How Can We Influence Those with Whom We Disagree?

“It’s no secret that our country is divided.” (That might qualify for the understatement of the year!) If we get ten people in a room, we’re likely to get at least eleven different opinions.  In that situation, how can we work with people who hold vastly different views from ours?

One popular approach is to strongly, loudly, and angrily disagree with anyone who dares to state a different opinion.  Another popular option is to say nothing, leaving the illusion of agreement and support. A third, and more effective option, is shown in Ephesians 4:15. “But speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”  In other words, our goal is to respond the way Jesus responded. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6)

What are some practical ways to do that? One, offered by Dr. Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” That requires listening.  Another is the simple phrase from “Crucial Conversations”: “I see it differently.”

How do we apply the mandate to speak the truth in love to the current issue of abortion? Let’s examine individually the two sides of the coin – truth and love.


“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

A politician said to her protégé “the key to success in politics is sincerity. Once you learn to fake that, you have it made!”

The current reality is that the culture around us is increasingly one of deception and death. Of course, they don’t call it death, but instead use words that sound innocuous, even noble, like “health care,” “reproductive rights,” “freedom to choose,” etc. That attempts to hide the tragic reality that every successful abortion results in a dead human baby. Words matter. We can state clearly “Abortion is wrong because it unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being.”  And we can objectively present the abundant scientific evidence that human life begins at conception, and that abortion harms women.

These days, telling the truth is also one of the most counterculture things you can do!  It takes great courage to speak the truth to power.

When we think about abortion, two other Scriptures immediately come to mind and encourage us to speak up.  “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.” (Proverbs 3:8-9) “Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:21)

So, it is abundantly clear that God hates abortion.


It is also abundantly clear that God loves people. 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9

“The most loving thing you can do for someone you care about is tell them the truth.” (Jeffery Curtis Poor) Part of that truth is acknowledging that the unplanned pregnancy is a crisis, and that it will be difficult.   Another part of the truth is, as Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.”  Suicide has been described as “a tragic, permanent solution to a temporary problem.” The same description applies to abortion. 

Some of the opportunities that unplanned pregnancy presents include: finding the many resources available to help the mother, the baby and the family; experiencing the love of a child; finding personal and spiritual growth; avoiding a lifetime of regret; and using the experience of overcoming the difficulties to help others who go through similar situations. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

One of the greatest blessings in life is to participate in a Godly cause that is bigger than ourselves. I am grateful that our church supports the March for Life, the Celebrate Life Weekend, the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, and related organizations that provide needed support in times of crisis.  Protecting life is a most worthy cause, and standing against the culture can be scary.  Several people have said that if the vision you have for your life is not at least a little scary, it’s not big enough to be from God. How do we overcome fear?  By recognizing 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A new resource for speaking the truth in love was recently developed as a collaborative effort among multiple organizations.  That resource currently includes eleven brief videos, about two minutes each, on different aspects of the abortion issue. Those videos are available free at  Please share those videos with people you care about. All of us were made in God’s image, and each person deserves the opportunity to live.

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