No Politics After 6 P.M.

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No Politics After 6 P.M.

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Scott Brown, Massachusetts' newly elected senator, is being compared in many ways to Ronald Reagan. There may be similarities in style and substance. Time will tell whether Brown's star is constant or a mere flash in the political heavens.

I did see one comment from Senator Brown that linked him to Reagan's style. If he holds on to this one, he might be the real thing. In a post-election interview Brown called himself a pragmatist who knows how to draw the lines between politics and good relations with people. After 6 p.m., he said, we should all be able to talk and get along and put politics aside to foster good personal relationships.

It was classic Ronald Reagan. Reagan had political differences with Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil. O'Neill called Reagan the most ignorant man who had ever occupied the White House. O'Neill also said that Reagan was "Herbert Hoover with a smile," "a cheerleader for selfishness" and "an amiable dunce."

Privately, O'Neill and Reagan were always on cordial terms, or as Reagan himself put it in his memoirs, they were friends after 6 p.m. It was said the two could enjoy a drink and tell Irish jokes. Reagan was realistic about what he would ultimately get on any of his initiatives. He understood the nature of politics, realizing that he would never get all he put on the table. He had the ability to stay true to his core principles while still maneuvering with others who saw things differently.

Good personal relationships. Working through sincere differences of opinion. This is what life is all about. If you and I can master the art of getting along, we can go a long way toward peace and harmony.

Christ said to "agree with your adversary quickly" before the dispute grows into something beyond your control (Matthew 5:25 Matthew 5:25Agree with your adversary quickly, whiles you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.
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). It is better to be proactive in a dispute.

The key is to show respect for those with whom you differ. Look on them as human beings created in the image of God. Seek to understand their motivations. Appreciate their sincerity. Find something you can admire and don't lose sight of it. What could you discuss with them over a drink after hours? Put yourself through this exercise and you will keep yourself from the extremes that foster unresolved conflicts.

Keep watching.