The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
It is wonderful to have friends with whom you agree - and with whom you disagree.
"As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time" (I Corinthians 16:12).
Two phrases stand out in this statement. "I greatly desired…. His will was not at all to come." The Apostle Paul's language suggests significant disagreement between he and Apollos. This is especially interesting when we remember that factions had developed in Corinth regarding these two servants of the Lord.
"Every one of you saith, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos" (I Corinthians 1:12).
Paul severely chastened the Corinthians for the carnality of dividing themselves into personality cults devoted to himself and Apollos. Moreover, he affirmed the unity between he and his brother (I Corinthians 3:6-8). The aforementioned disagreement nevertheless speaks to the truth that believers can be one in heart while disparate in opinion, perspective, and inclination. True friends, especially brothers and sisters in Christ, allow for such divergent paths and even expect them in the realization that our frail humanity often results in significant disagreement. We seek to "be of one mind" (II Corinthians 13:11). We nevertheless remember our imperfections, hopefully of ourselves first, and then our friend's. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3).
Friends who cannot disagree agreeably are not really friends. The security we find in the love of Christ makes possible differing perspectives that do not result in divisiveness or rancor. One suspects that Paul and Apollos stridently argued for their positions regarding the aforementioned matter of disagreement. Thankfully, however, they both knew their Lord and His love well enough to remain one in heart, while not in desire and opinion. An earthly lifetime lived with brothers and sisters will sometimes result in such opportunity to walk in peace and the discovery of how powerfully the love of Christ leads us in relationship with God and each other.
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Weekly Memory Verse
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.