Do you ever feel like you just can talk to other people anymore? You’re not alone. So let’s seek to understand how our convictions are formed, then learn to recognize the difference between those absolute nonnegotiable convictions that are essential to the faith, and all the things that are more a matter of personal taste.

As Christians we know we are called to unity but today even the body of Christ is divided over many things. So how do we live out the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace we have in Jesus when we’re feeling neither unity nor peace toward other people in the church?

Recently I talked with Dr. Tim Muehlhoff and Dr. Rick Langer about their book, “Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing Without Dividing the Church.” They share valuable advice on how to align our convictions with biblical truth.

In forming convictions, Dr. Tim and Dr. Rick suggest that we ask ourselves, “what does God say?” or “what is the mind of Christ on the matter?” not just how do I feel or what would I prefer. We also should form our convictions out of reading the Bible, the Word of God. We need to see ourselves as part of the great cosmic battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of the earth. We take sides and we line up with God’s side. So when other people in the pew next to us or in our small group are advocating for something we view as unbiblical, secular or worldly, our convictions will prompt us to defend Christ and His church. However, it’s important for us to use discernment and not allow anger, bitterness, and judgment to lead our conversations. We need to lead with love, grace and biblical truth.

Looking deeply into Romans 14 and other texts where Christians of good faith disagree with one another, Tim and Rick remind us that there are effective ways to compromise with other Christians without compromising the Gospel.

Find more from Tim and Rick at the Winsome Conviction Project.

How to talk with other Christians when we disagree

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