Obviously, opinions differ on a great many things. Many ideas about God, religion, morality, social conduct and the like are often found to be in opposition to each other. So what do I do when they clash in front of me, when relationships are breaking down? When should I try to reconcile, and when should I separate myself?
I don’t have all the answers to those questions. One thing I do know: I must honor everyone whether they agree with me or not(1 Pet. 2:17). I am also called, as are all Christians, to seek peace with everyone(Heb. 12:14). But how far can peace and honor go? When God says to strive for peace, does He mean compromise?
I found an interesting thing while cross-referencing Bible verses about peace. In most contexts, the call for peace is coupled with a call for holiness, a turning away and a fleeing from evil(e.g. Ps. 34:14). Taking that into account, it is clear that the Bible in no way promotes moral relativism. On the contrary, God calls us to peace and honor despite our strong convictions. And strong convictions we should have.
Honor is a really hard thing to do. The world, for the sake of peace, would compromise their beliefs, but I have faith in the God of all Truth. Compromise is not an option for me. The only way forward is transformation. The Spirit is filling me with strength, grace and truth. I must be humble and gentle, willing and ready to repent of every ungodly desire.
Even when given in humility and gentleness, the Gospel is offensive to sinners. When I personally separate myself from sin, others may see my good deeds and insult me. That’s okay. Still I will honor them, because I love them. God loves them. Jesus died for that love. And on that cross, love won.
So how do we cast away evil and love evil people at the same time? It can only be done supernaturally. The Holy Spirit must be our guiding light.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”–1 John 5:21