Have Differences of Opinion With Church Coworkers? How to Handle It

June 6, 2018

Xiaojie,

Good day! It is over two months since we worked together. Today I’m writing to you to say the words that are in my heart.

woman writs a letter

Xiaojie, do you know? When the church arranged for us two to edit evangelical materials, actually in my heart, I worried about getting along with you a lot. Because I knew each of us was self-righteous, I was afraid that we couldn’t get along with each other, and that we might have disagreements in the process of working together, to the detriment of gospel work. But I also thought: Such an arrangement of the church must be sanctioned by God, and I should obey.

Some time ago, I edited a copy of evangelical materials and gave it to you to check and modify it. Having confidence in the materials I edited, I thought: Even if I give it to you, you won’t discover anything wrong within it. Therefore, I set about editing another copy of materials with confidence. Who could have known that before too long, you discovered many mistakes in the materials, and also you advised me to sort them out carefully. Hearing these words, I felt really uncomfortable, and I thought: What you have raised are anything but big problems. There is no need to amend them. So I stated my opinion, but you still insisted on my amending the materials. I was pretty angry at that time, thinking that you were very self-righteous. From then on, the seed of barrier between us sent down a root in my heart, and we drifted apart.

The day before yesterday, when we read over a copy of edited evangelical materials together, we had a disagreement again. You thought you were right, while I thought I was right; you stated your view, while I defended my opinion, and I even said that other partners and I always did like this before. Who could have thought that even so, you still upheld your own thinking. Finally, we didn’t reach a common understanding and thus ignored each other, losing in thought in front of our own computer. At that time, I felt as if the air in the room had been frozen. Did you feel the same? In spite of this, yet I didn’t come before God to examine myself, but instead, I fixated on your issues, thinking in my heart: You have edited evangelical materials for only a short period of time, the materials you edit are not many, and also you don’t master the requirements of editing the materials. While I have edited these materials for a long time, and thus I must understand more than you. How come you didn’t adopt my suggestions? … The more I thought, the angrier I got. And I was in a terrible mood, with an impatient expression. Then I saw your head was lowered. Although we were close to each other in distance, it was as if there were thousands of mountains and water between our hearts. At that time, I felt so depressed that I wanted to flee that environment, but I knew I couldn’t. Because I knew God’s arranging for us to coordinate together contained His good intentions. It was just that I hadn’t understood His intentions. Feeling utterly helpless, I called silently to God, “God! I’m extremely depressed now. I feel it’s difficult to get along with Sister Xiaojie. God, I don’t understand what Your intention is in arranging such an environment for me. God, please, guide me.”

God is faithful. He listened to my prayer. Under His guidance, I read in the word of God: “When you encounter issues, you mustn’t be self-right, thinking, ‘I have the final say. You are not qualified to speak. I understand the principles, what do you understand? You don’t understand, I do!’ This is being self-right. Being self-right is a corrupt satanic disposition; it is not something within normal humanity.” “If you are always frustrated, and you’re never convinced by what others say and others don’t want to hear what you have to say, either; … is it called complementing each other and coordinating harmoniously? It’s called strife, and living based on your hot blood and your corrupt dispositions. It will not gain God’s blessing—He is not pleased by that.

