Show respect in exchanging opinions
"Seek peace and pursue it."
-- 1 Peter 3:11 (NIV)
Voicing our opinion is quite popular in today's society. It's what much of what social media is about.
It's not wrong to have an opinion; life would be dull if we didn't have an exchange of ideas. Sharing with others helps us to change and grow intellectually, morally and emotionally.
But to keep the exchange healthy and right, there are guidelines to keep in mind -- it's important to make sure the basis of our advice is moral and correct. There are Godly principles about what is right.
Oftentimes, people get overly opinionated. When this happens, the message is everything they say is always right. This can frustrate and belittle others. Even if someone is right, they don't always have to have the last say or push their concepts onto others. That's where praying for others to do right helps.
Many things aren't that important in the whole scheme of things. Yet, some feel they must argue every point and win. There are a lot of things that are personal preference. Does it really matter that we have the best route to somewhere? Or that the sky is light blue rather than medium blue? People constantly argue over such trivial things such as these.
Being strongly opinionated, or harsh and critical when voicing an opinion can eventually cause others to turn away. Other times, acting like a know-it-all can cause the loss of credibility. When this is the case, it is not received well by others. That's why it's important to learn to discern when and how to confront an issue.
Not becoming overly-critical while voicing opinions leads to peaceful relations and helps get the point across. God desires we relate in peace and joy, rather than striving for the need to always be correct.
Using some self-control instead of blurting out opinions can be a stress reducer for all involved. It will not only be a benefit to others, but can benefit the opinion pusher as well.
Openly sharing an opinion in a lighthearted manner can bring a positive exchange of ideas. It's part of normal conversation and the basis for sharing an opinion.
Keeping the others person's feelings in mind, can be helpful when there's a tendency to nag too much. Nagging someone is another form of pushing an opinion.
Showing respect to others and allowing them to have their say is common courtesy and helps the exchange to become more pleasurable.
It's important to keep in mind that when the discussion gets too opinionated and hot-tempered, being willing to step back to keep the peace goes much further than always having to have the final say.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at (847) 543-8413 or Annetteebudzban@aol.com.