10 Quick Rules for Disagreeing in Grace

By JoJo Tabares

So how should we object?  What’s the best way to disagree?  How can we voice our opposition when someone presents us with something that goes against what we believe?  How can we discuss and share instead of antagonize and frustrate?  How?  Just the way you would wish someone else would disagree with YOU! 

Here are 10 quick rules for disagreeing so that it will open a door to a discussion instead of slamming it shut on your relationship:
1. Don’t Accuse
Instead of coming out and saying someone is wrong, just share what you know.  Nobody wants to hear they are wrong and if they hear it, they are likely not listening to anything else you say.  They may indeed be wrong, but you need to ask yourself if you want to be right or if you want to be heard!
2. Listening Without Interrupting
It doesn’t look like you are anxious to share your views if you interrupt.  To them, it feels like you aren’t giving due attention to their arguments.  If you are not willing to listen to others, they will not be willing to listen to you!
3. Be Calm
The best way to share your views with anyone is in a calm and rational manner.  The more passionate you are about a topic, the harder that will be.  When you give a speech, being passionate about it is beneficial, but when you are trying to change someone’s mind or heart, it is a deterrent.  Nobody wants to be forced into accepting something.  They want to come to their own conclusions after hearing all the facts. 
4. Don’t Condemn the Person; Question the Issues
Remember always that the Lord loves His children. It’s the sin He hates.  Keep in mind that people are not machines.  We don’t switch our sin on and off.  Ask questions.  Share.  Condemn the action if you must, but never condemn the person that Jesus loves! 
5. Give new Christians a Chance
Before I ever came to accept Jesus, I didn’t know His Word.  I cannot accept what I do not know.  I had to spend time reading the Bible before I could grow in my faith.  As I grew closer to the Lord, the more I wanted to live my life for Him.  I didn’t start off witnessing. It wasn’t until later that I decided not to participate in things like Santa and the Easter Bunny.  Be sure not to stumble a fairly new Christian because he is not yet ready or willing to make a change. 
6. Address their Concerns
If they ask you a question, by all means, answer!  Sometimes people may not come out and ask but you can tell they have a concern through their body language or their facial expression.  If they object, by all means, address it.  Calmly share what you know about their concerns. 
7. Say “I Dunno”
When you don’t know the answer someone needs, the most intelligent thing to say is “I dunno.”  The quickest way to lose credibility with someone is to speak too quickly.  If someone asks you something about the Bible and you can’t remember where the scripture is, tell them you will find it for them.  You don’t need to have all of the Bible memorized and categorized in your head to share the Gospel.  People appreciate honesty!
8. Let it Go
In order to avoid an argument, when they are no longer listening, stop talking!  As soon as someone is giving off signals that they are not accepting your views, it’s usually best not to press the issue and begin an argument.  Remember that the Lord may use you simply to plant a seed.  Someone else may be sent to water it.  Only God can change a heart and you may have already done your part.  Don’t mess up God’s work!  ROFL
9. Don’t Argue
Art of Eloquence offers a Tshirt Transfer and Puzzle Download with a very powerful saying on it.  “Don’t argue with a fool.  Someone watching might not be able to tell the difference” -Author Unknown  Arguing only inflames the other party and renders them incapable of really listening to what you have to say.  Arguing never persuades anyone and if it does, they certainly would never admit it! 
10. Agree to Disagree
Tis better to agree to disagree and live to discuss another day than to fight for your right to be a pest!  Sometimes people are not ready to hear or accept what you have to say.  Sometimes you are only one in a long line of people the Lord will use to share Jesus with this person.  Share and discuss in love and grace and then let it go.  God is in control.  Let Him work. 
We have not been commanded to make Christians.  We have merely been called to share God’s love and grace and mercies with those who would listen and pray for those who don’t.
Check out Say What You Mean: Avoiding, Reducing, and Resolving Conflicts (pictured above) for more on this subject. 
JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on websites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com.  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com