Topic: 1 Corinthians 1:10
"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." 1 Corinthians 1:10
The Bible doesn't tell us "one anothers" to just get along with one another. Even the worst of enemies can bury their differences for a short time when it's beneficial for meeting a mutual goal.
But God, sending a note through our big brother, Paul, calls us to a higher standard than just getting along: "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose" (Philippians 2:1-2).
Our testimonies are validated by how we get along with other believers -- that is, how we get along with one another in our congregations, our small groups, our choir rehearsals, our deacon/elder meetings, not to mention our families. Jesus says, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
Yet, love doesn't look much like love when it's accompanied by arguments and disputes and constant fighting. My spiritual mentor, Steve Pettit, notes this is perhaps the hardest aspect of authentic Christian fellowship -- because conflicts arise every time people are thrown together. Even a man and a woman who vow to love one another until "death do us part" can't always see eye-to-eye.
It's understandable, then, when a group of people who have nothing in common, except for the Jesus-life inside them, find it difficult to agree with one another all the time, perhaps even difficult to agree even one time.
What does this mean?
- Take your disputes to Jesus. We may have differing opinions, but on this one thing we must agree: Jesus is the head and his opinions are the only ones that matter (James 4:7). As we submit to Jesus, he will wash away our divisions and disputes with love that flows from the fountain of God.
- Agree to agree with Jesus. Has God brought to mind someone with whom you need to work out some differences? Instead of trying to make the other person agree with you, agree with God and submit to what God tells you to do. If God so leads, tell those on the other side of a conflict or dispute that you are willing to submit to the will of Jesus and encourage them to do the same.
Have you "disagreed" with Jesus lately, or with a close friend with whom you should try to reconcile?