Have you ever disagreed with someone? I know that’s a silly question because if there’s air in your lungs, you’ve had a serious disagreement with someone. I’ve had some painful disagreements before with people I love and respect. I felt like they were making decisions that were detrimental to the lives of several people so I spoke up. When I did, they doubled down on their course of action. The wedge between us grew and became an issue. It was an ugly and painful time for both of us. In the end, we met privately and determined it was best to find a way to put the disagreement behind us in order to keep the relationship in tact. To this day, we still have differing opinions about how things should have been done, but it’s a non factor in our relationship. The Biblical thing to do was to put the matter in the past and we did.
The Bible is full of people who had disagreements. Miriam and Aaron had a disagreement with Moses about his wife and that God was speaking through him. Joseph’s brothers disagreed that they would bow down before them. Jacob and Esau had a disagreement over the theft of the birthright. Job and his friends disagreed on why he was suffering. Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement over John Mark going on the second missionary trip. Paul and Peter also had it out over Peter not eating with Gentiles. I’m sure there are more, but you get the picture. In each of these cases there was something that happened that allowed them to put the disagreement behind them even if they didn’t go forward together. They didn’t let the disagreement create a root of bitterness in their lives.
In the Philippian church, two women had a serious enough disagreement that word made it back to Paul. So he wrote directly to them in Philippians 4:2, “Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement” (NLT). If Paul wanted them to settle their disagreement, God wants us to as well. When our disagreements become a distraction to the Gospel, our witness or the love of Christ, we must resolve them. He didn’t tell them they had to reconcile, but they did have to settle it. The same goes for us, especially between believers. We are called to be one body that works in harmony. Disagreements that impair our ability to further the Kingdom must be resolved. Don’t wait for the other person to try to settle it. You reach out, find a way to put it behind you and move forward because you belong to the Lord.