3 Things We Can Agree On

I know, there are a ton of things that none of us can agree on right now. As a matter of fact, the list on what we can agree on grows smaller and smaller. At least, it sort of feels that way.

However, there are a lot of things that we can all agree on. Sure they may not be life changing but we can agree on them. Here are just a few.

  • The fast lane is for fast people. To be clear, at one time or another, we have all been the slow person in the fast lane. That’s not what I am talking about here. If we are in the fast lane and someone behind us is going faster than us, whether we like it or not, we know to get out of the way. How many times have you been behind somebody really slow and right next to you in the fast lane is someone going the exact same speed as you? Think of the words that you want to use, or are using at that time. I rest my case.
  • Cockroaches should never have been created. I know, God doesn’t make mistakes. That’s why I firmly believe the Devil created cockroaches. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have that capability, but I choose to believe that regardless. Think of the sound that they make when they scurry across the counter in the dark. How about the number of times you have walked into the bathroom at night and one is crawling up to the ceiling. Isn’t that the most hopeless feeling you can have? UGH!!! This is why I believe roaches were forged in the fires of Hell. Do you know that the other day I walked in from my backyard and saw a roach in my coffee cup with his butt up in the air and his little gross face down in my coffee?!! HE WAS DRINKING MY COFFEE!!! I REPEAT…DRINKING MY COFFEE!!! Not okay. Jesus, please come back.
  • Everybody loves ice cream. Come on! Even if you are lactose intolerant, your teeth are sensitive to the cold or if you are on a diet, doesn’t ice cream always sound good? I’ll crave ice cream when it is thirty degrees outside. It doesn’t matter because ice cream is just that delicious. I won’t even zero in on a particular flavor because, talk about not being able to agree on something, that could start another world war.
  • Top Gun: Maverick” was a great movie. I know, we all have mixed feelings about Tom Cruise but come on, we were all taken by surprise by how much we loved this film. It captured the feeling of the original without being an exact copy of it and introduced a few new characters without ruining the charm of the movie that some of us grew up on. There were subtle nods to Goose, a football scene that mirrored the infamous volleyball scene and plenty of footage of fighter jets doing some crazy stuff. Win, win.

It’s nice to be able to agree on a few things isn’t it? Don’t you miss that feeling? I mean, just to be able to have a conversation where someone’s face doesn’t contort and turn red or beads of sweat don’t break out on their upper lip. Those were the days. There is value in being able to positively discuss things that we love; to be on the same page and have agreement on a few things is good for our souls. It doesn’t mean that you need to give up other things that you have strong convictions about, but you can agree with others without forfeiting deep held beliefs.

Agreement is not the same as compromise.

I still think that there are more things that unite us than divide us. I know, I’m just that naive. There are things that many of us inherently believe that might help us move forward. I want to suggest three things that I believe about God, that many of us can agree on.

To be clear, I believe a lot more than three things. There are things that I believe with my heart and soul that are not on this list. These are just three that I hope will resonate with most of us, even if you struggle with wholeheartedly believing that God exists. These are three things that most of us can gather around, like a warm fire, and have a discussion over.

God loves you. In fact it is part of who He is. God is love. We can agree that He is a God of kindness and not hatred. Grace and not stern criticism. Mercy and not cruelty.

God doesn’t love you “only if…” or “as long as you…” because those are conditional terms. He loves you and that’s it. He can’t help but love you because love is a part of His identity and a part of the identity of those who claim to know Him. John, one of Jesus’ disciples, wrote this:

“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

He wants the best for you. God intends good for your life and not evil. The direction of your life is toward creation and not destruction. The path of your life is an upward trajectory toward hope and not shame or death. Life is hard and there are many things that we suffer through. That does not mean God is angry with you or that you have done something wrong. Suffering is a part of life and a part of a fallen world. He wants the best for you and a life that yields more life. Jesus says this:

“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10

Our lives are gifts that keeps giving. I know, if you are a “Christmas Vacation” fan, that line reminds you of Cousin Eddie’s comment about the “Jelly of the Month Club” but stick with me folks.

God intends good for our lives and not evil. A good life is an unselfish life. Therefore, our lives should be in service to others as well as God. It is a like a tree that keeps producing life. Our life is meant to give life to others. The best way to do that, is to love sacrificially. That’s why Jesus tells us…

“If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

Here’s what I know. Even when we talk about the things that we agree on there is always a “yeah but…” in there somewhere. When you talk about God’s love, inevitably someone brings up the topic of our sin. As we discuss how God wants the best for you it is easy to focus on how hard life is. If we begin a conversation on how our lives are a gift that continues to give, we could focus on the people that will take advantage of that. I know, there is a dark side to each of these things that we can agree on.

Let me challenge you for a second though. Suspend the “yeah buts” or “What ifs” for minute. The things that I mentioned are still true despite them. They are true and even our objections to them don’t change that. Remember, agreement is not the same as compromise.

I know that there are plenty of things that we can agree to disagree on.

How about agreeing to agree on a few things?

Let’s admit that there are some things about God and each other that are true and we have some middle ground that we can meet each other on. That’s not compromise, its a safe house.

You haven’t surrendered anything if you have agreement on issues with people you disagree with.

It is a place where we can meet and feel secure around each other in. It’s okay for us to agree on a few things. You can disagree on issues but still have agreement on some things with people that you disagree with.

We should celebrate that! God doesn’t want us to be at odds with each other, as a matter of fact it is good when we have unity over some issues. Institutions and political agendas want division and fear. God desires peace and unity over the things that really matter. Let’s find some of those things and meet together over that warm fire of camaraderie and fellowship.

Heck, maybe there will be some ice cream there as well. I’ll bring the ice cream scoop if you bring your favorite ice cream. See you next week.

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

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