Christ Honoring Disagreements: How to Disagree In An Age of Vitriol

On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus bowed His head and prayed for His followers.  He prayed for the 12, He prayed for the new disciples they would train, and He prayed for the generations of followers to come.  After praying for our safety from evil and for our preservation through suffering, He added a final request.

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”  John 17:22-23

Clearly, our unity was on Christ’s mind as He offered up His prayer.  However, we can’t forget, unity does not mean uniformity.

People often confuse them.  While we are called to be one, to work together, to serve together, we cannot ignore the fact we are all different.  Each one of us bears unique DNA.  Each one of us has been shaped by God differently.  We have different view-points, different opinions, different preferences, different ways of solving problems, even different ways of coming to conclusions.

If a pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the fact that reasonable, well intentioned, believers can come to different conclusions.

We find ourselves at a place of disagreement in our country today.  Many want to re-open the economy one way, others want to wait, or open it in another way. Many want to argue on social media or in the news. The questions for you:  How does the believer handle disagreement? Let’s allow God to answer it.  Here is an excerpt from my sermon on Sunday from romans 14:1-12 with 3 truths that will help you become a dispenser of grace.

3 Aspects of Dispensing Grace.
1 — Dispensing grace begins with mutual acceptance.

Accepting another person doesn’t require you to agree with them.  You can respectfully disagree with ideas or opinions without rejecting the person.  Acceptance takes the other person seriously and gives room for differing preferences.  One person’s taste in music, food, art, clothing, can be vastly different.

After reviewing the facts, and prayer, their desire to go back to work might be different than yours.  Acceptance allows another person the opportunity to be different without judgment, takes the time to understand and extends the benefit of the doubt.

Acceptance allows others to feel valued in being who they are, even when their bad decisions must be called out or their opinions challenged.  There are times we confront error and sin; the Bible commands it.  And sometimes godly confrontation leads to separation.  It isn’t pleasant, but its right.  When certain convictions are clearly established in scripture and maintaining a relationship requires you to compromise biblical convictions, something has to give.  In this case, the Bible stands and the relationship must give.

2 — Dispensing grace requires releasing others to be who Jesus desires them to be.

This is simply releasing someone who has harmed you to answer to God for their actions.  He will do what’s best.  Hey, an attitude of grace refuses to be someone else’s Holy spirit!

3 — Dispensing grace forbids me from judging another.

I cannot become someone else’s judge because I do not possess the right qualifications.

  • I am not omniscient.  I don’t’ really have all the facts.  You and I barely have enough to make our own wise decisions.
  • I am not completely objective.  I am biased.  I am selfish.  I am finite.  I don’t’ see the big picture.
  • I can condemn but I cannot redeem.  When God confronts sin, He always offers a way of redemption.  Jesus died on the cross to make that happen.  The Spirit can convict and then transform.  The Father offers hope to the failure.  My condemnation does only one thing, it offers only rejection.

Christian you must be a dispenser of grace and there is no better time or place to start than now.

Who do you need to give grace to?
A child…
A spouse…
A friend…
A coworker…
Grace is getting something great you don’t deserve.  Christ gave it to you, now give it to another.
Pastor Chris Williams
Pastor Chris is the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Church.




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