We are instructed in Romans 12:18-“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” And in Mark 7:3 and Luke 6:41 it says- “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
Lately I have seen and read about churches pointing the fingers at other churches and members criticizing other members for a variety of reasons and most of the time it is doctrinal. Some are leaving churches because the pastor does not address current event issues enough. I actually read that in the news. Jesus never said to do that. And realize that the church is the Body of Christ. HE is the Head of the church. Yes, there are cults out there masquerading as Christian; heretical ones that don’t even preach the gospel of Christ and we should stay away from them. But be careful what you say. Even if the person is not doing what you think they should be doing doctrinally, be careful not to pass harsh judgement on that individual or on the entire church. Because you do not know when that person might repent. And you might not even hear about it. So here you go, keeping your judgement passing, resentment and, in some cases, outright hostility against another while they have completely changed and have been forgiven by God but you won’t know it. So, this puts you in a lot of danger because God will judge you just as harshly as you did that individual. If you don’t like that person now, what are you going to do when you find out they are in Heaven or have been changed in the blink of an eye when Jesus returns? [Keep in mind if you refuse to repent you might not be there at all.] Yes, if a brother is committing a grievous sin we are to go to him, humbly with gentleness and bring it to his attention because you might help him to stop sinning and thus saved him. Matt 18:15-“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
We are COMMANDED to love one another. It was not a suggestion Jesus made depending on your personal beliefs or whims. He died for EVERYONE, not a chosen few. If you are harboring resentment and hostility you are clearly not loving. This can fester and lead to a greater sin: hate. And that can quench the Spirit. Well any sin grieves the Holy Spirit.
And you can’t do this by yourself. You first must take your unholy attitude to God and repent of it and ask Him to help you to love all others and see them as He does. This does NOT mean we embrace things that are clearly an abomination to God. If He says it is wrong, it is wrong. No amount of howling from our current abominable and heathen society, which wants Christians to be conformed to them, not Christ, will change that. And we must stand firm on that.
When you see strife, the devil has made his way onto the scene. There should be NO strife. It’s not going to exist in the Kingdom of God so why should it exist in any of us? Satan wants nothing more than to destroy the church and he will work on individuals to make sure it gets done. He knows you all too well and has studied you a long time. He knows exactly what traps to lay to ensnare you. He knows what appeals to your ego.
I have learned recently that even if I personally don’t agree with a particular doctrine of a particular church, I am to love them anyway and harbor NO ill feelings or judgement against them. Who am I to judge? God does not have a problem with laying my own sins bare and He will have no problem doing it to you. Anne Graham Lotz had a Bible study not too long ago on the Book of Daniel. In the back of the workbook that went along with the videos, she listed a whole bunch of sins that we need to take a look at. I even wrote about it in one of my posts and listed them, too. She did it because God would NOT go forward with her on a job she had to do UNTIL she did as He requested and took a look at her sins. When she began to write them down, she realized (with the Holy Spirit telling her which ones they were) how many she had to repent of. We need to do the same. We need to do a “Spring Cleaning” of ourselves, especially with the Holy Day coming upon us which celebrates Jesus Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross for all of mankind and His resurrection which has enabled us to be called sons/daughters of God. John 3:16
I have come to really love peace. I love God’s way of living and feel bad for those who reject Him. I hate strife. It does no one any good under any circumstances and does more damage than good. It is definitely NOT approved of by God. You do not want to be guilty of doing irreparable damage or bringing dishonor to another. I learned that from Beth Moore’s study on the Patriarchs. She asked, at one point, about bad experiences we have had and to write about it as long as it did not bring dishonor to another. That really stayed with me and I learned a lot from her that had nothing to do with the actual study. (I’m now going through her study on the Book of Daniel.) How often do we bring dishonor on another in our judgement passing and finger pointing? What does God think of all that? I may not know His exact thoughts but I can tell you He would see us as immature and wrong in our attitude.
You do NOT want to face God with a lot of garbage and sin on your heart that you have been harboring. I have a healthy fear of the Lord and don’t want to do anything that displeases Him and saddens Him.
So let us take our calling seriously and get rid of all the garbage we’ve been dragging around. Go to our Father, confess your sins and be forgiven. Start fresh and free of the crippling burden of sin. Have a joyous Resurrection Sunday! Be blessed in all you do.