No two people will ever agree on everything, and that goes for the people belonging to the family of believers… that’s why we have so many different denominations. Whether it be theological issues, different interpretations of verses in the Bible, or different worldviews, it’s unavoidable that and your brother and sister in Christ will eventually have a disagreement.
It’s tempting to push aside all of our disagreements to maintain peace. However, I believe that it is important to focus on these differences. We can learn from each other. We can understand different points of view, even if we don’t agree with them. We might discover something about God that we never knew before. Maybe we can recognize and correct false teaching.
“Avoidance of conflict, with no effort to resolve it, postpones a proper response and exacerbates the problem because conflicts that are allowed to fester unaddressed will always increase and have negative effects on relationships within the body. The goal of conflict resolution is unity, and unity in the church poses a threat to the devil who will use every opportunity to take advantage of unresolved issues, especially those involving anger, bitterness, self-pity, and envy. These emotions are the basis for most church conflicts”(www.gotquestions.org/conflict-resolution.html).
Disagreements can be an overall good thing if handled correctly. However, we cannot allow our disagreements to divide us as God’s children. My belief is that Satan often uses disagreements to do just that. In John 17:20-24, Jesus is praying for the believers. He prays for unity. His desire is that we may be one in the Lord. Scripture tells us many times to live harmoniously and in peace with others and to show a genuine love to one another (John 13:34, Romans 15:5, 2 Corinthians 13:11, and Romans 12:10 are some examples given by another article I was reading about this topic.)
The Devil would like nothing more than for our differences to divide the church completely. He would love to see a lack of unity, because then the world would see us as dysfunctional, hypocritical, and wrong. I know many people already believe that, but our God is stronger than their perceptions. We need to be united in believing that.
We have so many people against us already – the world is against us. We shouldn’t be against each other. If our strongest desire is to live like Jesus, we must do as He advises and commands – we must love each other and live in unity. Differences can either make our relationships stronger or they can tear us apart – we need to pray about it and make the choice of which path we will take.
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She had served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.