Families gathering for the holidays may represent the current mood that is present in our nation. Our country is in a time of disunity, disharmony and disagreement. Opinions of racial tensions, lifestyle intolerance and differences of political and religious views abound. If Jesus commands us to be the light in dark places, what does this look like today?
Be the Light
Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light![u] Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Sadly, the disagreement that pervades our nation is also evident in the church. Recently, a couple asked for counsel about a certain situation they had with their church leadership. I could have offered my personal bias and position on their question, but chose to share with them what I think God wants us all to know.
Love always covers
The point is not to prove to the other person how wrong they are. It is about laying down our opinionated weapons of pride, self-centeredness and narrow-mindedness, and choosing to love.
Our approach must be How can I best represent Christ in this situation? How can love cover a multitude of wrongs?
If ever there is a time to be the light in a dark world and to show that love triumphs over conflict and intolerance, it’s now. How can we do this?
Be an Adult: Agree to Disagree
Paul describes it best in 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (TPT)
When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways. For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.
Why Should We Agree to Disagree?
- The enemy’s tactic is to divide our nation, our homes, and the church to prevent the true mission of the gospel—to win the lost. He likes to get us off track and hyper-focuses on things that will have no eternal value.
- Falling for the trap of disagreeing with others doesn’t make it right. If you think your view is correct, why is it important to prove it? Are you seeing and reasoning like a child?
- Maturity says I value your soul and how I reflect Christ more than ______. I choose to “agree to disagree.”
- As we agree to disagree, ask the Holy Spirit (Revealer of all Truth.) “What is your perspective of this? Please show me what you want me to know about this conflicting view.”
Is the disagreement enough to hinder you from walking in unity with your spouse or family? Co-workers? Church body and leadership?
What is the real focus?
There are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.
Run toward the prize of Love and Unity.
I know this isn’t easy. Let’s face it—we want to be right and want to prove it! When we face these discussions, can we put aside our childish thinking, reasoning and actions to pursue love?
Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].
In your circle of influence, what are some areas you can agree to disagree ?
What boundaries will you set into place to make sure Christ’s love in you always covers?