Have you felt it? Have you felt the tension that is occurring amongst believers in Christ? Have you felt the elephants (yes, there are more than one) in the room lately? Have you felt the division that has slowly been creeping in over the last year and a half? Have you felt the awkwardness in conversations? Have you felt the defensiveness that surrounds us? If you haven’t, I am assuming that you have been living under a rock! Ha! But seriously…all jokes aside, the events taking place right now are heavy.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came so you may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
When Satan is at work, he doesn’t aimlessly attack; rather, he strategically maps out his war tactics in hopes of accomplishing his mission: “……to steal, kill and destroy”. One of the ways he succeeds in his quest is by creating disunity amongst the opposing side.
Disunity: “ The lack of agreement among people which prevents them from working together effectively.”
As believers, we are all called to “love God”, “love people” and to “make disciples.” We are also called to live in such a way that encourages and equips our fellow believers to carry out this mission. And when we don’t, it can be very challenging for each of us to keep our hearts and minds positioned towards eternity. If we aren’t on constant guard, Satan’s roadblocks will distract us and trip us up, keeping us from effectively working together as we point people to Jesus.
The truth is, we are going to disagree. The world we live in is not always black and white. We will have different convictions concerning different topics. But what is also true is this: we can disagree in a loving, God-honoring, healthy way- in a way that does not bring forth disunity amongst believers. And as we have these conversations, let’s remember that we are called to “love our neighbor as ourself” (Mark 12:31) and to “consider others more significant than ourself” (Philippians 2:3). Now, this does not mean in order to love and honor our neighbor well we have to cave in our convictions or avoid tough conversations. We are to honor God above all- so, if He is leading us in our convictions, we need to stand firm in those and speak up, when called to. But what it does mean is this:
1. Love needs to be at the root of every conversation.
2. Our motives are pure in that we desire for our fellow believers to grow in their relationship with Christ more than we desire to be “right” about something.
3. We desire to encourage and equip others as they continue to make eternal impacts for the glory of God.
I’m not sure who said it, but recently I heard this beautiful reminder:
“As believers, we have far more in common than we do differences.”
Jesus is still King. We are still called to make disciples. We are to continue in our quest to love God and love people. Jesus has already won.