Speaking Of Life 2046 | Dissolving Disagreements


Sometimes we easily just get angry. We can’t help but argue with people we disagree with. Paul reminds us of a similar situation that happened with two women in Philippians 4 that had some disagreements but later worked together in sharing the gospel. Let us continue to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us so people can see Christ’s love through us.

Program Transcript


Speaking Of Life 2046 | Dissolving Disagreements
Cara Garrity

I have a friend with two small preschool boys, and because they’re so close in age, they have a tendency to fight over toys. To keep her sanity, she told them that if they can’t resolve their disagreement without fighting, they have to work on a 100-piece puzzle until they finish it. For two preschool boys, a 100-piece puzzle takes an eternity to finish. They have to work together, and by the time they’re done, they’ve forgotten what they were angry about.

This story reminds me of a reference in the Bible to two adults who were at odds. It appears in the letter to the Philippians where Paul writes,

I urge Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:2-3 (NRSV)

The Bible is silent about what caused division between these two women, but it’s clear from the text that they had worked together well, even against difficulties, to promote the good news about Jesus and his love and acceptance. Their disagreement can make us pause when we think about holding grudges or having a negative attitude against others, particularly those who are believers.

While many things can cause disagreements in relationships, this passage presents a challenge to be “of the same mind in the Lord.” This shifts our perspective. It’s like the story I told about my friend’s little boys who were fighting over toys. When the little boys had the same goal in mind—finishing that puzzle—they remembered that they really loved each other, and their fight over the toys didn’t really seem that important anymore.

As believers, much of what we disagree about might be important to us, but probably isn’t a dealbreaker when it comes to whether or not we believe in Jesus’s acceptance and love for everybody. It’s our human tendency to focus on smaller issues. These might seem easier to control or judge in ourselves and others rather than holding on to the reality of Christ’s mind being in each of us through the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s correction to Euodia and Syntyche is to lift their eyes from their disagreement and see the goodness of God’s Spirit at work in them and through them. This is having “the same mind in the Lord.”

If we’re spectators to a disagreement, our role is like the “loyal companion” Paul addresses and encourages us to help those at odds to see each other in a different light. Rather than listening to complaints, we point to Christ and call one another up to be of one mind in him.

So, the next time you feel irritated at a brother or sister in Christ, you don’t need to do a 100-piece puzzle. Instead, look to Jesus and focus on the goodness of the Holy Spirit. Notice the same Spirit that is working in you is also working in them and through them. He is there; you just need the right mindset to see.  

Praying for you “to be of the same mind in the Lord,”

I’m Cara Garrity, Speaking of Life.

Alert me for new videos:

Archive


We’ve been doing ministry daily that we tend to do it FOR God instead of doing it WITH God. Jesus tells us that...
We are created in the image and likeness of our God. May we bear the resemblance of our Creator in our daily encounters,...
Sometimes we easily just get angry. We can’t help but argue with people we disagree with. Paul reminds us of a similar...
A cornerstone is a foundational piece in building a house. It must be perfect so it can hold the entire structure. Do...
Daily life is full of tricks and confusion. You don’t know who to trust or listen to. But what if God told you to...
Just like Jonah, have you ever been swallowed up? Alone in the dark, worried, confused, and afraid? Even in our darkest...
When you skip a stone across a body of water, the stone sends ripples through the surface of the water. Just like the...
How can our friendship and imitation of Jesus change our daily lives? Do our friends and family see Christ through us?...