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What Do We Agree On?

Focus on commonalities not differences

1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 2 – When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (NIV)

I’ve always appreciated these words of Paul’s, but it feels like they have even more relevance these days. Focusing on what we have in common rather than on our differences is an important key to harmony. After all, we’re all human and ALL lives matter.

Paul’s statement applies to more than a discussion about race. I was thinking about a few other areas that have the potential to cause division, even within my own family: religion and politics.

A couple of my daughters have found a church home in a denomination that is quite liturgical, abandoning their upbringing in the more charismatic denomination where my husband and I have ministered. I do not agree with some of the doctrine that they now embrace. We could both use scripture to defend our beliefs about infant baptism or the modern day working of the Holy Spirit, but where ever humans are involved there will be varying interpretations of scripture and I believe we tread on dangerous ground when we start drawing lines in the sand. Rather than endless debates about who is “right’ and who is “wrong”, I prefer to focus on this: They love and proclaim Jesus. Like Paul, I choose to “know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Politics are another potential area of disagreement. I freely admit that I have pacifist tendencies, although I have never aligned myself with any one political party and I try not to be too vocal about my political leanings, which are probably more to the left if the truth be told. In recent years it has become apparent that my political views do not line up with a couple of my sons-in-law. We could argue about it and let it come between us, but at the end of the day, no human political system is ever going to be perfect. Instead, I find it best to agree to disagree. What I CAN agree on is that we love the same people – their wives (my daughters) and their children (my grandchildren).

Personal preferences and opinions need to be coupled with respect so that they don’t become points of dissension among friends and family. God is a God of infinite variety! Wouldn’t it be boring if we all thought, acted and looked the same? At the root, though, there are some things that cannot be denied. God made people in His image, including all the varieties of race and ability. Then He told us to love one another. If we could keep these two simple truths in mind the rest would fall into place.

2 Comments

  1. Pam M says:

    So true Tracy. We have so much political stuff in our faces now and we are divided as never before but I feel we should put away arguments and just focus on our common mandate from Jesus, like you said , to know Him and to proclaim Him and to love one another. While we may each feel strongly about our own political beliefs, It is time for the church to rise up and be unified and the only way we can do it, I believe, is to focus on Christ alone.

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