My husband and I have had a disagreement for our entire 30+-year relationship. It’s over the pronunciation of the word “coupon.” He says, “kyoopon,” and I say, “koopon.” Maybe it can be attributed to the fact that we’re from diverse parts of the United States, but in all our years together, I’ve never been able to straighten him out. 

Nor has he been able to change me.

Now, obviously, the pronunciation of a word is a very mild issue. We don’t let it bother us. Mostly it’s a joke between us. “Did you bring the kyoopon?” “No, but I brought the koopon.” That kind of thing.

My dictionary app says we’re both right. It’s just a matter of preference.

Recently, my pastor said this: “I could believe the lie that the way I see things must be the truth. That the way I see things should be the only way it should be seen. I could have the arrogance to tell you that you should see things my way.”

That’s what it is, isn’t it? Arrogance that my way is the right way. We’ve got blinders on for sure.

But disagreement is not a new problem. Even the Apostle Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement that they went their separate ways. The story is told in Acts 15:36-41. The interesting thing is, the Bible doesn’t tell us they were in sin. In fact, both went on to have very fruitful ministries encouraging the churches. And later on we read that Paul asked specifically for John Mark, the one over whom they argued, to be brought to him when he was in prison (2 Timothy 4:11).

It is God who brings the growth. It is God who brings restoration.

In his classic book The Grace Awakening, pastor and teacher Chuck Swindoll wrote,

 “If the great apostle [Paul] had no list, if he was what he was by the grace of God, considering himself undeserving, I can assure you, we are all in the same camp, equally unqualified, undeserving, yet unconditionally loved by our Father. For there to be true maturity, people must be given room to grow, which includes room to fail, to think on their own, to disagree, to make mistakes. Grace must be risked or we will be stunted Christians who don’t think, who can’t make decisions, who operate in fear and without joy because we know nothing but someone else’s demands and expectations. When will we ever learn? God delights in choosing those most unworthy and making them the objects of His unconditional acceptance” (p. 65).

This month as we explore the topic of “agreeing to disagree.” I ask that you would pray, “God, help me to see what I’m not seeing.” Maybe you’re wearing blinders on a certain subject. or you’ve been prideful when talking about something with someone you disagree with. I know I have, on subjects way beyond the pronunciation of a word with my husband.

God’s grace on you as you read.

Stephanie Reeves
Editor in Chief

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