“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”(John 13:35)
Did you ever wonder to yourself why the peoples of the world cannot get along with each other? Why can’t the Arabs and the Jews settle their conflicts and live in harmony? Why can’t they settle the conflicts in Africa? Well, when Christians learn to live together in harmony, then maybe we can start working on the rest of the world.
Whether it is over the divergent beliefs of the various denominations, the doctrinal variety within a denomination, differences of opinions as to how a local church should function … or as to how a husband and wife should relate to each other, Christians continually embarrass the Lord and hurt the testimony of Christ through their conflicts.
Gandhi is quoted saying, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” In our urgency to “DO IT MY WAY!’ we forget that what we do with each other has such a dramatic effect on where other may people spend eternity.
OTHERS DO NOT KNOW WE ARE HIS DISCIPLES BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE LOVE FOR EACH OTHER!
So what, if a person disagrees with you in the church? So what, if another seems to have things completely going his way instead of yours? Make no mistake about it… when we act like that or share our anger-filled views with the world, we most assuredly are doing more harm than all the supposedly false doctrine and unscriptural teaching we think we are fighting! We are contributing to the skepticism that the world has about all things related to evangelical Christianity!
This is doubly true when those attacks are on a “high-profile” Christian leader in our community. That highly visible Christian leader represents the Lord in the eyes of the lost. When we say things about them that hurt their testimony (even if we are convinced we are saying the truth) we are destroying the Lord in the eyes of the lost. We MUST start living with ETERNITY’S VALUES IN VIEW!The eternal soul of the lost is far more important than any idea or conflict we perceive! Click To Tweet
Well, what is the proper way to handle differences? The Lord answered that when He said through the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:19-21, Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
By the way, do not forget that God said this through a man who had been beaten, stoned and persecuted far beyond anything that a fellow church member or spouse has done to you. Could it just be possible that the Lord wants you to remain in an unpleasant situation with a fellow church member or a mate so that God can use you to be a blessing to them? Could it be possible that the Lord wants to “sand off some rough edges” in your life and “polish you up” for Himself by keeping you in a situation that you do not think is ideal?
All growth comes through obstacles, trials, opposition and difficulty!
Let us re-dedicate ourselves to LET CHRIST BE SEEN THROUGH US in ALL circumstances.
Sharing His Wonder,