Expressing one’s political views on social media these days is like dropping bloody fish guts into a shark tank. It’s downright scary at times.

That’s why I often sit out these exchanges. But I’ve seen brothers and sisters in Christ trash each other too often.

I cringe every time I see some iteration of: “You’re a smart guy. Take down this garbage…” Could there be a better way? I hope so. Jesus said that without unity, we (the Church) cannot be effective witnesses to the world (John 17:20-23). With that in mind, here are some questions to ask ourselves as we engage in these difficult but necessary conversations:

1: Is my objective simply to make a point, or to point people to Christ?

2: Am I regarding the person I disagree with as a fellow image-bearer of God?

3: Are the things we agree on of more consequence than the things we disagree about?

4: What if neither of us has a full grasp on all the issues, and we need each other to see a more complete picture?

5: Can I acknowledge the inherent conflict, tension and trade-offs of siding with any political party?

6: Can we acknowledge that no political party has a monopoly on what we believe? That in some cases it’s not as simple as this versus that?

7: Could we work together outside of the current political environment to demonstrate the love of Christ and improve things in our country?

8: Am I placing my culture, my region, traditions or any other affiliation or ideology above identification with Christ and what He commands?

9: Am I defending the truth of God’s Word, or striving to preserve power, wealth and entitlements that favor me above others?

10: Has my personal apathy and compromise contributed to our country’s current societal ills?

11: Is my aversion to our leadership so acute that it impedes me from obeying the biblical commands to honor (1 Peter 2:17) and pray for our leaders (1 Tim. 2: 1-3)?

12: Is my defense of our leadership so unequivocal that it impedes me from obeying the biblical command to speak up and defend the rights of weak and destitute (Prov. 31: 8-9; Jer. 22:3)?

13: Can I call out any unbiblical views my brother or sister might have in humility and in love?

14: Can I accept being called out for any unbiblical views I might have in humility and love?