After quite a few strong comments on what I thought to be a very innocuous post yesterday, I thought it might be good to list five key principles that I believe are essential for healthy relationships among Christians.
(1). Disagreement is not the same as disunity. Some of the healthiest, unified bodies of believers disagree over issues, but are one in spirit and purpose. The key to unity is not conformity but compassion.
(2). Love covers a multitude of sins. When we constantly try to point out sin in others, the spirit of the Pharisees is more prevalent than the spirit of Christ. That is not to say a brother should never be confronted in his sin, but the reasons for doing so should be very clear and unselfish in nature.
(3). Listening is far, far better than talking. God gave us two ears and one mouth, and it seems logical that a person ought to listen twice as much as he speaks.
(4). Courage is the ability to do the right thing in the face of opposition. Humility is the ability to not care if anyone ever knows.
(5). The phrase "I feel" ought to be used constantly in disagreements. (Example: I feel you are mistaken rather than "you are mistaken"). This makes what follows the phrase impossible to dispute (how can you say, "No, you don't feel that") and gives the other person the ability to not feel accused while he explains himself.
Blessings to all,