Relate-Ability - Let's Do Better
Pastor Quentin Beard
In his book, “Why are we yelling: The Art of Productive Disagreement,” Buster Benson says, “The key
word in our definition of a disagreement (an unacceptable difference between two perspectives), isn’t
“difference.” It’s “unacceptable.” Once the clash between perspectives becomes unacceptable, our
motivation shifts from understanding minds to changing them, and from that shift springs a world of
trouble.” Can’t you sense this happening in our nation right now? Again, we are not talking about
negotiating Biblical truth, but there are so many current conflicts based on opinion rather than truth.
In the hostile and divisive environment that we are living in, it is easy to be dismissive of people we
don’t agree with. So many are fighting to be right RATHER than fighting for relationships. The focus
becomes behavior modification (moral cloning) rather than heart transformation. Paul says in
Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (NIV)
There is so much in this passage: It teaches us that we are to demonstrate humility in our
interactions, be gentle with our words, practice patience (not being short-fused), and bearing with one
another in love (in spite of our faults & diverse opinions). Love has a high tolerance level. If we are
going to “do better” than the world and relate to one another in the midst of cultural divides, we have
to adopt the relationship principles of God’s Kingdom. Pastor Quentin said there are 4 ways we can
do this. By Listening, Learning, Lamenting and Loving.
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built that separated Germany into 2 nations. Even the capital city of
Berlin was divided. Communism became illegal, but the wall still stood. It wasn’t until a year after it
was illegal, that the wall actually came down. One day a group of young people became frustrated
and discouraged about the wall still being up… so many of them brought little pick axes and began to
pick away at the massive wall that still symbolized communism. Even though it probably seemed
insurmountable to take the whole wall down, they just began to take down their section of it. They did
their part until together ALL of them brought it down in 1989.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Are your conversations driven by emotion or led by love and are your words/posts considered
destructive or edifying?
Which area do you need to grow more in listening, learning, lamenting, or loving?
How can you intentionally show the love of Jesus Christ to a world that is divided through your
What are you using to tear down walls of division?