The Crossway Podcast

Dealing With Disagreement

November 11, 2020 Crossway Church
The Crossway Podcast
Dealing With Disagreement
Show Notes Transcript

How should we think about and handle disagreement with others? What does it look like to be united in the midst of disagreement? Let's talk about it!

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Josh Arruda:

Well, Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Crossway Podcast. My name is Josh and today I am in the studio with our Student Pastor, Colton key.

Colton Key:

Yeah, and I just want to kick us off today by talking a little bit about what we've been going through over the past several weeks on our Sunday morning services we've been going through the sermon series called beneath the surface has been dealing with a lot of very pointed at specific emotions that we have and how we, how we dive into those things and how our relationship with Jesus relates to those things and kind of how we work through certain especially when it comes like negative emotions and stuff like that. And a quick recap of this week, TJ had a great message that talked about fear and how we handle fear. And he talked through the story and mark for where we get this description of Jesus and his disciples on a boat, after Jesus and his disciples had done a lot of work sharing the good news with groups of people and Jesus was tired and was was resting and while they were on a boat, they they ran into this, this problem of, of weather and the d isciples became very fearful, to the point where they, they literally thought that they were going to die. And he brought up some really great points TJ did, while he talked us through the story of the disciples and their fear. And there's just a couple points that I want to point out before we kind of move in to today's discussion. One is, sometimes we end up in storms, whereas in moments where fear takes over our lives, even when we are followers of Jesus, I thought that was a really good point that TJ made this weekend. Because I think a lot of times we we get this we get this relationship with Jesus, we accept Christ into our heart, and we think everything's gonna be good moving forward. And that's just not true. We talked a little bit about

Josh Arruda:

We talked about that before

Colton Key:

And then another point that TJ made this week that I just always really good relating to that story, Adam, Adam, Mark, chapter four is when we find ourselves in fear, we tend to begin relying on everything else other than Jesus, which we see happening with the disciples on the boat right. They're, they're so scar d, they start relying on all th se things. And, and they're j st they're, they're just to a po nt where they think that they re going to die, even though th ir access to safety is literally on the boat with them. Yeah, rig t. And so those are just two gr at points that I wanted to kind of recap for us. And if you have 't watched that message yet, m ke sure to go to our YouTube. Ye h, YouTube link and yeah, YouT be chan

Josh Arruda:

So something that we wanted to sort of piggyback off of that, that whole idea about and talk about, especially now, given the current state of culture and the whole presidential election and everything that's happening, and the sort of, the sort of tension that's going on between a lot of people in our country. We wanted to talk about disagreement, and that's relationship to fear. Because oftentimes, we misshandle the tension of disagreement in our lives, because we're afraid, right? This is sort of, sort of like, what you were just saying about what TJ had to say about fear, sort of, sort of dictating the way that we handle situations or storms or points of tension in our life. And I think disagreement, especially in a culture and a climate like we're in now is a big one of those. Like I said, we, we tend to miss handle that sort of storm, we miss handle that tension, and we do it on the basis of fear, right? So maybe we're afraid of losing a belief that we have or looking stupid, or letting our emotions get the best of us or, you know,3 seeming, just like we don't know what we're talking about, or whatever it is

Colton Key:

Yeah every time we get trapped in that corner.

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, every time, every time there's, there's, there's tension or disagreement.We tend to let the default motivation, the default handlings be fear. And I think the biggest mistakes that we make when we have or when we confront or find ourselves in the middle of disagreement are really two things and I think they're both motivated by fear. The first is we disengage or we disconnect. Or we become

Colton Key:

Yes.

Josh Arruda:

Like I mean, speaking from my own life, this is the way it typically goes. When I'm letting fear dictate defensive. Right? the terms of disagreement. Right? I either am going to withdraw, I'm not going to participate at all. Or I'm going to become extremely defensive. Maybe angry. maybe aggressive. divisive

Colton Key:

Yeah. Which which is I think why especially when it comes to the the defensiveness is why I think humility becomes key. This is something that is, I would admit is very true in my life and in the way that I want to naturally handle conflict is I go about it through anger. And so you should approach your disagreement with the mindset that if anyone gets mad if anyone is angry, you've lost, and that starts with you. Right?

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, absolutely. And before you say more about that, because there's, I mean, I'm sure we could pull up verses and stuff. But I think, I think what you're alluding to is exactly right, like, instead of letting fear dictate the terms of our disagreement, we should let love dictate the terms of disagreement.

Colton Key:

Absolutely.

