Disputes, differences, etc.
We’re all made differently. We look different, do different, talk different, and see things differently. Ask five people their opinion of the same thing. Chances are you’ll get five different answers. That’s how we’re put together.
It was no different in Biblical times. Two women leaders, Euodia and Syntyche, had a difference of opinion and Paul heard that it was not a small disagreement. 2 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.
Paul instructed the two women to work on their dispute and to find some middle ground agreeable to both. It was very important to him that they reach a compromise, because if they could not do that, it would be to the detriment of the Kingdom of God. a small disagreement could soon turn into a big fight and nobody wins.
It is so important to make sure that things aren’t left to stew. Whether it is in a marriage or relationships at church or at work – don’t allow the dispute to grow, because before we know it’s gotten out of hand. My friend always says: Problems buried alive, never die. It’s like opening old wounds, leading to more and more chaos and hurt.
This is true. Problems en and disputes don’t simply disappear into thin air. On the contrary, they grow bigger and soon the damage becomes catastrophic. And let’s be honest, it happens in the best of families, as Steffie says:
You see, I got up this morning in the best frame of mind possible and when I went into my son’s room 40 minutes later and he was still not dressed, I CHOSE to lose instead of breathing deeply and keeping calm.
Needless to say the rest of the morning passed by with lots of swearing and screaming. I was so upset that I didn’t even have words to pray in the car. (I pray with my two kids in the car every morning on the way to school bid – it keeps me grounded.)
Now I’m sitting here all embarrassed, feeling like a DOG, because I allowed the devil to take hold of my life this morning and couldn’t even pray!
If we do not immediately resolve the disputes between us, it may lead to a small battle and the results are no good to anybody. We should listen to Paul and focus all our power on resolving the disputes. We must be on the same planet. The King James version puts Paul’s proposal as follows: That they be of the same mind in the Lord.
And that is exactly what we must do. We must make Jesus the common starting point. Jesus must be first and foremost, because when He comes first, when He is at the centre of everything, everything else becomes less important. Then it becomes easier to put aside what is so important to me and to leave space for the other person’s way of doing things.
With who do you fight?
What is the problem?
What must you do to resolve it?
Father, I know we’re different from one another. I know we don’t always agree. Please help me not to force my will and way of doing things on others. Let me help find common ground that we can focus on. Amen