by Katie Julius
It doesn’t take much to see how divided our world is today. We can’t seem to agree on much of anything–from politics to parenting to personal values. And those disagreements can often result in the exchange of harsh words, name calling, hurt feelings, and loss of relationships.
The world of homeschooling is, sadly, not immune from this division. Curriculum choices, approaches to education, and even private vs. public home education divides those who choose to teach their children at home, despite our united desire to provide our children with the best possible education we can.
First, I want to say that it is okay to have an opinion. It is okay to hold to your beliefs and values. This is important, especially as believers. There are some things that are non-negotiable in what we believe. However, this does not mean we should go “keyboard warrior” and argue with everyone who disagrees with us. I have never heard from anyone that they changed someone’s mind by engaging in a public “discussion” through social media. Changes like that take time, prayer, and usually, an in-person relationship. Unfortunately, these discussions often go nowhere to change anyone’s mind, but rather, lead to anger and frustration, causing further division.
While we are all created in the image of God, we are all uniquely cherished children of God. We have different gifts, different interests, different talents. This world would be pretty boring if we were all the same! That’s one of the great things about the beauty of God’s creation – it is so diverse!
In Romans 12, it says, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” We are unique individuals, but were created to be in community and part of the body of Christ. When one part isn’t getting along with another, the body doesn’t work right! God did not create us to be alone. We have to find a way to “agree to disagree” on the non-essentials.
Having a different opinion or a different viewpoint does not mean that we cannot be in fellowship with someone. While many of my closest friends do share similar beliefs about many things, we don’t always agree on everything. But, we can still have a relationship because we respect each other. We can even have conversations about those areas where we disagree because there is respect. We should extend this respect to those we don’t know as well. Whether we know someone or not, any human being is a child of God, created by God, and loved by God and we should treat them as such. In 1 Peter 3, Paul reminds us, “…all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
Next time you are ready to engage in a conversation with someone on a topic when you disagree, pray about it first. Examine your heart. Is this a conversation that will cause more harm than good? Will you be able to maintain your witness as a believer during the conversation?
I want to leave you with one more verse from David in Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”