How do you react when confronted in a conversation with an opposing viewpoint? I mean, one that really is against something that you believe, or something that you know for a fact is untrue, or just plain mean, or is even wrong.
Well, for me, this happens all the time! For example, where we currently live, there are many different cultures represented in our neighborhood. Muslim, Egyptian, Indian, Asian, Dutch, Christian Reformed, Reformed Christians of America, unchurched, churched, etc. etc.
I am frequently in a conversation that involves an opposing view.
I am USUALLY (note I said usually – not always!) very respectful and civil when it comes to discussions about things that I may not agree with completely. Of course there have been times when my feathers get ruffled and I end up raising my voice or using some particular tone with a person that is not really good at all for the conversation or relationship. Things go south quickly once that happens.
This is where respect has to come in.
Recently at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit I heard Condoleezza Rice say the following two statements, and they have stuck with me ever since.
“If you are respectful of the other person’s position, they actually have to respect yours, or they look like the buffoon.”
“With all due respect’ is a phrase that I use frequently to honor the other person’s opinion without actually agreeing with it.”
The points she is making here are so true! People just want their opinions validated and heard FIRST. Deep down they aren’t really looking for you to agree with them, but they DO want their opinions to be heard and even more to be respected. As Condoleezza said above, by not being respectful of the other person’s opinion, that person is the one that ends up looking like a buffoon! (I love that word – buffoon)
I want to encourage you though as a Real Christian Business Man to be one that DOES speak respectfully in all of your conversations. I use prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit daily to help me. What can YOU do that will help to “Show proper respect to everyone…”? – I Peter 2:17(NIV84)