God's word in today's world

Not back on default

Philippians 2:1-5

My wife and I hardly ever disagree, but now and then we fight a lot. This makes me so cross – I can’t believe how quickly the devil can come and steal our joy. Now even Paul has something to say about arguments and disagreements: 2Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.

This made me wonder why we need to disagree so much. Why do we fight, even though we love one another? I remember my sermon at a friend’s wedding. I described how cell phones and other devices all have a default setting.

These are the factory settings. When we get a new phone, we quickly change the default settings to set it up to suit our requirements. But when something goes wrong that you can’t put right, the experts say you have to set your phone back on the factory settings.

It seems to me that when someone interferes with us and the emotions start getting out of hand, we fall back to our default settings – sin. As a result of Adam and Eve’s stupid choices in the garden, all of us have a flaw – our sinful nature. This means that we pull away from God all the time and that I myself wants to be the leader.

This is the crux of the problem. I get angry because the ego is under attack. I use everything available to protect the ego to the end. I use any tactic and will argue and fight until the other one retreats.

We often try very hard not to become angry and fight, but emotions soon push the button and we fall back to default settings. It happens in the best of families.

So what do we do now? Paul gives very good advice. Concentrate on what you agree on. First find common ground and shift what you cannot agree on to the back.

Think of all the differences between the groups in our country. We’ll never be able to wipe out all the differences, but if we start talking about the things we agree on, we’ll be able to talk a long time and move closer to one another.

Different religions can fight just as easily and make a big noise about things that do not actually touch on the crux of the matter. We spend hours of our time and lots of energy to tackle one another on some theological point, which actually does not relate to the fact that we all believe in salvation through Christ Jesus and being saved because of it.

We should adopt this strategy in our marriages and our relationships as well. We should concentrate on what we agree on. Let’s find common ground. Let’s try our best to keep our emotions in check and not allow ourselves to fall back on default. Let the self go for once and look for those places where we agree and use that as a starting point for finding solutions to our disagreements.

Let’s defend the other one at all costs and so remain loyal to one another. Let’s feel with, live with and do with one another, because that will make the rope strong enough not to break and peace will reign in our lives every day.


How often do you fight?

Where can you find common ground?

Where can you feel, live and do more together?


Father, I know we fall back to default far too often, which leads to lots of upset because of all the fighting. I’m sorry about that. Please help us, Lord, to fight less. Please help us to find the place where we agree so that we can concentrate less on the differences. Please help us, Lord, to feel with, live with, and do with one another. Amen

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