Josh Arruda:

Let me...now with that in mind, like just thinking about that, let me read to you the verse that we always read at weddings, but instead of thinking about weddings, let me read it in the context of, it in the context of this: letting love be the dictator about how you handle dissension and disagreement in your life. So 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4-6, ever body's going to know it from we dings, says "love is patient. ove is kind, it does not envy, t does not boast. It is not pr ud. It does not dishonor others it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. It k eps no record of wrongs. Love d es not delight in evil, but r joices with the truth." And think that, I think that's perf ct for understanding the terms d ctated or the terms that sh uld be understood within the con ext of disagreement, and diss nsion, right, because I don' think that disagreement is nece sarily a bad thing. Like contend ng for something in a princip ed and reasoned way is a good thing. Right, like, that's how we all that's the process we all go through in order to en ourage one another to disco er the truth. Right, like w bring clashing ideas, and we xamine them. But that can be one in very unhealthy ways. And think typically, our defa lt is, unless we put some thin s into practice, our defaul is to become afraid or to mi handle these things in that ay. So yeah. Back to sort f what you're saying about hu ility, the practical ways of making your disagreement be han led in terms of love as opp

Colton Key:

Yeah, so one of the things that that I always sed t encourage people to do in the midst of Okay, I'm angry, angry, or we're using the word fearful, but I think fearful turns into anger, at least it does in my context, most of the time when I feel some tension in the conversation, that fear turns into anger. And, like I said a moment ago, if anyone is angry, if anyone leaves the conversation angry, then really, we've lost. And so what I encourage people to do usually, from the get go is if you find yourself in a tense moment, and you're immediately angry, don't dive into that conflict until you are on the other side of that anger. Because, like you mentioned a minute ago, like our goal is love. And so, we want to resolve those issues in the conflict or the conversation, disagreement, whatever it might be, in the most healthy way. So first, we want to take care of our emotions, and then we want to make sure that we're treating the emotions of the other person properly.

Josh Arruda:

Yeah. And, I like what you're saying, if anyone gets angry, then you lose, right? Because if the other person gets angry, and even if you're not angry, I think you still lose, because the likely you know, and the goal and the seeking after of truth is not going to be accomplished very easily if somebody is upset, right? How often? Or how willing is somebody to see another point of view, or change their mind about something if you're mad?

Colton Key:

And I think while we're searching for truth together, really we should also be searching for like a sense of unity. And that unity is not there if somebody left incredibly angry at the other. So you know, so we should let people see that you value them in those conversations and not just your correct ideas. So when you're right, in those moments, like your goal is not to win your point of view, your goal is to win that person over to the truth, or that person win you over. And sometimes we don't want to admit that that's actually the reality. Which I think we're gonna talk about little later. There's, there's a couple verses here that I want to I want to read to you Philippians 2 verse 3 "Do nothi g out of selfish ambition o vain conceit. Rather, in hum lity, value others above yoursel , not looking to your own inte ests, but each of you to the in erest of the others." So back o the unity and bringing ev ryone together. And the reason e are concerned with others k owing the truth is that we care about who they are, the person f who they are. And trying to build into that unity. And they hould be able to tell that t at is always the

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, so the motivation is love. And people need to understand that. Otherwise you do end up in a situation where it's just like somebody's getting mad, or you're getting mad if they can't, if they don't feel or sense that the reason that you're engaging or the reason that you're concerned about their ideas, or your own ideas, or whatever, is so that we can all be on the same page when it comes to truth. And that's a good thing. And we care about that in each other's lives.

Colton Key:

Yes, so we should always...sorry,

Josh Arruda:

oh, I was just gonna say, you know, like a Facebook stomping ground is probably not the best expression of that if you ask me, it can be, it can be but...

Colton Key:

Mhm, yeah so our approach should always be humility and what I think the best approach in difficult conversations or disagreement is, the kind of the starting ground is make sure your emotions are in check. And make sure you understand that you're going into it to try to resolve unity and not push that person away with their own sense of anger.

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, so humility. Exactly, step one, if you want to handle disagreement in a healthy way, be humble. Another way that you can actually do this more practically, is to become a student of other people's ideas. Oftentimes, we approach disagreement and the way that we see other people's ideas based on misunderstood or caricatured versions of other people's ideas, right? And this happens all the time. Because a lot of the times we're plugging in information into people's viewpoints, and assuming a whole lot about what people actually believe. And it's usually never...

Colton Key:

Accurate?

