This morning, I do not know why God placed this topic on my heart. But nevertheless, I will discuss it. But let me address this question first – “where do my topics for discussion come from that I share on my social media platforms?”
I do not want to sound super-spiritual or religious, but I know no other way to respond to this question. Truthfully, let me answer this question with two verses from the Bible. First at Luke 12:12 where Jesus said
This statement by Jesus probably best describes my relationship and interactions with Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit. I really do not go looking at other people’s content on social media to see what they are talking about or looking for the latest trendy message or news that’s out there like some are known to do. I really don’t. I don’t even ask or beg God – “Oh, God give me something to say to the people that would inspire them and me.” NOPE! I do not do that either. And I don’t feel that I have to.
Continuing on, Jesus goes on and says at John chapter 8, verse 28.
This is how it always happens for me. I sit down for my traditional morning Bible reading & study time. And then when I less expect it, something I am reading just limps off the page at me. Then I start to hear words being spoken in my mind. Like an opening sentence to a story. I immediately sit down and listen to what I am hearing. As I am hearing what is spoken, I write down what I am hearing the LORD speaks to me. In that moment, I am like the LORD’s Scribe – capturing every word God dictates to me. I am God’s official or public secretary or clerk or communication agent as He once described me as. When describing me as His "communication agent", God’s Spirit took me to Jeremiah chapter 1 and had me read verses 7 through 9, which reads.
The best way to describe this encounter with God from my perspective is like this. It is like God removes me from the physical place I am sitting and takes me into a courtroom setting in heaven. In that setting, you have a Judge’s bench, the witness stand, the defendant and plaintiff’s tables, the jury box, the public sitting area, and the clerk & court reporter. That last one is me – the clerk & court reporter.
Sitting in a public courtroom hearing, sitting right next to God, who sits on the Judge’s bench, I am His clerk & court reporter, capturing everything that is spoken by Him.
So, this morning, before I got ready for work, I was reading and studying my Bible lesson in the book of Acts; when suddenly, without warning, I kept hearing in my spirit two phrases – “relationships” and “disagreements”. I did not know why I was hearing these words repetitively. And then when I less expect it, I heard the beginning of a sentence. Before a complete sentence was stated, it would stop in the middle of the sentence and start the phrase all over again. This kept repeating until I finally realized it was the LORD speaking. So, I sat down and pulled out my pen and paper to record what the LORD had to say. What He wanted to speak concerning the thing(s) that was heavy on His heart this morning to His people, to a particular person who visits this platform this often. If He is speaking to you this morning, you will know it after reading this post because it certainly will prompt and pull at your heart. That’s God speaking to you through me saying, “Hey, listen, you are offended and you are not looking at this situation right. So, let me speak to your heart and correct the way you are handling this particular matter.” So, let’s get into what the LORD is saying this morning TO YOU.
Disagreements with friends and growing relationships
In relationships, it is only natural to have disagreements. Disagreements over words. Disagreements over actions. Disagreements over politics. Disagreements over any and everything. There is no way to avoid disagreements if you are human. (Compare to Acts 6:1; Acts 11:1-3; Acts 15:2, 7).
But even with the contention that comes up between friends, lovers, family, and especially Christians, God has given us the ability to end all disputes. And this can be found in your character. Whatever kind of character or nature you possess often is displayed during times of disagreements or disputes. Especially with those you are close or forming new relationships with. For instance, we should ask ourselves. Will you use disagreements as an opportunity to understand the disposition of the other person? Can you properly discern whether or not the other person is trying to hurt or tear you down? Or are they trying to get you to see and understand another person's perspective that you would normally not see or overlook? Are you unknowingly being closed-minded concerning a matter? And is God using this person to open up your mind to something new or different from your usual way of seeing, thinking, or proceeding things? We have to be mindful that iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). Do we fully understand what this actually means? Proverbs 27:11 reads
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sharpens as
This is the goal or intent behind anyone who is trying to make you better than you are whenever you at odds with another or when one cannot see eye to eye on a matter. What another person says, or acts, or how they respond to you in time of disagreements should be done in such a way to sharper you. Hence, Proverbs chapter 27, verse 17 goes on and says.
What does this mean? The same dictionary defines “countenance” this way.
When a real (or true) friend challenges your perspective concerning a matter. It is not from the perspective of tearing you down. Or making social media comments that target you in hopes that you will read it and get the point. Or to make you look stupid. Or to embarrass you. Or to be negative. Or to disapprove of or show you disfavor. This is not the real aim of a real friend and a healthy growing friendship. If that is your view of your friend who disagrees or disputes with you, then you have to question
For every friend and or new relationship has disagreements. The closer you are, the more disagreements you will have. How you choose to view, handle, or resolve these disagreements will speak volumes about the nature of your true character.
How many times should i try to resolve a disagreement with the same person
With that being said, let’s end with this Scripture at Matthew 18:15-22. The first step that many, far too many of us skip is verse 15, which says.
It is our responsibility to approach our brother or sister that knowingly or unknowingly offended us and to tell them privately – “I was offended when you said when you did XYZ.” Your failure to approach your brother or sister or anyone for that matter, privately to air out, discuss, and resolve your dispute or disagreement with them speaks loudly to God about the nature of your character. Just the same, how your friend responds to your complaint says a lot about their character as well.
To close out, you really need to read those remaining verses at Matthew chapter 18, verses 15 through 22. But for the sake of time, we are going to drop down to verses 21 and 22, where the Apostle Peter asked Jesus
Noticed how Jesus responded to Peter’s question which also applies to us today whenever and wherever anyone, especially in regards to our relationships/friendships – when knowingly or unknowingly offends us by words or deeds. Jesus said to Peter
Which simply means a lot –every time our friends offend us knowingly or unknowingly. So, go resolve your differences with your friends, relationships, and family, especially Christian relationships today. For God will hold each one of us accountable for every account and their lack in resolving any and every disagreement we have with our friends.
The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).