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Common Ground in Mixed Theology

012 feet in the sandHas religion driven a wedge in your relationships? Is disagreement a sure way to get you fired up?

Beliefs are definitely the driving force for what we do in life. There are many beliefs even outside of religion. Here are a few of my beliefs to get you thinking. *Anything can be had for good or evil. *Communication is a skill and can be learned. *We are not mind readers and therefore should not assume anything. *That forgiveness heals and it is designed to set the captive free. *That what you think will determine how you feel. *That love is life giving and will heal a broken heart.

These beliefs are pretty agreeable and will usually offer common ground, something we should all strive for. Most of us really are not all that different. We long to love and be loved. We long to be heard and for people to understand us.

If living at peace with all men so long as it depends on you, and truly having great relationships is something you strive for then finding common ground is a great place to start.

This is known as rapport. We all tend to like and are attracted to people who are like us. Think about it, if you meet someone new and they tell you that they are from your home town immediately you have a common ground to stand on and a piece of information to create conversation. Rapport is something I go into great lengths to teach when I train coaches. There are certain things you can and should do to gain rapport with others.

In the sensitive area of theology people can get really pumped by their beliefs, so much so in fact that they drive people away instead of drawing them in.

Now, I am certainly not encouraging you to hide your beliefs or to sin in order to win. Instead, what I am suggesting is that you gain the rapport necessary for trust so you can lead. Focus on what you have in common, not what drives you apart.

In creating this peace the Holy Spirit is more likely to lead you, if you will allow Him and not your emotions to lead you. In doing this you will be able to hear with holy ears and allow the other person to feel heard and understood, not rejected. Love will be your guide and common ground. Your relationships both new and old will improve and you will bring many to the Lord because of your patience to stand on common ground.

Remember religion should not separate; it should create peace and pull people together. So if you find yourself getting upset about an individual's belief system, immediately begin to think about what you have in common and let common ground connect you to others.

-La Vonne Earl