Thursday, April 5, 2012

Agree to Disagree

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10 NAS)

Agree to DisagreeWe have heard the term ‘agree to disagree.’ In a sense it is about keeping our cool despite differing opinions. Reference.com defines it as “the resolution of a conflict … whereby all parties tolerate but do not accept the opposing position.” An example of such a conflict resolution found in the Bible is recorded in the Book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement over who they should bring along for the second missionary journey. Consequently, they parted company and continued in the ministry of the Lord separately (Acts 15:36-40).

Many churches are still in disagreement over various issues today. Some differ in opinions on theology or doctrinal interpretations, others disagree on practices and teachings. Nevertheless, if the fundamental truths are agreed upon that Christ died and resurrected to save us all, and that whoever believes in Him is granted eternal life, as one body of Christ we should not be divided. We should instead agree to disagree on differing opinions, and put aside our differences to work together to achieve the common goal Christ had given us (1 Corinthians 1:10). We may not agree on everything, but we can with one mind conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ to stand firm in one spirit and strive together for the faith (Philippians 1:27).

Are we frequently in conflict with others over some opinions? If we are, let us learn to resolve our conflicts and tolerate one another. If the conflicts cannot be resolved without separation, then let us agree to part peacefully without hindering the life of the other. Let us move on courageously and continue to do what the Lord has in His plan for us without bitterness or displeasure.

When among believers, therefore, as brothers and sisters in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should all agree with one another not to have divisions among us. Instead, we should be completely united in the same mind and judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10). For where two or three have gathered together in the Lord’s name, He is with us in our midst (Matthew 18:20). Let us as one body in Christ stick together so we may have no division, but have the same care for one another as members of the same body (1 Corinthians 12:25).

Thank You dear Lord for granting us the wisdom to understand the fundamentals of Your word. We know Lord we can never fully comprehend all the mysteries written in Your word until the day we see You face to face. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than our ways, and Your thoughts than our thoughts. Help us therefore Lord to learn to agree to disagree when it comes to conflict resolution, that we may not split hairs over differences in interpretation, teaching, understanding or the like. Comfort us and heal our hearts O Lord should separation be inevitable, that we may continue to stand firm and courageously move forward to do Your will.

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