Re:Verse reading–Acts 11:1-26 (day three)  

“Surely not, Lord!”  There is a strain of thinking that warns us against disagreement with God, against verbalizing our negative reaction to his direction.  But repeatedly in scripture we see honesty with God met not with anger, but engagement. Abraham opposed God’s intention to destroy Sodom, and God granted escape to Abraham’s family.  Jonah disputed God’s withholding of the destruction of Nineveh, and that conversation enabled Jonah to see God’s compassion for non-Hebrews.  Here, Peter’s honest dissent resulted in the revelation that Christ came to seek and to save all men, regardless of ethnicity or culture.  There is such a thing as rebellion against God.  But disagreement is not disloyalty.  God can tell the difference.  And he’ll use it as an occasion to shine the light of understanding.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Pastoral Ministries at FBCSA.

One thought on “Argue”

  1. Disagreement is a reality of life. It is important for a leader to be able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view. As we work or live alongside with one another, disagreement will occur due to differences in cultural background, family background, educational background, life and work experience background. It is important for us, especially for leaders, to see, sense, and examine situations from the other person’s point of view. I am more concerned for a “team” or a workplace where people are quiet, disengaged, and just go along to get along. Diversity in views is a strength, not a weakness. Great leaders will always seek for everyone’s view if they want to promote effective teamwork and high level of engagement in serving a mission.

    Disagreement usually carries a negative undertone but disagreement does not have to be negative. Disagreement is a reality in all walks of life, especially in the life of leaders in leading others toward a mission. The very best leaders don’t ignore disagreement but seek for disagreement, act upon it and manage it very well. Disagreement of team members can serve as a venue for open and honest discussion which can lead to better understanding.

    It is also important to notice those who are quiet in the room or are not engaged. They may have a different view but do not feel comfortable to express their views in the current setting. All views matter if we want to succeed as a team and as an organization, profit and non-profit organizations alike. Argument often carries a negative connotation so I will consider the term “disagreement” for my comment.

    A productive team or workgroup can only be effective when everyone feels their view is welcomed. Therefore, the job of a great leader is to create an open and inviting environment in which everyone feels disagreement is okay and valued. Great leaders act upon disagreement and consider all views before arriving a decision. An effective organization is the one where all voices are heard and all views are considered.

    I find that in general, people who care for the success of a mission will express their disagreement in some shapes or forms if leaders create a warm and open communication environment. Also it is important not to ignore those who are quiet. They may have good ideas and have the knowledge and the spiritual skills that leaders may need for arriving effective decisions. Jesus is a great example for us to learn from and to lead with results and with compassion.

    Everyone can lead like Jesus and one does not have to be in a formal position to lead. I find that I learn more from bad leaders than good leaders, and from negative people than positive people because I know what I don’t want to do. We can learn more from people who disagree with us and who are different from us.

    How do you handle disagreements? Do you encourage disagreements? Do you have all “YES” men in the room? Rethink!

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