Acts 23:6 & 9 NIV
 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead… There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man ,” they said.
It’s fascinating to read this story and how reasoned Paul was even in the midst of being beaten and assaulted. He always seems to find common ground on which to make a considered argument and this is no exception. Whether it is here or Mars Hill, he looks for points of commonality. “ We can all agree on this, and in light of that – this is the conclusion I have come to, and as intelligent people, you have to at least respect my position.” In this case the Jewish elite were too wound up to reason, and would accept nothing less than death for Paul’s dissension.
How many times have I been in dispute or argument with someone who holds a different conviction to myself and responded with attack rather than respect and reason? Do I look for a foundation of agreement upon which to dialogue around difference or do I blindly try and undermine the integrity of those who oppose my view?
Lord may I be as respectful and reasoned as Paul is here even as he faced persecution and death. The stakes for me are nowhere near as high. Help me find common grace and reason well in all conversations. Amen.