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My way or the highway, article by Debby Efurd.

I attended a large meeting this week.  It was the first time I attended this particular function.  I had heard through the grapevine that this particular group’s meetings could  be heated and contentious. Well, I showed up, walked in the door prepared for battle, ready to tell anyone and everyone, my way or the highway. However, I was caught off-guard from the very beginning — I was disarmed.

The president called the meeting to order, opened with a prayer, then the pledge of allegiance. Everyone rose, hands over their hearts, and recited:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Now I’ve recited the Pledge of Allegiance since I was in kindergarten – more times than I could count. What hit me square between the eyes was the word “indivisible”.  That one word means “incapable of being divided.”  I immediately began thinking how deeply divided our country is today. Then I looked at myself realizing I had walked into that meeting with the preconceived belief that there would be division.  I was guilty of the very thing I was blaming others for.

The Bible has a lot to say about division. Mark 3:24 says it so well: If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Division is condemned as an abomination to the Lord. God despises those who sow discord among brothers and sisters, emphasizing the importance of unity and love within the community of believers, and the world in general.

What does it take to stop division among those we come in contact with?  It takes:

Humility– knowing we aren’t always totally right about all things.

Communication– conversation and respectful communication is key to warding off division.

Listening– many times people are upset because they feel they aren’t heard. Listen intently and clarify to the person what you heard them communicate to be certain you understand them correctly.

Prevention– Preventing division is outlined for us in Matthew 18. Talk with the person one on one. Lots of conflicts can be resolved in this step. Rarely do we need to go any farther. The problem is that in today’s culture we are taught to talk to everyone else instead of the person we are trying to communicate with. 

I learned a lot this past weekend. Yes, I walked into that meeting with my mind made up … then walked out an hour later laughing and with many new friends. All in all, I say this was a lesson I needed to learn.

Best of all … I didn’t have to tell anyone “my way or the highway.”

Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries of Pittsburg, TX. She has been a contributor to Bound for Life and written numerous articles published in LifeNews, Christian Post and the Baptist Standard, and is the author of Go Tell It!  Debby can be contacted at caryjohnefurdministries@gmail.com.  

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