Friday, May 24, 2013

Be Reconciled

Paul, in the epistle of Titus urges us not to waste our time with people who like to argue. In fact he says this:

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11)

If you consider what the fruit of constant argumentation brings to the Body of Christ, Paul’s admonition is very practical. The point of coming together as the Body of Christ is not to entertain controversies or to argue endlessly about this doctrine or that teaching. The purpose of gathering together is to build one another up in faith. (See 1 Cor. 14:26)

Does this mean that we cannot build one another up by teaching simply because we might end up disagreeing over how to understand a scripture? Of course not. But we can allow people to disagree with us without turning the entire meeting over to this point of contention.

As an example, in our house church many of us disagree on how best to interpret various scriptures. However, we go out of our way to honor one another and to leave room for others to express their viewpoints. Understanding that either person, or both, could be wrong, everyone listens and no one attempts to sway the church in any specific direction. What’s more, we don’t make these differences our main points of discussion.

Disagreement is not divisiveness. The divisiveness comes when one person, or more, cannot let something go. It comes when those persons allow their needs and wants and agendas to become more important to them than the spiritual health and well-being of everyone else in the Body. In those cases, Paul’s words are very helpful to us:

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing more to do with them.”

Find your unity in Christ, not in your doctrines. Do not allow being right to rob everyone else of their right to experience Christ in the midst of the Body. As Paul also says, “Why not rather be wronged” than to allow divisions among us? (1 Corinthians 6:7)

Seek first the Kingdom, and let go of your petty arguments.


1 comment:

Chris Jefferies said...

Amen to that, Keith. And divisiveness written large becomes anger and separation and, when fully grown, violence.

Best avoided in its infant stage, methinks.