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Bringing Compassion to Disagreements

How to become aware of the hurt in others around you.

Bringing compassion to disagreements

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (II Timothy 2:24) 

In any group—anywhere—bring up the subject of America’s involvement in military conflict, and you have the recipe for instant disagreements. Everyone has an opinion. When my kids were little, I stood strong in my convictions. Then I sent my son off to war, and suddenly things weren’t so clear anymore.

People—and I include myself in this group—can be unbelievably cruel when they speak without thinking. I’ve heard such awful things about war and soldiers since my son became a Marine. Sometimes the comments have been followed by the half-hearted, “I’m sure it’s not like that with your son.” But the damage had already been done, and my heart had been stomped flat.

At first I’d take offense. Why would people say such things to me? Then compassion began to surface. How many times had I stomped all over someone else’s heart over a different subject? Ouch, self-examination is never pleasant.

READ MORE: HOW TO BECOME A POSITIVE THINKER

I began to think about being the cause of pain. How many times have I, as a follower of Christ and His message of love, voiced a half-considered comment and caused someone else pain? Do my words come from a place of all-encompassing love or not? 

In the end, my own hurt has caused me to be more aware of the hurt in those around me. And just as Jesus would, I want to always respond with love, even to those with whom I disagree.

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