Disagreements with Fellow Believers

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Acts 15:37-38 “And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.”

Disagreements will happen in the ministry. Everyone has their opinions about how things should be done; however, we don't have to become contentious with those that we disagree with. Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement, and sadly their disagreement divided this great team of the Gospel. One can only imagine how many more souls could be saved if they could have stayed together. Yes, God made the best out of the disagreement, but it was a disagreement that probably could have been resolved in a better way. Let me give you several thoughts about how you should handle disagreements with fellow believers.

First, realize that you are not always going to agree with others. You are flesh, and flesh is sinful; therefore, disagreements are going to happen. You must determine before you have a disagreement that you are not going to let your disagreements with others destroy the work of God.

Second, you don’t have to be an enemy with those you disagree with. It doesn't mean that because you have to go to war against someone because you disagree with them. You can disagree and still work together, but it will take a spiritual person to do this.

Third, pray and ask God to see if you are wrong when you have a disagreement with someone. I know this may be hard to take, but you are not always right. Instead of going to war with someone you disagree with, go to prayer and ask God to help you resolve the issue in a Christlike manner and show you where you could be wrong.

Fourth, don’t force the issue. One of the biggest reasons we have infighting is because we force the issue instead of dropping it. Let me be plain about this; get over yourself! If you are still carrying a grudge with someone you had a disagreement with months and years ago, you are not right with God. At some point you must determine to drop the issue, and it is better to drop it early on instead of trying to force the issue and cause greater contention. The more you try to force the issue, the greater the contention will become.

Fifth, be willing to lay aside the disagreement for the greater cause of the Gospel. The greatest cause a believer can live for is the Gospel, and you should be willing to put your disagreement aside with others for the Gospel’s sake. Don't let the Gospel suffer because of your unwillingness to let go of a disagreement with others.

Sixth, don’t try to destroy the one with whom you have a disagreement. It is evil to try to destroy others. Even if you are right about the disagreement, you should not become wrong by trying to destroy another believer. It is God’s job to punish others, not you; therefore, don’t make destroying others your life’s focus. Give your disagreement to God for Him to handle and stay busy reaching the lost for Christ.

Seventh, never forget the years of service together if you separate over the disagreement. You did serve with that person for years; let that be your memory of them if you disagree. Don't bring up the disagreement about them to others, but bring up the years you served together. This is the best way to keep yourself from becoming evil.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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