Not until after reading God’s word did I understand why we always had disagreements for having different views. It was because I relied on my arrogant disposition to get along with you. I always thought that you knew less about the requirements of editing evangelical materials than I did. So I never seriously treated the suggestions you came up with, and even denied them without any consideration. I thought you were self-righteous when you upheld your own thoughts. I also flaunted my qualifications before you, convincing you to listen to me with my former working experience. When you didn’t listen to me but upheld your own thoughts, I felt so uncomfortable, thinking I must compete with you for superiority, and moreover, I gave you dirty looks. As a result, we had no harmonious coordination and were unable to get along well with each other. Through God’s words, I understood God’s intention of arranging for us to coordinate together. Because I am very arrogant, if there were not a person like you to restrain me, I wouldn’t come before God to self-reflect to know myself, and I would work and serve God according to my own will. In this way, could I win God’s praise? Then I thought of the words in the Bible: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). The Lord requires us to live in harmony and to seek change, and only thus will we be accepted by the Lord and see Him in the end. But I lived relying on my arrogant disposition, which went against the Lord’s requirements. I was so rebellious! After I came to understand these things, I was no longer willing to live relying on my arrogant disposition. Instead, I hoped to live in harmony and work better with you. But I fretted over: Now the relationship between us has reached such an impasse, what can I do to improve it? All I could do was cry out to God again in my heart to continue to lead me.

Under the guidance of God, I saw this paragraph of God’s word: “At times, when coordinating to fulfill their duties, two people have a dispute over a matter of principle. They have different viewpoints and they develop different opinions. What can be done in that case? Is that an issue that occurs frequently? This is a normal phenomenon. It’s because there are differences between everyone’s minds, calibers, insights, ages, and experiences. In addition, it’s impossible that the things in two people’s brains will be the same, so it’s a very common phenomenon that they develop different opinions and different views. This is extremely commonplace and you shouldn’t make a fuss over it. The critical issue is how you should coordinate and how you should seek to achieve unity in front of God, and have a unified opinion when you encounter this kind of issue. What is the goal of having a unified opinion? It’s seeking the principles of the truth regarding this matter and not acting according to your intentions or according to someone else’s intentions, but seeking the intentions of God together. This is the way of achieving harmonious coordination. Only when you seek out what God’s intentions are and what the principles that God requires are will you be able to achieve unity.

After I finished reading this paragraph of God’s word, it suddenly became clear in my heart. I realized that it is normal to have disagreements in the process of working together. Because our starting points and perspectives of seeing things are different, and therefore, everyone certainly has his own view. But I always asked you to stay in step with me and even to think and do things completely like me. How was this possible? From this I realized how stupid I was. At the same time, in God’s word, I had a path through which I could cooperate harmoniously with you. That is, when we have inconsistent opinions, we should first of all let go of our own opinions and not do things based on our own will. Rather, we should seek the mind of God, act according to the principles of the truth, and do whatever is good for the work. In this way, we will achieve agreement little by little, and the estrangement between us will be removed.

harmonious coordination

I also thought that the church arranged for us to edit the evangelical materials, the purpose of which was to bring those who lived under Satan’s domain to God, so that they could receive God’s salvation. This was God’s urgent will. Therefore, we should contemplate God’s will more in the process of working. Although we might have disagreements, we could receive God’s blessing if we had the same goal.

Thinking of this, I felt relief. When I was about to calmly discuss how to amend that copy of evangelical materials with you according to principles, to my surprise, you opened your mouth first. You proposed that we should measure the materials according to the principle and seek the way to amend them. Hearing these words gave me a warm feeling in my heart. I truly experienced that God’s disposition is real and vivid. When I fixated on your issues, still you upheld your thoughts; when I realized my arrogant disposition, was willing to turn back, and did not live based on the corrupt dispositions but sought for God’s will and got along with you according to the principle, you didn’t uphold your thoughts any more. I was rather pleased at that time. Finally, under the guidance of God, we expressed our own viewpoints based on the principle and then prayed and searched together. By doing so, soon we reached agreement, and the work of amending the evangelical materials was finished smoothly. It was all the result of God’s work. May the glory be given to God!

Xiaojie, because of my being arrogant and self-righteous, I have brought harm to you. Now I’m writing to apologize to you. I hope that you could forgive me. From now on, I will seek for God’s intentions often, serve God according to the principle, doing my utmost to satisfy God. May God lead us to enter in together.

Sincerely yours,

Xiaorui

Maybe you also like to read: 3 Tips for Church Workers to Serve in Coordination

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