hese suggestions can help you navigate in a heated dialog: Avoid yelling and shouting. Counter anger with compassion and empathy. Be a good listener. Be open to compromise. Realize you will not always agree with some people. Followers of Christ are called to aspire toward unity and harmony modeled within the Triune Godhead. In that union there is perfect harmony, peace, power, love, etc. We are not asked to give up our identity in striving to live with others but to live in peace, to respect each other’s identity. Since God chose us to be the holy people He loves, we should clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Here is the Apostle Paul’s wise counsel found in Colossians chapter 3: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” We grow in our capacity to live in harmony with others as we aspire to reflect the likeness of our Lord. When we find ourselves differing to the point of squabbling, we each should reexamine ourselves to see if we are aligned with our Model, Jesus Christ. Humility will go a long way toward diminishing conflict and living in peace.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More