Disagreement is good, healthy, it’s a symptom of a strong and secure system. Not to be confused with being disagreeable, which is something else entirely. It does not mean we hate one another. In fact, the precise opposite. Where there is no disagreement, there is not going to be any love either. Disagreement does not mean we now withdraw all respect and future affection to punish the bad thinker.
I have actually disagreed with God Himself on several occasions. He did not withdraw His affection and favor. I probably don’t need to say it, but God is always right, so it’s not as if my disagreement was justified. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with Him or He won’t love us anymore. Not suggesting anyone disagree with God, I’m just saying it happens and when it does, He does not love us any less because of it.
We really need to model our human relationships and interactions in the same manner. It’s a real problem in the world and I see it creating havoc in so many areas of our lives. Politics, marriage, faith, relationships. Not only is there an incredible lack of grace in the world, but also a lack of forgiveness, and a lack of trust.
You see this in the way people are offended these days by just about everything. Where there is prompt offense, there is also little forgiveness and grace active in people’s lives. They perceive anything that offends them as a personal attack, salt on a wound. It’s not that they need to be more forgiving, it’s that they need to be more forgiven. Not by other people, because we’re not the One who can fix that.
That is how grace works, it’s a very reflective thing. So if you are prone to offense, you don’t need a lecture on how to be more forgiving, you need to be more forgiven yourself.
If you fear disagreement because you fear people will with hold their love and affection, you don’t need to be told not to disagree, you need to avail yourself of more love. Because people are going to people, it’s almost a given that someone will behave poorly or has in the past. When we fear people will withdraw their affection, it’s because we have a scarcity. In Christ Jesus there are no scarcities. His love is abundant and over flowing.
People get cranky with me about this sometimes, but when there is an abundance of sin in the world all around you, how do you stop it, how do you control it? How do you convince people it’s wrong? You don’t, you forgive it. If the sin of the world is giving you grief, you don’t need to fix it, you need to be more forgiven. The more forgiven you are yourself, the more grace and peace you will have no matter what is going on all around you.
When the sin of the world presses down upon you, it is not the world that needs to change.
All in good humor here, but least anybody think I’m a saint or something, not long ago my husband had to sit on me and explain that we can’t just go kill all the bad people and put the rest on giant catapult and fling them off the planet. Apparently such things are frowned upon. Who knew?
Nor am I saying society should just bail on all standards or that man’s justice system should just take a hike, or that we are supposed to sit back and tolerate absolutely everything without ever standing up for ourselves. Nor are we supposed to forgive and forget and put ourselves right back in the line of fire.
I’m just saying, that part about forgiveness, Jesus meant that. That’s no joke. He meant it even when it comes to the things we believe are unforgivable. He wasn’t talking about empathizing with other people and making excuses for them, or weaving an explanation for their behavior, either. He meant forgiveness, even in the face of raw, unadulterated, unpasteurized, unrepentant sin.
I have been called to forgive the unforgivable more than a few times. “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” -Matthew 7:2 That’s not just an admonishment against passing judgment, that’s a promise. Forgiving others is what opens us up to receiving supernatural grace ourselves.
So, disagreement is good! God does not with hold affection to punish us when we disagree with Him, so we should follow suit with one another. Also, disagreement is usually not “sin.” I’m chuckling here, because I’ve lost track of all the times people have accused me of sin for allegedly having the wrong politics, wrong thought, wrong opinion. Even atheists. You just haven’t lived until you’ve had a bunch of atheists shrieking at you to repent. Kind of messes with your head.
Especially within the Body of Christ, disagreement can be really good. Consider Paul and Barnabas, two men who’s very disagreement helped to advance the early church and the Kingdom twice as fast. “They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.” Acts 15:39-40.