Weekly Feature



2018-06-13 / Lifestyles

CLERGY COLUMN

Finding agreement can bridge gaps
REV. ALDEN SNELL
American Baptist Minister

Have you ever participated in a game of tug-of-war? I have seen it done in a variety of ways. One of the most interesting is when there is a wet area between the two opposing teams. It creates a difficulty of getting a firm footing in trying to hold to one’s position against the force of the other team pulling toward the mud.

The ability to hold to one’s position of thought or faith is also a challenge faced by every Christian. There is a sense that each day we can find ourselves involved in a “tug-of war.” We face daily the choice of doing God’s will or of sinning and doing Satan’s will.

In times of struggle, it is helpful to remember Jesus’ instructions on how to deal with disagreements and in finding agreement among people, especially Christians. Jesus would have us know that most often when agreement is found within God's will, God will bring the decisions into being reality.

It is necessary for us to realize that the potential for personal sin stays a part of our human nature throughout our lives on earth. Sin creates a broken relationship on several levels. Sin breaks off one’s relationship with God and other people. We must never tolerate any situation in which there is a break in a personal relationship. If a break of relationship does occur, Jesus reminds us that it is necessary to talk about it.

Before talking about a problem with another, put the wrong into words. It stifles the imagination to consider the number of problems that could have been avoided if people had decided to speak one-on-one with others over a problem. A discussion on a problem is to be in an atmosphere of Christian prayer, Christian love and Christian fellowship that problems might be solved and relationships restored.

When we seek to find God’s will through unselfish prayer and communication, it will be discovered. We may find the answer a little different from what we first expected. What we will always find is that it is an answer God gives in his wisdom and love and that God knows to be best to help in life.

One of the best aspects of Christians finding agreement and gathering to celebrate is the promise that Jesus will be with us. Jesus is wherever faithful hearts meet. It may be in a home, a place of work, a fellowship group or a church congregation. The question that needs to be answered at times is, “Do we acknowledge truth in our lives personally and as a Church?” I pray that as our lives continue, we will be willing to talk about our differences in an effort to find agreement within God’s will. I pray that we will treat all people with love and never leave the hope that they can walk with Christ along with one another.

Let us agree to settle problems with open communication, as we speak with God for the wisdom to know what we are to do. God has promised to bring into being the life relationships, the ministries and the mission upon which we reach agreement in Christ’s name. Who knows what impact on our world we might have if we all agree to be in ministry for Jesus each day of our lives.

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