Sometime ago, a very good friend and I traded emails on current political issues. Our positions are very different, and with each message our words got increasingly heated. Finally, I told my friend that I did not want to jeopardize our long and positive relationship by discussing politics any longer.
When watching a news show in which liberal and conservative guests are invited to comment on a political issue, quite often both the guests and the host, eager to make their point, end up talking at the same time. When that happens, it is impossible to understand anyone, so I quickly turn to another channel.
Katherine Mangu-Ward, managing editor for Reason magazine, recently made this comment about those who argue their politics so passionately:
“Morality binds and blinds . . . (it) binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle.”
If we turn to Scripture for guidance on how to conduct ourselves in a debate, we might remember Jesus’s commandment that we love each other as he loved us. And for a definition of love, I have always considered Paul’s words in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians (in italics) without equal.
The next time you find yourself “heating up” in a political discussion, consider the following:
Love is patient / Listen carefully
Love is kind / Be considerate
Love is not proud / Speak without airs.
Love does not dishonor others / Be respectful
Love rejoices in the truth / Use facts
PS It’s also good advice for anyone in a relationship.