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Avoid those who degrade ‘the other side’

We have a problem communicating with people on the other side of the issue — whatever that issue may be.

Scott Elliott | In the Word

Rather than listening and responding politely, people call names, degrade others, belittle their neighbors — or worse. Before we can discuss our differences, we must first address how we are to treat one another.

We are heavily influenced by the voices with which we choose to surround ourselves. This is not limited to our group of friends. The voices include radio, TV and social media.

There are some very unhealthy voices in our society, and if we read or listen to them on a regular basis, then it is very likely we will adopt their unhealthy ways.

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.

— Proverbs 11:12, English Standard Version

Conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, we should seek to listen only to people of character. We should avoid those who degrade other human beings. We should not listen to voices of anger that seek our attention, hoping to spread that anger. Tune out any voice disrespectful to human beings created in God’s image.

Instead, we should surround ourselves with people who display the fruit of the Spirit — “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Character matters, and it is important that we find trustworthy voices who treat other human beings with dignity and respect — people who are willing to listen and learn.

In so doing, we imitate what we digest and begin to treat our neighbors as God intends.

Scott Elliott ministers for the La Grange Church of Christ in Texas.


Filed under: character In the Word In the Word Opinion

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