1. Remember- Who you are. When I graduated from Biola University, our commencement speaker opened with the story of Mufasa coming to Simba in the clouds. Simba had forgotten that he was King, and in doing so lost himself. When he faced who he was and accepted his burden to rule, he was able to return and win back the pridelands. It's easy to get lost in our social media profiles and forget that we are heirs to the throne of the most high. We ought to remember that we are created in the image of God, and have intrinsic value nothing and no one can take away. In order to enter into community and rescue the pridelands, we have to remember who we are.
2. Focus- On the value the person in front of you has. Once I know and accept that I have value, I am able to see the value of the person I am engaging in community with. It's much more difficult to become offended by someone I believe has just as much value as I do.
3. Conversate- Instead of interrogate. The challenge here is to discuss something passionately without making the person you are talking to the enemy. It's easier to make passionate statements and cutting remarks then to present arguments and ask questions. When there is the framing of humanity and value is at the forefront of our mind, I believe we are more apt to do the harder thing of having a conversation.
4. Listen- Disagreements can be the beginning of a breakthrough. Listening is key to a conversation. It's difficult because we have to decide that what the person is saying, whether or not we agree with it, is more important than the steady stream of conscious going on in our brains. This goes back to recognizing the value of the person in front of us, and allowing that to guide us.
5. Accept- This person may not change, or see your point of view. But you can still love them. It is true that a conversation takes two people willingly participating to work well. But in accepting the fact that your conversation partner might not agree with you, you are honoring the value in yourself and have the ability to walk away unoffended.