Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Learning from Disagreement!

One thing we are going to learn in life, if we always agree, we are not being truly honest! Learning comes from disagreement, seeing the other side even when we do not want to (Acts 5:33-39). One thing we have to learn is agreeing to disagree. Why? Because that is when we truly can learn and grow, and come to understand others ideas, though not matching ours, can indeed teach us.

When we learn to listen, when we learn to communicate, in a way that does not discourage others, even  though we are not seeing eye to eye. We are keeping an open door to dialog, we are not shutting people down, we are lifting them up. We are telling them that they are still important and their ideas matter. Even when ideas are in conflict with one another.

The important thing to always remember, we may not agree, but if we are adamant about how right we are, it may keep that person from ever sharing ideas again! We never want to do that! We never want to keep a person, or imply, that the person we do not agree with, will never have anything to add. We want to keep the doors of communication open always. 

The best way to do that, we need to learn to disagree agreeably. The fact of the matter, when we can learn to do this, we may find we are the ones who may have been mistaken. When we can humbly admit  mistakes to someone we have had a disagreement with, that opens doors to a stronger more trusting relationship. Admitting a wrong does not make us wrong, it just means we need to rethink some things.

Gamaliel was a religious man, a pharisee to be exact, they did not want the disciples of Jesus to continue preaching the gospel. They were trying to figure a way to stop them, even kill them if they had too. Gamaliel did not agree to this approach, instead, he used some facts about past events to get their ears. They may not have agreed with him on his approach, but that had to agree on the facts.

The council wanted to get rid of what they thought their problem was right now! No waiting! Gamaliel suggested just the opposite, they needed to wait. If they move to soon it could be a big mistake. They needed to let God take care of this situation. if this idea was of man it will fall short, but if it is truly of God, they would be fighting Him, a challenge they did not want to undertake.

So while we may not agree on all points, are we willing to listen and learn from what we may not agree on? Are we willing to weigh in on the facts more than opinions? It pays to listen, it pays to not jump the gun, it pays to learn from our disagreements, rather than cause unnecessary stress and confusion trying to prove a point! Pray, pray, and pray that we may learn to disagree, agreeably, and learn!