Thursday, March 21, 2013

Causers of Division

Rom. 16:17   Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 
This sounds somewhat harsh. Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to our doctrine and avoid them. But it makes sense if we also want to avoid the divisions that these people cause. This is why peace with God and with the brethren is so vital. If you are not at peace with God then you are going to continue to create strife with your brothers. Also, as I said earlier, if you are one who causes divisions, then you really are not at peace with God.
What should you do? First, make your peace with God. If you have trouble with people everywhere you go, trouble in your home, trouble in your neighborhood, trouble at work, trouble at church, then mark my words, NONE of those people are the problem.  The problem is that you keep taking you into all of those situations. The trouble is that you see trouble everywhere and that you have a need to fix it. And it is not enough for you to say that you are only having trouble because you are being righteous. If you look at everything in a critical manner, then you are not being righteous.
Dear Saints, this is really important for you to find personal peace and peace with those around you. This is an area where I have to work very hard. My career prior to being a pastor was in business management. My job was to look at our operation in a very critical manner and constantly improve our systems. In order to make a profit, we needed to provide outstanding service very efficiently. So, my mind was trained to look for all those little shortcomings of each system and each person in the system. This is not bad as far as business goes as long as I didn't make it too impersonal. But to live this way in every day life only makes one constantly dissatisfied with everything, even if one is right a lot of the time. Instead of being pleased with service the service that I received, the food I ordered, the ride I went on, the trip that was planned, I sometimes found myself constantly thinking about how those people could have done a better job to serve me, or how the thing itself could have been better. Thus, instead of being pleased with a whole lot of good, I found myself displeased by the little bit of improvement that could be made. If one does not notice this displeasure and put a check on it, then it very easily can cause division and offenses. This same bad attitude of displeasure is very easy to bring into the church. It really is just intense selfishness that demands that things ought to be just how I/you envision them.
We, who are mature, if we are to be mature, need to act like it. And a big part of acting mature is being patient with God as He works out His will in the world. This means all the people that we come into contact with every day. We seem to have some degree of patience with our own children but very little with everyone else around us who is also growing up.
We will get to that in a moment. There will be trouble for the righteous in the world. That is part of the WAR of PEACE. Absolutely. If you are a faithful Christian and following hard after God, you are going to have conflict. Occasionally, this conflict may even arise with other godly saints because one of you or both of you are in sin. But mark the word OCCASSIONALLY. There should not be regular ongoing conflict between faithful saints. The Scriptures teach us that it cannot be this way. One of you has to relent, let go, stand down. And I would argue that the one who does so proves that he is the one striving for peace. He is willing to let God sort it out and is not insistent upon getting his own way through strife.
Sometimes this sort of trouble, especially in a church, is nothing more than meddling, getting into somebody else’s business when it is not your business. But are we not called upon to confront sin? Yes, if it is sin by the Bible’s definition and not yours. Yes, if that sin is damaging a marriage and a family. Yes, if that sin is dividing the brethren. But even as a response to these yesses, it takes great wisdom in how to confront in a way that is received. If your confrontations are seldom if ever received well by godly people, then you are creating division and not bringing unity.

No comments: