We should welcome and respect differences in each other. Even though there are more commonalities than differences in the human family, the wide range of diversity makes life interesting. This deserves courteous communication, even when our philosophies, customs, values, and priorities differ. We don’t have to agree to be agreeable. We are agreeable when we are courteous. “Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down, or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped” (Marvin J. Ashton). Here are some specific applications:
- Be respectful of cultural differences.
- Be respectful of religious beliefs.
- Be respectful of differing political views.
- Be respectful at competitive games.
- Be respectful to authority figures and public servants.
- Be courteous in tone and words spoken to family members.
- Be courteous in conversations when others have differing opinions.
The New Testament teaches: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). “Be holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15).