I've always liked this expression about opinions that says they're like noses since everyone has them. No matter how alike two people may be and how much they might share in common, there will always be a point of difference.
We all have different backgrounds, contexts, strengths, weaknesses and preferences. This brings about a difference in opinion among us.
The Bible speaks to us often about being united as believers. We shouldn't mistake this as meaning we should all have the same opinions. Unity is not equivalent to uniformity. We can be united in our diversity.
When faced with a different opinion, how do you usually react? It's the way we react and not the opinions we have that determine whether we will be united or not. Here are three ways to not respond to someone with a different opinion.
1. Belittle Them
When someone shares an opinion and it clashes with ours, we might tend to look down at their opinion because we think ours is superior. This should not be the case. There can be many occasions that the opinions of others can actually be better than ours, no matter how young, new or imperfect they may seem.
Romans 14:1 says, "As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions."
Do not look down at anyone based on their opinion. Give them the benefit of the doubt and you'll see that they might actually have a point.
2. Fight for the Sake of Winning an Argument
Speaking about the Pharisees, Jesus pointed out their problem in John 12:43, saying, "For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."
In one way or another, this is how we are like when all we want is to win arguments. Winning an argument can often be too much about proving how smart, talented or better we are than others.
The opinions of others matter just as much as yours. We must learn to give others a platform to speak instead of us speaking about our ideas to them all the time.
3. Judge a Person Based on Their Opinion
Judgment is not always a bad thing. But when we start to judge out of generalisation, our judging becomes unhealthy. Matthew 7:1-2 warns us against this, saying, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you."
People are not their opinion. They are so much more than that. We must see and value them based not on their opinion but on what God thinks about them.