Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Problem...Disunity

One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Romans 14:2-3 
One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Romans 14:5a 

Satan’s joy, if he cannot devise a scheme to keep men from following Christ, is to create ways to divide sincere men to keep them from serving Christ.  He loves nothing more than to create disunity and division in the body of Christ.  There is only one side to be on in a church and that is God’s side.  His is the side of Unity.

The Problem...Disunity 
Let’s face it, churches are filled with humans – imperfect and sinful.  It is easy for us to get caught up in what we see someone else doing that we don’t agree with and make a huge issue over it creating disunity in the body of Christ.  Unity is hard work. It demands an ongoing commitment from every believer.  Disunity in the church can cause many issues and can be very difficult to overcome, even causing some congregations to split if not reconciled quickly.  Some dangers of disunity are:

  • Disunity creates a lack of trust.  A fellowship cannot long exist without trust. Neither can a marriage, family, relationship.  We are prone to trust only those who act and think as we do.  Fellowship is partnership and demands trust.
  • Disunity creates criticism in the place of understanding.  Criticism is the forerunner of disrespect and haughtiness.  Criticism is the maker of a broken spirit and leads to bitterness. Criticism stops service. 
  • Disunity creates strife and division in place of love and unity.  When we major on difference instead of on similarity we separate instead of unite.  There will always be diversity because of the way God has made us and the gifts He has given us.
  • Disunity creates a loss of ministry.  The horrid final result - fewer baptisms than ever before this decade...less ministry. Loss of ministry to one another…churches on edge and pastors on the move.

Patience and a servant spirit are keys to unity.   Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.  Romans 15:1

The call of God to Christian service involves the responsibility of Christian patience with others.  To "bear" in this passage is a word that means to endure patiently.  The cry here is for us not to demand the spiritual perfection of others that we have not achieved ourselves...OR even to demand what we HAVE achieved.

God is dealing with every individual at their personal pace of growth.  The fact that someone does not agree or does not act properly does not mean they are less than you.  It merely displays a place of spiritual immaturity or poor discernment that may need temporary indulgence and understanding until God changes them.  Or, it may be YOU that is wrong and God is using them to reveal it to you!
Realize that “Receiving an individual is foundational to ministry to them.”

A servant is more in tune with the needs of those they serve than their own needs.  A mother may deny herself for the needs of her children.  The Christian is most pleased with himself when others are benefited.  The nature of God is love and the Word says that "
love ...does not seek its own." I Corinthians 13:5  God is always glorified as Christians learn to love each other.  

Scripture to Claim:
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:3

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