Archive for November 17th, 2007

Agreeable Disagreement

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 15:36-41 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

Nestle into your favorite chair while I tell you a little story:

Imagine a young, sweet, eight year-old Julie. Always a little angel. Always mama’s favorite.

Now imagine big, bully, fourteen year-old brother. Always an instigator. Always getting in trouble.

(Well, this is how I always remember it!)

It was a typical weekday afternoon in my house. My brother was perched in front of the television while I scrambled to finish my homework as quickly as possible. Mom was pulling her rocking chair up to the piano, preparing for an afternoon of piano lessons.

The lessons began in regular fashion with the first student beating out monotonous scales and arpeggios while the metronome tick-tocking atop the piano echoed through the entire house. There almost seemed to be a certain aroma to that calm, disciplined learning environment that was created in the front room.

But that aroma soon turned into a stench following the hollers of my brother: “Give me the remote control! I don’t want to watch Sesame Street! I was here first! Mommmmm!!!”

And the piano stopped.

Mom marched into the family room, hands on hips, and sternly directed my brother: “Give your sister the remote. You are old enough to know better than to interrupt during my lessons. I don’t care who was here first.”

And I just sneered at my brother as she walked back into her lesson.

From the time we were children we have been raised or disciplined with the concept that conflict is bad. So we shout, pout, and argue our case so that we can come out on top as the winner. Besides, all we want in our lives is a little peace and quiet.

But disagreements can often turn out to be a blessing. Because Paul and Barnabas couldn’t agree on who would accompany them on their next journey, they parted ways. And it was this disagreement that allowed them to cover more territory, proclaiming the good news!

Though disagreements are often stressful and disturbing, there can be a positive outcome that will help mold and shape you for the future!

Thought for the day: Re-examine your disagreements and search for the positive that can be taken from them.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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