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May 07, 2023 · Bob Gass

Showing grace toward those who differ with you

“Grow in…grace.” 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV

Think how much happier and more energized you would be if you weren’t trying to control people and straighten them out. One author wrote, “Give your loved ones the dignity of making their own mistakes and learning from them. If you’re always getting into someone else’s business, you’re not only going to burn out, you’re hindering God from working in their lives…they belong to Him, not you!” In the New Testament, when legalistic Jewish believers tried to impose kosher laws on Gentile believers, Paul wrote, “Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t…must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them” (Romans 14:3 NLT). Sometimes in trying to be holy, we come across as harsh. Just because you don’t feel at liberty to do something doesn’t give you the right to condemn those who do – unless it’s something clearly prohibited in scripture. Having strong opinions doesn’t give you the right to impose them on others. Remember, you can have the right theology and the wrong attitude. Gladys M. Hunt wrote, “Acceptance means you’re valuable just as you are…you can talk about how you feel…and why – and someone really cares…you can try out new ideas without being shot down…you can even express heretical thoughts and discuss them with intelligent questioning. You feel safe. No one will pronounce judgment…even though they don’t agree with you. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be corrected…it simply means it’s safe to be you.” When it comes to the truth, stand fast! But when it comes to nonessentials like personal preferences, customs, and traditions, “Let each be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5 NKJV).

Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17

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