Week 9: What do we do when we disagree with each other?

We’ve been learning that our community of believers can be compared to our human bodies and families. God chose those illustrations because we can all identify with them. For instance, think about ways you protect your body from things that would cause pain … or the way you still love your family members even though you might disagree with them from time to time. Let’s explore what should happen when Christians disagree.

Be ready to read the following passages:

Let’s start it.

Do you remember last week’s activity? Share how you helped or encouraged someone last week.

Talk about the things members of your family have in common and the ways you are different from each other. How do the differences sometimes cause disagreements?

Let’s learn it.

The members of God’s family are as unique as the members of your human family; so He knew that disagreements would sometimes come up in your church family just as they do in your human family. God made sure we had instructions about what to do when that happens. Read Ephesians 4:1-7 together and look for the instructions in those verses.

Since believers share the same Father, Savior, and Spirit, we ought to do whatever it takes to live lovingly, peacefully, humbly, and patiently with one another. After all, God is loving, forgiving, and patient with us – right? Being patient means that you choose to complain less and control your temper more. Learning to not get annoyed or upset helps you to get along better with people who are different from you. All of those things are proof that you are growing up and becoming more mature. What does Ephesians 4:11-16 say about becoming a mature follower of Christ?

We learned last week that love for one another should be the first thing people notice about Jesus’ followers. Really loving others helps you to be patient with them, and patience changes how you speak to them. You see, how you say something is just as important as what you say. When truth is said harshly, it hurts people’s feelings; but when truth is said gently, it helps them mature as followers of Christ.

Did you notice that the Apostle Paul used the illustration of the human body for the church again? This time he specifically named Jesus as the Head of the body. Every member of the church receives instructions from the Head, just as your brain tells the rest of your body what to do. Something is wrong if your hand or your foot does whatever it wants to do, ignoring the messages from your brain! When each member of the body of Christ is doing what He has said to do, then the entire body is healthy. As a result, we learn to gently and lovingly solve our differences with other believers.

Let’s discuss it.

  1. Name ways that God has been patient, forgiving, and loving with you. How should that change how you respond to your brothers and sisters in Christ?
  2. Take turns saying the following phrases in different tones of voice. Which tones sound loving and patient? Which ways sound hurtful?
    1. Would you please pass the butter?
    2. Can you please stop doing that?
  3. What caused you to complain or lose your temper recently? How could you have handled that situation with more patience?

Let’s do it.

Think of one way that God has shown you love and forgiveness recently. Will you try to remember that thought when you start to grow impatient or annoyed with someone else? Listen to your tone of voice when a disagreement comes up at home, at school, or at work. Remind yourself of Christ’s instructions by reading the Bible every day. Will others be able to tell by your patient and kind attitude that you are a follower of Jesus?