It can be difficult to care for someone when we are at odds with their point of view. But I encourage you: remember your common ground. Remember the ties that bind you together. Remember your history with this person.

Sometimes we allow one aspect of who a person is to color our opinion of the entire person. For example; my sister and I do not agree on political choices. She feels so passionately about her position. I feel equally passionate about my viewpoint.

When such a wall exists, how can we maintain and enjoy a long-term friendship? How can we respect and love one another even though we disagree politically?

For weeks, this has been my struggle and the request of my prayers. Then yesterday quite by surprise, a possible beginning step emerged in my mind: “list 10 reasons why you love and respect your sister.”  So here is my beginning list:

  • She has been one of my best friends for 60 years.
  • She has cared when I have struggled in low times; she was there for me.
  • She has celebrated my accomplishments with me.
  • She loves my kids and grand-kids.
  • She is an unselfish person, and reaches out to care for others.
  • She encourages and affirms me.
  • When I ask her opinion, I know that she will answer me honestly.
  • We share a common family history with lots of good memories and stories.
  • We share a common faith.
  • She gives me amazing birthday presents!

This list became my focus rather than our political differences.  I hope that someday we can also listen, calmly and respectfully, to each other’s political viewpoint. Regardless, we will remain loving friends.  Thank you Lord.

So if you are experiencing the breakdown of important relationships, try remembering and focusing on all the reasons why you have valued the person in the past. Most of all do not allow strong differences of opinion divide you . . . find ways to be reunited.  Look for common ground.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.

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