As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11 (ESV)
I have a word of warning for you. What’s that? Don’t let yourself get drawn into debates and arguments and divisions in my body. Why is that? You have asked what seems like an obvious question with an easy answer. But, your question is not obvious to all and difficult to answer for many. However, I do want you to answer your own question. I want you to think deeply about your question and carefully consider your answer. I will do just that.
I know that debates and arguments and divisions damage relationships. Under such circumstances people can’t work together. What they could have accomplished for your kingdom, by working together, will never come to fruition when divisions occur and relationship are damaged. That’s right. What else? Debates and arguments and divisions that damage relationships are common place in the world. The world seems more interested in winning debates and arguments than it is in maintaining unity. That probably is an understatement. Maintaining unity, is certainly not a value that the world esteems. So, when your church acts no differently than the world, its witness for you is lost. You want your church, your body of believers to dramatically stand out as being far different than the world. You want your body of believers to be known by their love for you and each other. Yes, I do. Real, authentic, unconditional love is in very short supply in the world. Yes, it is. When your body of believers have your love on display, it stands out, it gets recognized, it gets noticed. That’s right. So, debates and arguments and divisions in your body mute, that’s too weak of a word, how about destroy, its witness in the world. People will not come to know you when they see members of your body behaving badly. People will not come to believe in you if they see that you have not made any dramatic changes in the lives of your followers. There is no better witness for you, in the world, than a changed life, that is totally devoted to loving you and others. That’s true.
So, what do you want? I want to be used by you. I want to quell divisions and foster unity in your body. I want to be a peacemaker for you in the world. I want your love to shine brightly in and through my life. I want others to see that you are living in and through my life. I want your body to be a bold and bright witness for you, so that fruit can be born for your kingdom and glory can be brought to your name. This is my prayer. This is what I want. I will hear and answer this prayer of your heart.
Lord, I will not allow myself to be drawn into divisions in your body. I will separate myself from anyone who is unwilling to turn away from divisiveness. Use me to quell division and foster unity in your body. I want your body to be a bright witness in the world. Amen
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