Summary: Can their be irreconcilable differences in the Body of Christ?
I have a confession to make this morning. I am really not sure how to say this to you. I am embarrassed, ashamed, and really fearful of what you might think of me once you know the truth. I must confess to you this morning that my wife, Ronda, and I have irreconcilable differences. After more than 30 years of marriage, I am sure that these differences cannot be resolved. While the differences between us have rarely caused heated arguments, they are often dealt with on a daily basis. These differences can bring a sigh to the voice and sometimes frustration to one or both of us.
It has come to the point that I must get this off my chest. As your pastor, I need to let you know what we are dealing with. Please allow me to continue my confession of these irreconcilable differences. And I beg your understanding and forgiveness.
First of all, I confess to you that my seat buckling habits can drive Ronda up the wall. She is religious about buckling her seat belt BEFORE starting the car. I mean she does it FIRST thing, as soon as she closes the door. Sometimes she even does it BEFORE the door closes. I’m sorry, but I rarely buckle that belt before starting the car. I can’t help it. I guess I like the chime and the little red light flashing at me. Please forgive me, but I have even been known to put the car in gear and, yes, even round the corner before getting my seat belt fastened. I don’t believe that my wife and I will ever agree on this!
The other irreconcilable difference between Ronda and I is far more drastic and daily than the seat belt problem. I’ve just noticed this recently but my wife is a bottom-of –the tube squeezer when it comes to toothpaste. I squeeze mine right in the middle. I know she thinks I’m crazy, but I don’t want to waste time pushing the toothpaste up from the bottom. I have to tell you how bad it is: she has now placed one of those clamps at the bottom of the tube, forcing me to take extra time pushing the paste up to the top! How many of you squeeze your toothpaste tube from the bottom up? See, knowing that makes you and I have an irreconcilable difference!
Now Ronda and I have no intention of separating or divorcing over these irreconcilable differences. Our commitment to each other before God is much more valuable than methods of seat belt buckling and toothpaste tube squeezing.
Prior to their wedding, David and Susan met with the minister to discuss their marriage ceremony and various traditions, such as lighting the unity candle from two individual candles. Couples usually blow out the two candles as a sign of becoming one. Their minister said that many people were now leaving their individual candles lit to signify independence and personal freedom. He asked if they wanted to extinguish the candles or leave them burning. After thinking about it, David replied, "How about if we leave mine lit and blow hers out?"
How sad when husbands and wives have irreconcilable differences that tear homes apart!
How interesting it is that we allow little differences between members of the Family of God to become irreconcilable!
I seen personal preferences turn into raging wars that pitted people against each other and caused folks who at one time loved each other to act very unlovely. Churches have been torn apart over whether or not we should have drums in our worship service. People have bared their claws over whether we should sing only out of the Hymnal or off the wall! When differences draw dividing lines, we really should ask:
Does God really care about this?
Speaking of Hymnals, King David recorded a song in the Hymnal of the Bible, the Book of Psalms, celebrating unity among the people of God:
1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!
 It’s like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
 It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.
Dr. Eugene Petersen, the paraphaser of The Message points out: “The first story in the Bible about brothers living together is the story of Cain and Abel. And it’s a murder story…..their fight was a religious fight, a quarrel over which of them God loved best.”