Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
How To Respond When You Don't See Eye to Eye
I have opinions. Tons of opinions. Very strongly held opinions.

IMG_0642.jpgImage by treviƱo via Flickr

And I get paid for sharing those opinions. So I tend to constantly be thinking about things in terms of right and wrong, should and shouldn't, what works and what doesn't. I find it difficult just to think about issues without trying to fix them, or see them from almost political or religious angles.

I'm also a very strong Christian, so I tend to measure everything in terms of what I believe God wants or things--which is a good thing. The problem is that I'm also a very political person, with strong political views about most issues. And because I can see these issues in terms of black and white, right and wrong, I tend to equate my political and religious views.

I know that's wrong, but it's a tendency I have, and I always have to push myself to say, "good Christians can disagree about this issue." I honestly do believe that, but I still find it curious when Christians hold positions that are completely the opposite to mine. For instance, I strongly believe in welfare reform, because I think that giving people something for nothing does not encourage people to turn to God; it encourages laziness and all sorts of negative things for society and children. Besides, one can only truly repent when one sees the repercussions of one's actions. If one doesn't think one has done anything wrong, how can one repent? But so much of the entitlement society moves against anyone seeing that they have done wrong, because they begin to think "I deserve this".

I also believe strongly that most Christians should give until it hurts, but I don't think that government necessarily should be involved in a lot of charity. I think most foreign aid ends up hurting countries, while personal aid through NGOs helps.

I don't actually want to argue about welfare or charity; I'm only trying to say that most of my political views also come out of my understanding of God. And I think that's natural.

The problem that I often get into, though, is that I know and love many very strong Christians who have exactly opposite views from me. My response has been to simply never, ever talk about anything in their presence which might be a source of difficulty in our relationship. So I don't go near Israel, or welfare, or health care, or crime and punishment, or other subjects remotely like that. We don't talk taxes, or politics, or elections.

Or I should say, I don't talk about them. But I have several people close to me who insist on bringing all these things up, and speaking about them as if it's obvious to everyone what the Christian answer is. I've had people say to me in my home that oen can't be a Christian if one doesn't believe in completely socialized medicine.

So how do I handle that? I would prefer we just agree to disagree and focus on the things that unite us, but it seems that just isn't going to happen. And I'm always feeling a judgment that I am less Christian because I support the Conservative party in Canada, for instance.

Don't tell me to just get rid of the relationships, because for various reasons I can't get into that's not possible, and I don't want to. I sincerely love these people. But I find our interactions increasingly strained, like I'm always walking on eggshells.

sheilaericWriteCanadaImage by SheilaGregoire via Flickr

It's not that I can't hang out with people of different political or religious viewpoints, either. Later this year my husband and I are leading a team of 25 to a Kenyan orphanage, and most of them, I would think, would fall far away from me on the political spectrum. But we get along great, because we focus on what we do well together.

What do you do when you have a person who refuses to do this? Any suggestions? Have any of you ever dealt with this with your families or at work? I'd love to know!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Labels: ,


At 7:15 AM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

I tend to avoid these topics with people whose views sharply differ from my own.

I take the conflict avoidance approach most of the time.


At 8:55 AM , Blogger Lindylou said…

I stand firm on God's Word. It will not make you pop-U-lar, but God doesn't call us to that.

Nearing 50 and being a Christian since my 20's I have learned to listen to the Holy Spirit before I speak. Sometimes my mouth opens before He gets a chance to season my words with grace.

It is by His leading that we know when, and what to speak. There are times to be bold and there are times to be silent. As Jesus lived by only speaking what God wanted Him to speak, should we do less or more.

Our words need to follow the Biblical pattern of being truthful, good, and able to impart grace to the hearer. The only people Jesus came down on hard were the Pharisees - hypocrites.
So there will be a time to speak bold but even in these times what we say needs to help the hearer finds his/her way to repentance (true, good, graceful).

Many times though God knows it will do no good. Speaking will be like banging a gong. This is why having a relationship with Him is essential to our walk, because the just walk by faith - fresh, current living faith of listening, believing and obeying our Father-God.

Blessings to you.


At 8:57 AM , Blogger Deborah said…

I haven't had to deal with this issue personally--at least not with people with whom I'm close and want/need to maintain a long-term relationship--but I would think that it's a very difficult situation to be in.

I assume you've done this, but you didn't say so explicitly--have you had a conversation with these individuals in which you explicitly say that you don't want to discuss these topics with them? Maybe even have one big, put it all on the table discussion where everyone states their views and the reason behind them, but everyone also agrees that after that one conversation, if there's still disagreement, there will be agreement to disagree without further discussions? (Gentle reminders may be necessary from time to time.)

Also, would it help if you had a conversation with them that didn't focus on the political issues themselves, but pointed out how judged you feel by their assumption that it's impossible for Christians to disagree with them? After all, it comes across as if they're saying that you're not a good Christian if you disagree with them politically, and if they really do believe that, they need a gentle reminder to "Judge not, lest ye be judged."


At 11:32 AM , Blogger Burkulater said…

I like your take on this topic. I have blogged out of passion about certain things that I now believe alienated and offended people rather than showing them Christ's love. As I mature, I realize I need to try to "get along with everyone as long as it depends on me." I have to trust that Christ will bring about a change in my heart or their heart as He sees fit. It's a much better way of thinking, in my opinion! That's not to say that I wouldn't defend Christ, but it's with gentleness and compassion and with the prompting of the Holy Spirit instead of with an argumentative heart.

Thank you for your post! I've been enjoying your blog!


At 2:24 PM , Blogger Burkulater said…

You have been awarded by me. Come see.


At 8:06 PM , Blogger Sheila said…


I'm like you. I try to avoid conflict. I just find it difficult when it's others who keep bringing stuff up!

Lindylou, thanks for your insightful response! I have often had those "gong" experiences, where I think it would be better if I just remained silent. And in the end, that's what I'm thinking I should do!

Deborah--I have talked to them about it, but I still find it difficult. I'm not very good at confronting people. I think I'm just going to learn to suck this one up!

And Burkulater, glad you found the blog, and glad you like it! And thanks so much for the prize! Good to get to know you!


At 8:40 PM , Blogger Teri Lynne Underwood said…

I tend to be like you ... focusing on what unites rather than divides. And, truthfully, I often find that many across the spectrum think I believe what they do on various political issues. You know, I'm sort of okay with that ... I don't hide that I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and so I don't feel like I need to explain to anyone that I am opposed to abortion. I have found that even my staunchest pro-choice friends are deeply respectful of my beliefs because they see them lived out in my life without judgment of those who disagree and with grace to those who find themselves considering or even having an abortion. That's just a very practical example in my life. But I hope that tenderness toward others is evident in every part of my life ... I don't care if people think I'm liberal or conservative, red, blue or green ... I care if they know Jesus. And anything that might speak louder than grace in my life needs to be muted.


At 12:43 AM , Blogger The Happy Domestic said…

I hear ya, Sheila.
And, Teri is bang on. :) Actions should speak louder than words... but heaven knows it's hard to stop those words sometimes! (For me, anyway!)

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails