All Christians face many problems and dangers in their walk with Christ, and probably some of the hardest ground to walk is concerning our attitudes, our perception, and our willingness to yield to each other. Let us examine the proper Christian attitude, the way that he ought to deal with differing perspectives, and his responsibility in yielding to others.
Paul said in Philippians 2:5-12:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
We see here that we are to have the attitudes of humility and servitude, chief among the attributes of the Christian. These, when combined with the sentiment of love expressed in Matthew 22:36-40,
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him,”‘ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
we see the nature of the Christian attitude. We must show love, humility, and respect at all times to everyone, especially those in the household of faith. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to treat our spiritual family much like we treat our physical families, showing the least amount of love to those whom we should be showing the most. We must always be looking out for others’ best interests, attempting in all humility to serve our fellow man.
We know that everyone is different. In many ways, the way we perceive our world is determined by our culture, our upbringing, and our bias. This diversity is good, yet it can also be a stumbling block. Due to difference in perspective, we may approach a certain topic or belief differently. There are certainly right and wrong ways to approach truths of Scripture, but we must not automatically dismiss another’s perspective merely because it is not the same as ours. If we are to be good Christians, rightly dividing the word of truth, we need to look at issues not only from our own perspective, but also that of others. We will never be able to convince anyone of any truth unless we are first willing to examine the issue from the others’ perspective.
A dilemma that exists in the church today is what ought to be done when there is disagreement over issues. How are we to act? Romans 14 shows us the way, that those who feel as if they have a right ought to sacrifice it for those who those who do not (verses 13-15). Is this attitude, however, being manifested in the church? Unfortunately, the idea of giving up one’s rights voluntarily conflicts heavily with the attitudes of the world, especially in America. In America, everyone has their rights, and people will stop at nothing to have their rights preserved. In many ways, this is a noble pursuit; however, it can also be a stumbling block for Christians in America. We must not have this attitude that the world has, for we must be willing at any time to sacrifice any of our liberties for our brethren. We must always be willing to give up liberties which we may enjoy for “him for whom Christ died.”
As Christians, we must always watch our attitudes, that we show the love of Christ through us. We must also take into account the perspectives of others, that we may not cause offense due to our own misunderstanding. Finally, we must always consider first our brethren, and be willing to sacrifice any liberties we have in order to keep the unity of the faith. This we must do if we wish to retain the hope of Heaven.