There are times when our opinion on a matter of faith is found on the opposite side of the coin from the opinions held by fellow believers. Depending on the season in which we find ourselves, the coin of faith can land on either the head or the tail of an opinion. In these moments when it appears to us everything is so black and white, we can assume what we see from our limited point of view is the whole truth of the subject. How the coin lands can be determined by the dominant voices being heard at the moment or by a particular cultural environment in which the conversation is taking place.
An opposing opinion about an essential matter of faith needs to be investigated in love. Even then, we need to remember the opposing opinions are held by people whom God loves. Our conversation and interaction with each other should be empowered by the love of God, not our need to correct before we listen. These challenging moments require maturity and discernment. None of us sees all of the truth all of the time. In a civil and healthy conversation, truth can prevail if we give it a chance.
The Word and the Spirit work together to provide us with an understanding larger than our own. These two are always in harmony and agreement while our opinions may not share that same sense of unity. Harmony is the place where God invites His Church to come and stand together when disagreements arise and when one side of the coin is promoted over the other. This is where our conversation can begin to gain its greatest traction – a traction empowered by love. Those who stand at the intersection of Word and Spirit get there by walking forward in humility and honor valuing the opinion of others and giving them a place at the table instead of prematurely discarding the person and the opinion they hold.