What to Do If You Disagree

From time to time, as we listen to sermons or attend Bible classes, something will be said with which we disagree. What should we do when this happens?

First, be sure that you properly understood what was said. It might be that you simply did not hear what the other person was saying. Changing a single word can sometimes drastically alter the meaning of a sentence. Also, expressions taken out of context can lead to conclusions that were never intended. Take notes, re-listen to the recorded sermon (if available), study the Scriptures that were referenced in the lesson - many potential problems will be resolved in this way.

Additionally, give the benefit of the doubt to your brother who is doing the teaching. Love actually demands this (1 Cor. 13:5). Do not automatically assume the worst.

If questions linger, it is best to go directly to the one who has done the teaching. Too often we complain or criticize to others, but never to the one who supposedly made the error. This is simply not right! Wait for a good opportunity (right after the lesson in front of other people is usually not the best time), or set up an appointment. Calmly discuss your concerns with the man face-to-face. If we do this, the vast majority of misunderstandings will be quickly settled.

Finally, in the few cases where the matter is not remedied by these initial steps, it will be necessary to press the matter further. If error has been taught, we cannot remain silent. We must oppose and expose the false teaching (Galatians 2:5,11-13). But even in this type of situation, we should be careful to conduct ourselves in a way that will make it easy for the erring brother to acknowledge his mistake and make correction (2 Timothy 2:25,26).

Disagreements are certain to arise. Let's be sure we handle all such situations properly as we endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).

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