Saturday, 16 March 2013

WHEN TO BEND, WHEN TO MAKE A STAND


How to handle differences in opinion – without losing your cool and without compromising your beliefs.


It is important to grasp the fact that people, in general, tend to be opinionated by virtue of their upbringing (family or religious background) and exposure to different schools of thought.

An issue can be seen in so many different ways. People tend to think they are right until another viewpoint is presented: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).

We need to remember that one may win an argument but it is useless if one loses a long-term relationship. More: http://limpohann.blogspot.com/2012/07/winning-battle-losing-war.html

Yes, by all means, strive to live peaceably with all believers. We should not identify ourselves by our denominational stance – not allow these differences to create walls between us.

However, we also need to bear in mind this: While it is important to be humble and tolerant to get along well with others, we should not compromise the truth for the sake of unity.

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ON FLEXIBILITY
Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field. But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and are standing up again when the storm has calmed down.
Flexibility is a great virtue. When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken. Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy. It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground. A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people. Let's be flexible while being deeply rooted.
 – Henri Nouwen

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