Glorifying God in Our Disagreements

Romans 14:22-15:6

 

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

 

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[aFor everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What is the trouble with arguing, fighting and disagreeing with each other? This is common in our culture. I mean, look at politics! Do these actions lead to love? And can they demonstrate the reality of God’s love in the world and our lives? Can we see the love of God in Jesus’ disagreements? I believe we can. And then, can we copy that? Are we able to follow His path? I believe we can and we must!

 

  1. Everything that Does not Come from Faith is Sin

 

  1. Communicating love to God by silence

First do no harm!!!

 

Realizing the goals of God for others, we prioritize their acting out of         strong faith instead of agreement on non-essential issues.

 

  1. When your words harm the faith of another
  2. Language like: destroying the work of God.
  3. Pay attention to where people are and how they are doing.
  4. Your conversations are about love and the good of others                 first, not about a display of knowledge. And knowledge is                             important and discovery is extremely fun! Those things are not                    excluded, they are just not primary.

 

  1. When the issue is not harming their faith

There is plenty of opportunity and I believe it is God’s will and design that we have healthy disagreements. Different gifting, different personalities, different families and cultures, different life experiences and different educational experiences. All of these things create differences of thought on issues.

If we love and respect each other and see each other as strong and as a good actor then I believe there is lots of room for discussion in love. In this instance we seek to learn from each other rather than carry the day!

 

  1. The Weak and the Strong
  2. Convinced people think they are the strong

 

 

 

 

  1. The strong bear more responsibility

       

Galatians 6:

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

 

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.

 

 

  1. This is the standard path

 

For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

 

You are not on an impossible path not traveled by others. This is God’s path in another person’s life. Don’t make God’s job harder.

 

Apply Jesus statement about stumbling:

Matthew 18:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

 

 

III. Blessed by God to Obey in These Matters

 

       May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      

  1. God gives endurance and encouragement

        You may find yourself in need of both of these essential qualities as      you manage the relationships in your life. I have good news. God has these for you! If you feel worn out and you just can’t deal with people       any more as the strong person, then call out to God!

 

 

  1. Have the attitude of Jesus toward others

 

God will give you this? It appears so!

 

Think of the sacrifice, love, endurance, giving and commitment         demonstrated by Jesus to God for the salvation of others. All of His         attitude is available to you because He is available to you.

 

Think of Matthew 11 in this way:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

  1. Glorifying God with One Mind and Voice

 

        Is unity important to you or is it a ho hum thing? I mean we have         lived with a lot of disunity for a long time now. And I don’t think that    it’s even a question of everyone agreeing or everyone going to the    same church. I think it is a matter of everyone having the same mind toward each other!

 

Jesus had a zealot, a tax collector (polar opposites!) disciples of John   the Baptist and others as His Disciples. We should not assume that    they are unified. They argue amongst themselves as to who is the     greatest. When Jesus is gone, what is going to happen to them? How will they keep from fracturing if He is not with them?  In the prayer   recorded by John in John 17 Jesus, at the end of His time      of ministry        (almost), prays this:

 

John 17: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

You will notice that Jesus includes us in this prayer and makes us a key source of demonstrating the glory of God.

 

so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

May we be so absorbed with glorifying God with one mind and voice together, that nothing get in the way and divide us from this!!