Agree to Agree

Maybe we should just agree to disagree. This sentiment is usually offered when it becomes clear that a dispute cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved. When such an impasse has been reached, there are times when the better, more pragmatic thing to do is to simply “cease and desist.”

Yet, we all know that there are situations when this simply is not practical. On the home front, there are daily decisions that must be made on issues ranging from parenting to finances. When a husband and wife experience a marked difference of opinion on pressing issues, agreeing to disagree usually doesn’t lead to conflict resolution, but rather to more conflict.

When tactical differences lead to tension, one of the bigger challenges for couples – or any two parties who are pursuing a common goal – is to find a way to work through these differences in order to achieve the greater good.  Unfortunately, too often a clash of tactics leads to an attack on the person and not the problem. This is detrimental to everyone involved, and never results in the best outcome.

Final Thoughts…

John F. Kennedy famously said, “What unites is greater than what divides us.” Yet, in the midst of heated discourse, these words tend to fall on deaf ears. Whether the dispute occurs among friends, families, married couples, church members, co-workers, business partners, or world leaders, sometimes we get so embroiled in a conflict that we lose sight of the common ground we originally shared.

Whether you agree to disagree, or must find a way to agree to agree, when conflict emerges, attack the problem – not the other person. Consider what is dividing you.  Are you in disagreement over goals or tactics? Once you have this more clearly in focus, you may find the road to common ground is easier to navigate.

The search for common ground isn’t always a simple task. Yet, I have found it goes so much better when I make time to meet with my Savior, and ask Him to shine a spotlight on my priorities and motives. I’m still learning… still striving to move forward in this journey. Come with me. Walk the path.

DalePyneCropped

Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

Did you find this post helpful?

Giving Up Ground?

When people share the same goal or purpose, shouldn’t it bring about a positive outcome? Actually, it depends on a few factors like: what is the goal? Why do they share it? Are they on the same side – or do they oppose each other?  

The book of Genesis records an occasion when a shared goal led to conflict. Abram and Lot’s herdsmen had something in common:  the need for good pastureland. Since the land could no longer support the needs of their ever-increasing flocks, a resolution was needed to this very practical problem.

Abram’s response offered a solution and averted lingering contention between the two parties: “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left,” (Genesis 13:8-9, NIV).

While some may view Abram’s concession as a sign of weakness, I see it as a sign of his unshakable faith. Abram lived with the confidence that, no matter what the outcome, God was going to take care of him. He valued his relationship with his nephew above his material possessions, and God greatly rewarded his selflessness with this promise: “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever,” (Genesis 13:14-15, NIV).

Final Thoughts…

As I think of Abram, I can’t help but wonder if sometimes we gain more ground by giving up just a little. Oh, there will be times when we need to stand our ground – no doubt!  But, there are also times when we need to seek common ground through compromise, trusting that God ultimately has our best interest at heart.

Some situations are complex, and it’s tough to know when to make concessions. Yet, as we go to our Father and seek His wisdom, then check our own heart and motives, the Spirit of God can help us discern on which occasions we need to hold the line and which ones we can concede some ground. The journey to peace with our fellow man is filled with tough choices. Thankfully, we don’t have to go it alone! Walk the path.

DalePyneCropped

Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

Did you find this post helpful?