I doubt that I am the only one who sometimes fights with someone I actually agree with. Sometimes the two sides of the same coin are described in such different ways that it appears to be two different coins and a heated disagreement is no surprise. But still, the coin is the same, and both descriptions are appropriate, and both the speakers are actually in agreement, they just haven’t paused their quick minded responses to realise that they are actually speaking of the same thing.

For example, a friend walks in asking “Can I help you with something?” only to hear the reply “You still haven’t cleaned up the mess you made on the counter.”

From a third-party point of view, this is agreement – the one is willing to help, the other knows of something to do. However, the way the reply was phrased, propels the two friends into war. The agreement of finding something to help with has become a disagreement on who is responsible for the mess on the counter. Soon the discussion turns explosive, and further disagreement ensues on who turned a perfectly peaceful start of the conversation into this warzone. If the reply had been “Yes, thank you, can you clean the counter” all would be well, but then again, if the first person had actually cleaned the mess earlier, then the whole discussion wouldn’t even have happened.

The reality is that after a minute, both are guilty of at least a few things, most of all guilty of the folly of being disagreeable. It is truly wiser, and therefore more godly, to be naively gracious than to be vindicated for your self-righteousness.

It is an honour for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarrelling.

Proverbs 20:3