Josh Arruda:

Well, and not just accurate, but it's usually always a caricature, because it's easy for us to tear down weak and bad versions of what people believe right, and that's just probably a default position that we tend to take. And so one of the best steps to move towards unity, is to fully understand those who disagree with you, right? Like, don't plug in those assumptions. Don't make up caricatured versions, or assume everything, all the reasoning that somebody has for some idea, before you actually become a student of their ideas themselves. Before you enter into the weeds of back and forth discussion, make sure that you have enough of the right information from that person in order to assess it correctly, right? Ask questions and make serious attempts to understand other people's points of view. Because this is going to provide you with an avenue to not disconnect, but also not get defensive. Right? This is going to give you a way of staying engaged and keeping everybody calm, because people want you to know what they really think. And they don't want you to caricature their ideas, right? You don't want that of other people, right? And so yeah, one of the best ways that you can practice being humble in the middle of a conversation of disagreement, is to take a step back and actually just listen to somebody explain themselves and understand all of that correctly. And this is a very biblical idea. I'm just going to read through a bunch of verses that all come out of Proverbs, that speak into this. So Proverbs 17 verse 27 says, "W oever restrains His Wo d has knowledge. And he who has cool spirit is a an of understanding." And Pr verbs 18 verse 2 says, "A f ol takes no pleasure in unders anding, but only in expressing h s opinion." And Proverbs 18 vers 13 says, "If one gives an answe before he hears, it is folly a d shame." And so, yeah, we can s e. And I think we all know this, it's just hard to do in practic , because we have all these ssumptions in our head, a d we just want to immediately jump on them, but take a ste back and listen, become student of other people's ideas And I can attest to the effe tiveness of this, because not o ly does this help slow down the issension, right, because t ere's going to be conflict, rig t? I mean, that's just the natur of disagreement. But this hel s slow down, like the level of issension, and it gives everyon sort of a calmer disposi

Colton Key:

Yeah, able to communicate quite another.

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, I mean, and even if you end up still disagreeing with each other, you know, after everything has been fully fleshed out and fully laid out on the table, you're at least ready then to talk specifically about the reasons and not about each other, or about some caricatured version of their ideas.

Colton Key:

Yeah you're actually talking about the topic at hand.

Josh Arruda:

Right, and that will help you actually build trust with people because, all of your discussion at that point is not around all of those superficial and made up and wrongheaded things, right? You're not miss handling someone else's ideas, and that's what nobody wants.

Colton Key:

And so speaking on, you know, being a learner from other people, I think we should fully develop our ideas and our beliefs. And I think we do that, through through some of that. So often, that we find ourselves as Christians, I believe, like getting really tense and uncomfortable when our belief systems are challenged, because we've yet to do our due diligence and exploring what all of those things mean, so that we can defend what those things mean. Yeah, this is something else I think we've even talked about a little bit in the past, but even outside of faith, even outside of Christianity, like anything that you feel uncomfortable with, in the midst of a conversation is probably because you don't know as much about that topic, as you could know. And therefore you're kind of backed into a corner. And so we should develop the discipline of quiet reflection and study, like, we should start understanding grow in understanding, go out of our way and start learning the things that we need to learn so that when we're put into those situations, we don't have that sense of fear. We don't grow angry or impatient or frustrated, like we can conversate and still do it with that sense of unity, but do it with knowledge.

Josh Arruda:

I was just gonna add that, yeah, that fear. A lot of times just stems from people being afraid that they'll be convinced otherwise, right? Like, I've experienced this in my life, like, somebody starts to challenge something that I believe, and I believe it willy-nilly, or I believe it on the basis of, you know, maybe something that's legitimate, like, my parents told me this, so I believe it or or whatever, but then somebody poses a challenge to it. And I've never thought any deeper than my parents told me this.

Colton Key:

Yeah, you don't really know.

Josh Arruda:

Yeah. And so there's this fear that develops that's like, I don't want to be convinced to give up this belief that I'm nostalgic about or something. And yeah, so exactly what you're saying will help to alleviate that, right. Nobody likes giving up the beliefs that they've held, especially if you've held them for a long time.

Colton Key:

And you don't have to as long as you know that they're true, and you have evidence and proof that they're true, right, or at least evidence of. And so we should have a full understanding of our worldview, as best as we can. There's some verses here that I want to read. And the reason I think this is important is that it keeps us out of the territory of defensiveness. Okay. And so here are a few verses that I think are really important for us as we as we continue to talk about this topic. 2 Timothy 1 v rse 7 "For the Spirit God gave u does not make us timid, but gi es us power, love an self discipline." There's a cou le of Proverbs here, Proverb 12 verse 1 "Whoever loves disc pline loves knowledge, but w oever hates correction is st pid." And I challenge you t go to your Bible and fin that verse because in most t anslations, the word stupid is actually used. Proverbs 24 verse 5 "The Wise prevail throug great power, and those who hav knowledge muster their strengt ." Proverbs 15 verse 14 is anot er one, "The discerning heart eeks knowledge, but the mo th of the fool feeds on folly." o we need to be willing o give up our ideas and beliefs if they don't match up to he truth as well. And I think th t's another point to be made t at when we are in these situ tions, and we listen to re son, and that reason is pointe towards truth, even if it but s up against what we' e been raised in or, or histori ally disagreed with. If it poin s towards the truth, we should e willing to hear those people ut without falling into ou typical s

