“Be kindly affectionate to one another.” Ro 12:10 NKJV
Often the reason a relationship fails is not because of a difference of opinion, but a lack of understanding. Why aren’t we more understanding? For three reasons: (1) Selfishness. Somebody quipped, “There’s two sides to every question—as long as it doesn’t concern me personally.” Paul writes: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” (2) Fear. Prejudice is often the fear of what we’re unwilling to try and understand. When it comes to new ideas you’ve two options: open your mind and grow, or reject them and stay the same size. We tend to compare what we don’t understand with what we think we do—like the folks who told Columbus the earth was flat. When it comes to building relationships you’ve got to be willing to do what you’ve not yet done. (3) Differences. It takes more than one color to make a rainbow and one musician to make an orchestra. When you take time to appreciate the differences in people, you discover we all share the same hopes and fears. Harry Truman said, “When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint and what he’s trying to do, nine times out of ten he’s just trying to do right.” Two of our most common problems are “gift-envy” and “gift-projection.” One happens when we compare our talents with others and feel inferior. The other happens when we expect others to feel equally passionate about what we do. The Bible says, “There are different kinds of service…but we serve the same Lord” (1Co 12:5 NLT).