Why It’s Important to Agree to Disagree

I finally got a call back from a pastor who had 2 questions for me: What do I want to do in Poland, and what do I believe about the Bible. The first question was usual. But then he asked what translation I used. That’s when I lost him.

Well, this pastor started explaining how erroneous my translation was (I prefer the ESV), and how correct the King James Version was.

Bible translation is a crucial issue, but the general consensus is that several translations are acceptable and reliable. But this guy was insistent that he was right. Every time I tried to go our separate ways he just wanted to keep pressing his point of view.

Quite frankly, I didn’t care what translation he thought was the best. It was the way he pushed his view on me non-stop just left me annoyed, and quite frankly, left a really bad taste in my mouth.

For the record, I have no problem if people use King James. I know a lot of good people that still use it. But what I can’t stand is when people say one translation is better than another for no real reason.

“Some people just want to find facts that will justify their own opinions.”

But even more than that was this man’s attitude that he was absolutely right and was determined to prove it. At one point I explained that clearly we disagree about this and we should just part ways, but instead he continued trying to convert me.

When you work with other people you’re eventually going to disagree about some things. But what separates the “men from the boys” so to speak, is how you handle it. Here’s some positive reasons why you need to learn to agree to disagree and some negative ones too.

Positive reasons: 

  • You’re still friends in the end. There’s no need to lose a friend or partner over a non-crucial issue. For example, I prefer chairs over pews in a church, but my wife is the opposite. Is this going to ruin our marriage? No way!
  • You’ve shown that you can work with people. Being able to disagree with someone and still work with them in a responsible way shows maturity. It shows that you can see past the disagreement and see them for their worth.
  • It shows the love of Christ. Being able to disagree in a mature, calm way can show that you care for the person even if you disagree. Where do Christians seem to disagree the most? Church. How will people know we’re Christians? Loving each other.

Negative reasons:

  • You come across as arrogant. Just the opposite is true when you can’t get along. You come across as arrogant and proud. Nobody wants to be around someone that thinks they have the authoritative view on everything.
  • It reflects on all of your ministry. Questions arise like, “Do they dictate everything?” or “Will he destroy me for bringing up this new idea?”If people perceive you as close-minded on small issues, then they see you that way for everything you do.

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