Josh Arruda:

Yeah, and that is related to what you said earlier about humility, right? Like that takes a certain level of humility, but a lot of these things that you've been suggesting, of taking time to reflect on your ideas and to study, and the disciplines of self-evaluation, and really searching for truth and making a point--all of that will help facilitate the sort of humility that is necessary for that because you start to prioritize knowing what the truth is, when you do those things, and therefore, you just become more open to it. I mean, I can speak to that. So I grew up as a Christian. I feel like a lot of people in the south probably grew up as Christians. And, I can remember the first time that my faith was challenged out in the real world, it really sent me into like an existential crisis sort of thing, right? Like I was really flustered by the whole thing. But over time as you develop the disciplines of stopping to think about everything that you believe and stopping to really reflect on the coherency of your own worldview. And does this really make sense? Does this really line up with the truth? That does facilitate within you this sort of mindset of being open to the truth. And so when you end up finding yourself in situations where your ideas are being challenged, you're going to feel and be more open to the challenges, because you're really and genuinely searching for truth.

Colton Key:

Especially, if we set our pride aside? And at times admit our ignorance?

Josh Arruda:

Yeah. Which can be a tough thing to do. But yeah, like you're saying, that that sort of stuff is going to help facilitate that in your life. So I know, this has kind of been like a just a brief overview. And there's a whole lot more that we could say, but what I hope for is that people start shifting their mindset about disagreement. I don't want you to see disagreement as a negative thing. Even though it most certainly can be expressed that way. But instead, I think you should be thinking of disagreement as an avenue towards truth. This is one of the main ways that we as people, together, discover truth and unify---is by taking our ideas, and if they clash, examining them and coming to some correct conclusions. So don't let fear dictate your understanding and interaction with disagreement. Let love dictate that. And you can do that by doing some of the things that we've discussed: staying humble, practice staying humble, submitting your spirit to the Holy Spirit, if you're a Christian, you have access to God himself, who is working in you, in order to facilitate that in your life. Make it a point to understand one another fully and correctly and don't assume things about other people. Become a listener and ask questions and fully understand people before you engage with them in sort of disagreement. And then make it regular practice, like Colton was just saying, for you to think deeply about your ideas and beliefs and to reflect on them and to challenge them and to criticize them yourself. Refine them yourself.

Colton Key:

Don't wait on someone else to call out your belief, call out your belief every once in a while and really work on improving and sharpening that belief. You might be right, you might come to the conclusion that you were always correct. But you should challenge that every once in a while and sharpen your mind in the process.

Josh Arruda:

Always be searching for and on the look-out for truth. That's what your worldview should orient around. And that's not a unique belief, I don't think, to Christians, I think everybody really wants that. It's just that Christians think that this is true. And that's why we engage in that sort of conversation. Anyway, so obviously now, putting those things into practice is not going to guarantee that your interactions with people are all going to be healthy, or that they're all going to be easy. It usually takes two to tango. So I mean, there's no guarantee that you putting these things into practice is going to make every conversation that you have go

Colton Key:

I do think it'll help you personally, though. And smoothly. help you come out the other side of that conversation, regardless what the other person did in a lot healthier territory.

Josh Arruda:

Regardless, if somebody isn't handling their side of the situation appropriately, you should be handling your side appropriately. And something that I just want to re-emphasize again, because we usually fall into these two hard camps where it's like, we get angry or defensive, or we completely withdraw. And I want to encourage you guys to not do either of those things. I think engaging in disagreement and talking to each other is the way to unity it is the way that you find truth. But just do it in a way that is obviously centered around love for each other. So that is what we wanted to just mention that today and this week, I know this is kind of a little bit disconnected from the fear and the way that it played out in our lives that TJ was talking about. But I do think that this is one sort of example of a storm in our life that can often be dictated by fear. And I think it's one that we're wrestling with and struggling with right now and probably will be for the foreseeable future. If you want to check out the service from this past week, just go over to our YouTube channel or our Facebook page and you can watch the full service there and all the weeks of this beneath the surface series will be up there. If you're interested in listening to more of our podcasts from the past, you can find those on our YouTube channel or on our Facebook page or on Spotify, Apple podcasts, any of those streaming platforms. Don't forget to download the Church Center app if you haven't already, either. All this information and content can be accessed there. Thanks, guys, and we'll see you next time.

Colton Key:

For more information about Crossway Church, download the Church Center app or visit us online at crosswaychurch.com