I’ve seen my share of church fights – even a couple that ended up in members of the congregation deciding to pack up their bags. Some of them were just awful situations, but most were just dumb. You’re probably thinking of a couple yourself now. Of course, your perspective will always determine who was right and who was wrong. But we can always be sure of this – satan was the only winner. When God’s family fights with each other no ever wins. I just wonder if God isn’t left standing alone in the middle, as His children walk away from one another to stake their flags in their territory, left with nothing but tears of sorrow? Such a disappointing thought.
You know, even the best or most healthy congregations have problems. I know, kind of a simplistic statement. No church is immune from people going on power trips, being too sensitive or unforgiving or just having one or two folks who seem to be possessed by satan. That’s a joke – well, sort of ;-). So since it is the case that even the most healthy congregations have to work through issues, how do they do it? How are they able to fight through satans’ attacks more united, more in love with God and still growing strong? There’s really no simple answer. But here’s a thought for you to consider.
Jesus is pretty clear what He thinks are the two most important rules. Read this scripture with me.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important? “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
This kind of gives me the idea that if I would just focus on these two that I would have a good start on living a Godly life that will make my Savior proud of me and able to use me. That’s the same case for groups of people – especially the most important group of people – Jesus’ body.
You’ve heard of the love chapter – 1 Corinthians 13. Kind of ironic that the chapter isn’t about love at all. It’s actually more about a church fighting with each other over who had the greater spiritual gifts. Look at what Paul wrote to them. Only, you’re going to notice the scripture is written a little differently from what is inyour Bible. For every occassion where Paul wrote ‘love’, you’ll read ‘family.’ After all, isn’t that what a family is . . . love? Read it with me.
Families are patient, families are kind. Families do not envy, they do not boast, they are not proud. They are not rude, they are not self-seeking, they are not easily angered, they keep no record of wrongs. Families do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. