Agree With Thine Adversary While Thou Art in the Way
In the book of Saint Matthew in the Bible Jesus gave sage advice to His listeners that He felt was worth repeating in the Book of Third Nephi in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Mentioning those two books is in support of the law that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established, I am the third witness to the following sentiment of reconciliation:
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.— Matthew 5:25-26 First Witness
Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay.— 3 Nephi 25-26 Second Witness
Reconcile with your spouse while you are in the moment of your conflict before you end up becoming estranged or even divorced.
By no means are you to leave the table of conversation until you have put in the time to reconcile. How else do you expect to become united with each other?— Rodric Johnson Third Witness
Opinions expressed here are not attempts to reinterpret the Scripture, but an iteration of the inspiration I received during an intense exchange with my spouse. This article is about becoming one with our partners even when it seems we are at an impasse.
What we exchanged about heatedly is gone from my mind; however, the feelings of evil that filled my heart are still reverberating there in great shame. The disagreement began in our bedroom from which I left to escape the bickering.
On the surface, I did the right thing. Bubbling beneath my act of contrition brewed spite. After stating all that was in my heart about some forgotten offense, I fled the scene not giving my adversary with whom I was "in the way" a chance to express herself in kind, causing her, therefore, commit sin as well.
In an instant we were yelling, actually yelling back and forth at each other up and down the stairs out of hurt and malice, I was malice. The entire family heard! Not caring, vitriolic spew of childish behavior and words left my lips, the same lips I prayed with just that morning to God. I might as well had profaned her it was so out of character of a Christain man.
"In the way" with her, I would not agree with her or reconcile because I wanted to get the last word. That is it. I wanted the last word.
A Zulu word that means We Are One, simunye is a term that gives breath to the unity sentiment since I first learned of it. Every relationship wants to be united as a single organization of complementary ideas and function--not equal partners but complementary partners with equal worth.
Men and women are not equal in every way. They are complimentary. Each individual has strengths and weakness that his or her partner will hopefully complement their unique strengths and weaknesses, in other words, one is good with managing the daily finances and the other is good with investments. Working together, they make one unity of financial security and prosperity.
In modern Scripture, Jesus Christ declared to the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.
I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. 1
Unless there is unity in faith among the faithful followers of Christ, there is no true discipleship.
One writer, Charles LaFoe, does not agree with my faith. He actively speaks out against it and will call it as he sees it, unChristian in a minute. However, while reading one of his articles he taught an undeniable truth that I want to put here to add emphasis that seemed to convey to my soul as I read it in purity.
Here we teach scriptural truths that are not taught most places. These are essential truths that you cannot be a real disciple of Christ without properly understanding.
Because of this fact you must follow the scripture “do not be deceived my beloved brethren” and see that YOU are not deceived. In order to not be deceived you must not believe what I or any other man wants to teach you unless and until it has been confirmed in scripture and by the Holy Spirit of God to you Personally as Truth. That is your responsibility no matter who is teaching you. 2
Testimony will bear witness to your soul as you read that what I say to you in these written words are true. It is your God-given right as a child of God to know if what is written is the truth, as Jesus said according to John,
If any man will do his (God's) will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 3
Who is my Adversary?
After the shouting match, I selfishly went to do my Christian checklist to read the New Testament. Reading in the Scriptures where Jesus states that we should agree with our adversaries while we are in the way with them, I searched the meaning of agreeing with my adversary and learned adversary does not have to be a foe in the real sense of enemy. The adversary can be (and usually is) any person with whom I am conflicting-- a neighbor, co-worker, friend, family member or spouse!
As did Jesus, we should be in the act of forgiving while we are yet in the heat of the moment. He watched while the Roman soldiers gambled for his raiment and asked God to forgive them AS HE HUNG ON THAT TREE!
Tears come to my eyes as I think of it knowing that had it been me I would not have thought to forgive! Jesus forgave those who were in the very act of doing him wrong. That is a powerful estimation of humanity! How can we have compassion on the people who are torturing us--causing us harm at the time, making fun of us, raping us, killing us, stealing from us, doing us wrong? Yet, we are commanded to be like Jesus, which I strive for daily.
If it is a spouse we are "in the way" with, we should attempt to understand what he or she is saying rather than trying to prove him or her wrong. Humility is the companion of forgiveness.
Doctrine and Covenants 38:271
Charles LaFore Untaught Scripture Truths for Disciples of Christ, Part 5 2
John 7:17 3
© 2019 Rodric Anthony Johnson