In the world but not of it

October 21, 2010

Agreeing to disagree…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

Live together in harmony! Psalm 133:1

I grew up in a home where confrontation was the staple diet. We rarely went through a week in our home where we didn’t sit together at the kitchen table and have it out on a particular matter or topic.

The topic did not always relate to our family but it always caused a lively discussion as everyone at the table shared their opinions and views. As I reflect on those times I realize now that we really put into practice the whole idea of “agreeing to disagree”…

This is a term the world uses often but lives out seldom.

Agreeing to disagree is not as easy as it sounds.

People don’t like to have their opinions challenged or contradicted. We don’t feel that secure when someone questions our views on a matter, especially when their views make more sense.

In this Psalm, David points out the need and the result for unity. He tells us that living in harmony with each other is as precious as the anointing oil. But the truth is that many make unity out to be a state of constant agreement or silence or even tolerance.

Openly challenging someone on a concern is viewed as anything but unity.

Then I look at God’s word…” As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

Sparks fly when you sharpen iron together. It causes heat and friction. It is a necessary process in order to refine the iron and make it even more useful than before. It is the same with relationships. We are not called to go and pick fights or to play Holy Spirit in the lives of others by finding fault but we are called to motivate each other towards acts of love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).

Most people interpret this word “motivate” in Hebrews 10:24 as a gentle approach, loving and kind yet the actual word speaks of disturbance, contention and provoking. In the best sense of the word it refers to an encouragement towards an action.

Sometimes when we encourage people toward an action it requires a level of honesty that they cannot necessarily receive but in fact that is exactly what “motivates” them to change.

“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.” A.W. Tozer

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