Earlier in the week, I was told that because I support President Donald Trump then this individual did not respect me as much because they view President Trump as a terrible human being. Their logic is because they view President Trump as horrible; my support automatically makes me a horrible person. Honestly, there is a lot that I can relate to with such a statement because I have found myself in similar situations.
With that said, when I find myself in such a position, it is not based on how I feel about that person on a personal level but it has not always been this way. Like many people, I used to take these things personally and while there are many issues that are very important to me, I no longer allow my personal attachments to these issues get in the way of how I feel about a person. The growth for me is based on God’s word as we are taught “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).
In other words, do not treat others as they treat you but treat them as you want to be treated which is known by many as the golden rule. Today, when someone tells me what they believe, I get an idea of what they are about and their character and this is true for anyone but as I have gotten older, I have grown in God’s Word which is where my personal beliefs come from regardless of what they are about. This is the rule that all Christians must live by because God’s Word is there to lead and guide us: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
When this individual told me that they lost respect for me because I support President Trump, it was not something I took personal because I understood that she looks at life completely different than I do and while we disagree on so much, the biggest and most important difference between us is that my life is based on God and His word whereas her life is not. This is not to take anything away from her or to dismiss anything she believes but it illustrates that when two people’s foundation for life and their beliefs are different, their perspective about life typically is as well. This is nothing new as it has always been this way: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
There are so many different philosophies and thoughts about life and how they relate to people and what they believe and the biggest confusion comes from a lack of a foundation. When you do not stand on something then you do waiver back and forth: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). It would be a fair assumption to say that half—maybe even more—of the people that I know disagree with me about the way we look at the world and there are issues that I disagree about with others who have a steady and strong foundation in God but there is a difference in disagreeing on an issue and how we see the world.
The foundation in God does not always mean agreement in issues but the way we see the world and our mission on Earth is similar or the same: “Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). The reason for this article is not to point out what I agree with or the way I see the world but rather, to point out that we can disagree with other people without being offended. There is no question that when I hear someone say that they believe in abortion and it should be legal, I wonder where their heart is because this is a heinous and gruesome act and it’s clear that Christ is not for this. When a Christian says this, it’s even more of an alarm and I wonder if they truly believe what they claim to believe but I do not hate these people and my respect for them is not built on how they see me.
Christ reminded us of this with the way He lived His life and we must do our best to live the same way He did. John 1:1 tells us that God’s Word has always been here: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and later, we read “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Time and time again, I have pointed out that Pilate asked what was truth but what he did not realize was truth was standing right in front of him and this is something that is too common in today’s society. However, we must continue to do what Christ instructs in His Word: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).