Home / News / Culture Watch / Keeping political disagreements friendly
political disagreements
Denise Gitsham. Facebook photo.

Keeping political disagreements friendly

Don’t lose your friendships over political disagreements.

That’s the advice of Denise Grace Gitsham, a former Republican candidate for Congress who served in the George W. Bush administration. She offered her insights on this difficult topic, saying Christians often walk a fine line in election years between standing up for their values and saying something that might alienate their family and friends.

“So often when Christians engage in politics, they lose their joy, which is the hallmark of the Holy Spirit,” she says. “Scripture says speak the truth in love. If love was the same thing as truth, then that would be a redundant statement. Unity does not mean conformity. I am one of the most conservative people you will ever meet on policy. But conservative does not equal mean.”

Gitsham offered three ways Christians can engage with those they disagree with on politics.

First, establish biblical motives before the conversation starts. The goal is not to “win” a debate.

“If you establish at the outset of a conversation that your desire is to love this person and preserve the relationship or establish one — because that is your job, that is your number one responsibility as a Christian — then you will have a different way of engaging from the outset,” she said. “It’s not a life-or-death battle. You know that God’s in charge. You can speak your piece and you can move on, because you’re not looking for validation of who you are and the need to be right from anyone other than God.”

Second, engage the conversation with humility and curiosity. “One thing that I’ve learned in my time in politics is that I have a perspective on the truth that is never the full perspective,” Gitsham said. “We will never see the full perspective until we get to heaven.”

Third, Christians must make “honorable assumptions” about the person instead of assuming the worst-case scenario.

“We’re not naïve — we’re just saying, ‘We’re going to choose to see these people the way God sees them. We’re going to presume that they’re coming with something legitimate to say,’” she said. “And whether you end up with them or on a different side, you’re gonna have a whole new understanding of the situation. And maybe it might even make you more effective in what you’re advocating for.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

Leave a Reply