By John Pierce

Whether in Congress, city hall or church conference, productivity is often stalled by conflicting quests of self-interest. The common good gets sacrificed on the altar of “But what do I get out of it?” or “That’s not how I like to do it.”

Such paralyzing political processes can be seen from local governments to the U.S. Capitol. The retention of power and the pursuit of personal agendas often trump the opportunities for good at hand.

Likewise, creative ideas and energy for ministry often get depleted by hypercritical voices in churches and denominational groups that are more concerned about representation or recognition than results.

Recently, I’ve found myself investing most heavily in those rare and wonderful places where people — despite differing and even passionate opinions — show respect for others and a willingness to work toward constructive, positive accomplishments.

Compromise — the give-and-take of good relationships — is not a bad word. But it sure seems to be in short supply.

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