Thursday, March 12, 2009

What if I don't agree?

I got a great letter from someone at church recently. As our capital campaign draws to an end they decided that they could not contribute. They prayed and thought about it a lot but just didn't feel like it was something that God wanted them to participate in at this time. I could tell from the tone of their note that they felt bad about their decision and hoped I'd understand.

I thought it would be helpful to share my response (with a few clarifying additions) in case there are other people who feel the same way...

Thanks for your note about the campaign. Your decision is not a problem with me. I knew that the idea has been a struggle for you from the beginning and I respect your thoughtfulness and prayerfulness about the matter. I much rather have you prayerfully decline than give out of a sense of obligation and duty.
People are often confused when they can't agree with the majority - they feel like someone must be wrong - but I think God allows disagreement among us so we will work at respecting one another. That's the true meaning of unity. Unity isn't when everyone thinks alike. Unity is when people stick together even though they see things differently. (It's unrealistic to think that everyone will see things the same way - God created us all different!)
Thanks for your honesty and openness. You absolutely have my respect with your decision. I'm proud of you for standing by what you believe to be true.