Disagreeing Agreeably

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Why do disagreements have to become so, well, disagreeable?

Is it possible to disagree agreeably?

It’s not easy, but I think it’s possible.

When I was younger I couldn’t stand the idea of “losing” an argument: I always had to be right. I think I’ve matured a bit (at least, I hope I have), and I no longer feel the same way. So here are a few lessons I’ve learned:

(1) Remember the person I’m disagreeing with is my brother or sister. God has created both of us, so that makes us siblings.

(2) Always go for win-win. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:4).

(3) Choose your battles wisely. You can’t make everything an issue worth dying over. Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.”

(4) Redefine the “win.” What does it mean to win? Is it to put someone else in their place? That doesn’t seem very healthy. Perhaps a “win” is when values or principles are agreed to, although the way they are applied may be very different from person to person.

(5) Leave the baggage behind. Don’t bring previous hurts into a new situation. Don’t assume this new person will act like someone else from your past.

We’re all different people, so we’re going to have disagreements. The key: let’s find a way to disagree agreeably.

If you have other thoughts about how to disagree agreeably, I would love it if you would share them in the comments.

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