Can We Agree To Disagree?

Sometimes it isn’t in agreement that we find harmony, but in finding a way to agree to disagree.

In joining the Five Minute community today, I’m marveling at the way God orchestrates the smallest details of our lives — even down to the focus He plans for our days.

This month, the essays featured in The Redbud Post include one I wrote nearly a year ago and which caused me more grief and contemplation than most anything I’ve ever composed. The Redbud theme this month is “Holiness in Diversity”. My original essay was titled “Smelly Church”. As I consider the word “agree” for five minutes today, I’ve just spent an hour reading through the other essays featured at The Redbud Post and I came away with this:

The one thing on which we as Christians can agree is that as children of God, living within the holy diversity He created, we’re faced with realities in which we must agree to disagree.

As children of God, living within the holy diversity He created, we're faced with realities in which we must agree to disagree. @5minutefriday #agree Click To Tweet

The word diversity holds a broader meaning than we might realize — the condition of having or being composed of differing elements; variety, especially the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization; an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Diversity brings differences. We of different cultural backgrounds, ethnic heritages, belief systems, traditions will not always agree. It’s what we do with our disagreements that can allow us to live in harmony — in agreement.

From my essay in The Redbud Post:

The virtuous concept of diversity, when it enters in carrying with it the weight of all its meanings, is a potent motivator to find a way to live in harmony with those who don’t do life (or church) in a manner or tradition we value. We’re not called to compromise, but rather to adjust our expectations, even to set aside long-held preferences. The shift could mean the difference between celebrating the holiness of our differences and allowing them to divide us. Even in church.

Can we agree that to live in harmony with the variety of people God placed in our world, we must learn to disagree with grace?

I hope you will take the time to read other profound and beautiful essays on the holiness of diversity at The Redbud Post.

“Is the flavor of diversity—differing elements or qualities—palatable where we do life? And just as importantly, where we worship God? Because that is why all of us gather in our churches on Sunday mornings—to worship God, the creator of diversity in all its meanings. We are different but the same, each of us sitting here, craving the only bread that will sate our hunger.” (Read more…..)

 

12 Comments

  1. I love your quote on agreeing to disagree! God certainly is a God of diversity. When I am faced wih things I just can’t wrap my head around I try to focus on the love of Christ for that person and where I was and am in my growing spiritually. To know that God is big enough to speak truth in every one and my job is to love them. It is not to agree with them. I can disagree, but I am commanded to love. Christ loved me while I was yet a sinner. Beautiful post. It is a word that spiders out in every direction. I am #33 (I think). Right after you.

  2. Great reflections here! It’s so true- we are never going to agree on everything but it makes a big difference if we can learn to disagree with grace. It’s a powerful witness to others if they are able to see that Christ unites us despite our diversity.

  3. There’s always someone watching or listening so it’s so very important to “disagree with grace”! Not always easy for me, but something, with God’s help, to work toward! Beautiful post, Ingrid!

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      Thank you, Cindy! I think we all struggle with this because we hold so tightly sometimes to our way of doing life. I loved this prompt. Got me thinking!

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      Absolutely! It’s easier to stand our ground, sometimes, rather than make way for other perspectives, attitudes, beliefs, traditions.

  4. Beautiful! Now, if we would all remember this in the midst of disagreeing and feeling that insistence on being right begin to rise up! If we would instead embrace grace and extend it outward to those around us! Agreeing to Disagree, and let love win (anyway!) – that is the goal in embracing diversity!

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      When we acknowledge that diversity is life itself, we can realize we’ll have plenty of practice in learning how to disagree gracefully. Thank you for dropping by!

  5. Ingrid, love this post! This theme is near to my heart. It is something with which my denomination is wrestling as well as our nation. Finding harmony is no small feat-it pokes at our humanity. Humility cannot be done on our own. Only through Christ (Phil 2)

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      Thank you, Stephanie. Sometimes we get blinded by the “big picture” where there’s much we can do to create harmony in our own backyard. Thanks for dropping by!

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