How to Address Differences without Attacking People

By Chip Ingram

Last week I shared a video titled “How to be a Christian in the Trump Era.” It sparked a lotof dialogue and prompted thousands of shares and responses. Clearly this isan important subject, and I realize that it triggers high emotions forvarious reasons. It was encouraging to learn that many of you found themessage to be helpful, and I know that some of you still have somequestions. I want to thank each of you who responded by boldly sharing youropinions, concerns and even criticisms.

As much as it was my aim for my video message to be apolitical, I recognizein retrospect that in our current climate, it’s difficult for anything toNOT be viewed through a political lens. If you watched the8-minute segment, I hope that you’re able to see that there was truly noleaning for or against President Trump (or any other party/politicalfigure). Rather, the intention of the message was to address something farmore personal to me:“How should we as Christians engage each other duringpolitically-charged times?”

As believers, there are certain issues that require us to stand on thetruth of Scripture:

  • The Bible and science are clear on the point at which life begins.
  • Scripture is absolutely clear about family and relationships.
  • There is a time and place to defend our liberties.

The heart of my message was not about WHAT we stand for, but about HOWwe should take these stands as followers of Jesus.

Why? Because how we engage with those who don’t share the same beliefsaffects our credibility and our testimony. Our ability to take a stand inways that doesn’t condemn and alienate others is something that matters toGod.

In Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul says,“Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what ishelpful for building others up according to their needs, that itmay benefit those who listen.”In other words – we should attack problems and issues, not people.

Right now, I’m sure that many Christians in America feel overwhelmed withfear, anger and frustration. But I believe that God is good, powerful, allknowing and holds history in His hands. If I trust in Him, then I must rest in that. In this truth there is peace that allowsus to move forward toward what’s right and take a strong stance even whenit’s necessary to make great sacrifices to do so. These things areimportant.

It’s also more important than ever that we don’t sacrifice the HOW for theWHAT right now – because God cares greatly about both.

I appeal to you all – let’s remain diligent to communicate in ways thatreflect Ephesians 4:29, whether that’s face-to-face, on social media oranywhere else. When we are called to take a stand, God equips us to do soin a way that doesn’t attack, demean or dishonor people we disagree with.In spite of our differences, we must continue to treat others with respectand love.

So friends, let’s resist the desire to shut people down and instead be partof the healing process. Let’s be agents of light, not heat, and remaindedicated to making a difference together. God bless you, and thanks againfor joining me in this important discussion.

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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