you oppose each other, doesn’t mean you get to treat them like dirt. You don’t get to dehumanize someone and pretend they’re a monster just because your disagreement is that strong.

If anyone has the right to treat us as enemies because of our moral opposition, it is God, the holiest standard of morality itself. But He doesn’t do that to us, He set things up through Jesus so not only do we not have to be enemies, we can even be friends with God! So if God doesn’t cast us aside and offers goodness in spite of our nature, why wouldn’t we do that for people who are of the same nature as we are?

See also Romans 12:9-21.

Disagreement and Love
Tolerance and Disagreement
Hating and Loving
Civil Discourse
Open Discussion