There are times when everyone must learn how to be politely disagree. A person who agrees just to avoid conflicts is a coward. Jesus showed the disciples how to disagree without being so disagreeable in disposition that people would be turned off to the messenger. One day the Jews accused Jesus of being demon possessed. Jesus calmly replied, "I am not possessed by a demon, but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it and he is the judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." The Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon possessed!" (John 8:48-52) The Lord knew how to disagree in a way that was factual, loving, but also unwilling to dilute the truth for the sake of public relationships.
1. Jesus knew how to state facts in a way that was not offensive to believing hearts. Cynics, skeptics, and accusers will always find something wrong - even if they have to invent it. The Pharisees were looking for an excuse to cast the Lord in a false light so they could remain in their sin. Jesus spoke the truth in love.
2. Jesus knew how to respond calmly to provocation. Learn how to control your anger, fear and defensive emotions. James wrote, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." Ask the Lord for the ability to listen long before you speak. When you are given time to collect your thoughts and take a series of deep breaths you will be better able to answer objectively rather than from your subjective feelings.
3. Jesus knew that some people see and hear only what they choose. The Lord knew that His enemies were willing to read in messages and interpretations that were not correct. Because of their wrong assumptions about Jesus and His motives, the Pharisees condemned Him before understanding the facts. Ask the Lord to give you the serenity to accept the fact that some people will think badly of you for no good reasons.
4. Jesus knew that people who have a selfish secret agenda are blinded to the truth. The Lord knew that getting angry, irritated and emotional charged with the Pharisees would only exasperate the situation. Why add fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control?
5. Jesus knew that people who love to maintain power, control and personal pleasures resist truth at all cost. When people are so bent on hanging on to their egocentric desires it only plays into their hands when you lose self-control. Ask the Spirit of God to fill you with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Against these things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22,23)
6. Jesus is a God of peace. By maintaining the peace of God we are able to graciously disagree with people in a way that will affect their thinking, emotions and behaviors. The Lord's peace has a way of showing people that His supernatural calm accompanies His people.
7. Jesus is a God of law and order. The Lord would not let the Pharisees and the Romans get away with condemning him without properly showing them that they were bending their own laws in a sinister way to have Him crucified. Stand up for your legal, human and civil rights.
8. Jesus is a God of truth, love and power. The Lord would not back down from accusers who tried to portray him as something He was not. He knew His identity, people who did not know Him could not defame reputation and character. Know whom you believe and be secure in your identity in Christ.