God’s Word for Today: Disagree
Acts 28:24-27: Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
I was reading the other day about the acknowledgement of the oldest Copy of the Old Testament being recognized as a World Treasure. It is like someone woke up and said, this ancient copy of God’s Word is probably pretty important, and maybe we should recognize it. That was the light bulb part. The next part of the article talked about the ongoing argument of who the rightful owner is. I believe right now, it is under the guard and protection of Israel, but the Syrians actual have rightful claim of ownership. My question would be, why?
God must have a sense of humor. And, if you want, you can argue that point. Then we are precisely where today’s message wants to be. We as a human race like to argue. Something as magnificent and wonderful as an original manuscript of the Old Testament bible is noted, and all we can do is argue about who owns the thing. If we would even get a hint of what the Bible says, maybe we would realize the whole world owns that Bible. Or, maybe we could even argue that the no one actually owns the Bible. It is simply a gift from God for all to hear His word. Why do we have to disagree? I can see God just shaking His head.
How many other aspects of the Christian walk are being overlooked, ignored, or not realized because we are too busy disagreeing over their meaning? This Church interprets it as that. But this other Church sees it this way. Wars have been fought over this simple book of Truth and Love. What a stupid disagreement. Harsh yes, but true.
I have been fortunate to be a part of a Bible study that comes to our house once a week. I don’t agree with all of the interpretations of Scripture that are being discussed and scripted. But, with my limited language skills of Portuguese and Spanish, I cannot even put up a good argument. As much as I disagree with some of the Doctrine, I simply have to sit there and take it.
At first, when faced with a strong desire to disagree, I would sit and let my mind conger up every argument imaginable. I needed to disagree. I needed to be right. I had to tell them the error of their ways. How could I accept anything less that exactly what I was taught and what I believed?
Then, I realized the error of my ways. Sure, there were things I chose to disagree with. And yes, I strongly believe they have some teachings that go way off into left field. But I had a choice. Isn’t it amazing that our Wonderful God always gives us a choice? My choice was to close and lock the doors of my mind because I disagreed, or to open my mind a little further, listen to their words, and find the good they were delivering. Simply put, quit focusing on the bad, absorb the good.
Oh, was that a relief. Instead of sitting their letting my face turn red and concentrating on all the negative, I began to listen to God’s Word from a different point of view. We are all different. You and I, each and every one, is going to read the Bible and receive each word a little differently. And, that is OK. The secret is in receiving the word and putting it into practice. Not forcing our practice on someone else.
Today, let us try to throw disagree out the window. Truth be told, God is ultimately the one who is correct. It is time to start seeing with our eyes, hear with our ears, and understand with our hearts.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, Master and Scripter of the Good Book. I thank you for every word you wrote in the Bible. Forgive me for wanting to disagree with the way other people receive your word. Help me to hear, see, and understand your Word that you wrote just for me. In Jesus’, who didn’t disagree, but simply delivered the Truth, name I pray. Amen.