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By Larry Jent

Scripture: Romans 14

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do.
And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department.
Remember, they have their own history to deal with.
Treat them gently.

I’ve heard that it’s hard to soar with eagles when you have to run with the turkeys.
Sometimes people get on my very last good nerve.
Why can’t they be REASONABLE?
(In other words, why can’t they see things MY way?)

But if you take time to listen to their stories, you might find that their views aren’t so unreasonable after all.
You might see things exactly the way they do, if you had walked the same paths.

In our current political climate, it’s easy to think the other side is just slap crazy.
We listen to people who reinforce our views, and it seems so reasonable.

Then there are old curmudgeons (like me) who think the left and the right are BOTH full of crazy boogers.
I can’t tell much difference between the Demicans and the Republicrats.
I think they’re all nuts.

But if we move beyond the disagreements–
If we take time to learn someone’s STORY–
Then the arguments fade away.
And if you invest the time and love to tell YOUR story, they might decide you’re not so crazy after all.

Sometimes we love our own views more than our sisters and brothers.
Especially the annoying ones.
(That is, the ones who disagree with ME.)

The Bible has a word for that.
It is idolatry.
Anything we love more than people is an obstacle to God’s love, and it has got to go.

Be a storyteller.
Be a story gatherer.
Then you can learn to treasure people, even when they are WRONG.
And they just might learn to treasure you.

Creator God, before I criticize others, let me walk a mile in their moccasins.