when someone disagrees with you

Our UAA leadership team will soon begin studying Henri Nouwen’s “In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership.” Since we’re a community of people from different denominations and faith backgrounds, we will face conversations where we don’t agree. We’re making it a point to talk now about how we’ll handle those moments. Will we get frustrated? Walk away from the conversation? Talk about people behind their backs? Or will we take a path that more accurately reflects Christ?

Nouwen writes:

I have the impression that many of the debates within the church around issues take place on a primarily moral level. On that level, different parties battle about right or wrong. But the battle is often removed from the experience of God’s first love, which lies at the base of all human relationships…

Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinion about a given subject. But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.

What’s your gut reaction when someone disagrees with you? When we reconnect with the source of all life, it gets a little easier to react from a place of peace and security. I don’t need to feel threatened by the person who’s opinion differs from mine. But I do need to find a way to respond from a gracious and securely rooted place deep in God’s love.

Very possible…just difficult.


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