Agreement is powerful.
We all know that. Jesus himself said, “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19) But what we may not know is there are 3 different sides of agreement. Like a 3-legged stool, we’re not in agreement unless we’re in agreement on all of these sides.
This is what we usually mean by “agreement.” We agree on the reasons. We see the logic in it. It “makes sense.” But if this is all the agreement we have, we’re not in agreement yet.
Emotional agreement is just as important as intellectual agreement. We’re in emotional agreement if it’s something we both want to do. It just “feels right.”
We’re in spiritual agreement if we both have a peace about it and believe it’s God’s will. We see God’s hand in it. We agree it’s what God’s doing.
How Do We Know if We’re in Agreement?
We’re in agreement with our spouse, church members, co-workers, employees, employer, friends, etc, if:
- We all intellectually agree it’s a good idea. We agree on the logic.
- We all want to do it. We agree it feels right.
- We all have a peace about it, believing, yes, God is in this. We agree we can see his fingerprints.
So often we charge ahead once everyone agrees on the logic, thinking we’re in agreement. But if we’re not also in emotional and spiritual agreement, then it’s a false unity.
For example, we can steamroll over our spouses with logic. Maybe they agree whatever it is makes sense, but something just doesn’t feel right. The truth is, we can spin logic any way we want, and, unfortunately, we often do. But maybe they’re picking up on something they can’t articulate (yet). That should be a clue: There’s some piece of logic we missed. We’d do well to pay attention to our spouse. Because they aren’t in emotional agreement yet, we need to wait and keep seeking the Lord.
God loves partnership.
He loves partnering with us, and he loves it when we partner with each other. He loves it when his children play nice. No wonder Jesus said, “… if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them …” Agreement is one of the most powerful tools we haveon this earth to move the Kingdom of God forward, or in general, just get stuff done.
The Enemy’s Strategy against Agreement
No wonder our enemy tries everything he can think of to keep us from agreement. And he’s come up with an extremely effective strategy against it. If he can get this one thing, he can block agreement for decades, even generations.
The enemy’s most powerful weapon against agreement and unity is Offense. If he can get us offended, we can rationalize just about any kind of bad behavior. Think about it. You can’t be in agreement with someone you’re offended at. The enemy uses this tactic everywhere.
- It works against marriages.
- It works against families.
- It works against friendships.
- It works in the workplace.
- It even works on a global scale against countries.
ACTION STEP: The next time I’m offended at someone, I’ll ask the Holy Spirit if there’s something I should be working toward agreement with them about, that the enemy is trying to block.
When to Not Agree
An Important Caveat. Agreement is not the “be all end all” of spirituality. It is not an end in itself. There are things we shouldn’t agree to, and we should not allow ourselves to be pressured or bullied into a false agreement. Here’s a free tip: If you’re not respected when you disagree, not given the common courtesy every human being deserves, if you’re being punished (e.g., the silent treatment, screaming and yelling, avoidance) simply because you disagree with something, you’re being bullied. And we have no right to bully someone else.
Look at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. They were in total agreement over the wrong thing. God had given humanity the mandate, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it,” specifically in Genesis 1:28 (and similarly in Genesis 9:7 after the flood).
But we had other ideas — the exact opposite of God’s mandate, as usual.
Instead of filling the earth, we had this plan, specifically so we wouldn’t fill the earth: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)
Look at what God says, especially about the power of their agreement: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” (Genesis 11:6–7)
God had to come down and confuse the languages to break their agreement. Course correction for humanity. Agreement is that powerful, and there are some things we shouldn’t agree on. Or to say it another way, there are some things we should agree against. (Certainly anything that dehumanizes people like slavery, human trafficking, or calling human beings a “product of conception” or “blob of tissue.” But I digress.)
How to Pursue Agreement
So what do you do if you disagree? Keep seeking God. Pray separately and pray together. Keep seeking God until agreement comes and don’t rush it. But this is a perishable opportunity! We might miss the deadline! Then miss it. If you’re not in agreement by the whatever deadline the opportunity has, then it’s a no-go. And that’s ok. The lack of agreement probably just saved you from a big mistake.
But isn’t the husband the head of the home? Shouldn’t he decide and break the tie? Yes, the husband is the head of the home, but not the way the world means it. He has the mandate from God to be a servant-leader, and pursue agreement — intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. He should lead, not pressure or bully, his wife in seeking the Lord.
When she says to him, “Look we’ve been at this for days/weeks/months, just make a decision,” then he can break the tie. But it’s not, “Ok then, we do it my way.” It’s like this: “Let’s agree to try this. We can course correct if it doesn’t work. Not because this is my personal preference, but because I honestly believe this decision is in the best interest of the whole family.”
A marriage where the spouses really agree in truth (not where one is being bullied) is unstoppable.
Agreement is a powerful thing. Even secular (healthy) companies pursue buy-in on the corporate vision from their employees because they’ve figured this out.
Let’s end by repeating what Jesus says about agreement. Really think about this today.
“Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” –Jesus (Matthew 18:19)