Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Settling Our Differences

Philippians 4:2 (NLT)

Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.

RayMcDWhen my brother and I – or my sister and I – or my brother and sister would have a disagreement – even an argument – my parents would remind us that we were siblings and that we should get along. The argument might have been over what TV show to watch (we had one TV in the whole house). The argument might have been over who’s turn it was to ride our loan bike (me and my sister before we got our own – see here). Whatever it was about – it wasn’t worth siblings being upset with one another for sure. We would settle our disagreements and move on.

Carolyn and I would remind our daughters the same thing. We would often tell them – that no matter how hard it might be at times to get along – your sisters (we had three daughters) – would always be there for you. Often – they would be your best friend(s) in life. They had some doozies at times – but they patched things up and carried on – loving each other. They settled their disagreements and moved on with life.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Paul – writing to the Christians in Philippi – gave these words of encouragement. There were disagreements – even in the early Christian Church. Philippians 4:1–9 (NLT) 1 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. 2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life. 4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

In a few months – our denomination will hold a special General Conference. We’re holding this GC because of our inability to see Scripture the same – because we see sin differently. We’re in disagreement with sisters and brothers – and we are to the point where we are ready to divide and go our different ways. Oh – how I wish there were another way (and not the way of each do their own thing).

Having pastored for 40 plus years – I’ve seen a number of marriages end – with each person going their own way – because they could not settle their disagreement. How I wished – often – that the couple could work things out. I think – working things out – would often – if not always – please our Lord. But – all too often – the couple decides to part ways. Often – they seem to thrive a part – often not. I think that is where we are headed as a denomination and I can only pray – if we cannot solve our differences – that we part ways on a good note and all sides thrive as they reach people for Jesus (more to come). I wish we could settle our differences – but it seems like divorce is in the future for our beloved church,

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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August 31, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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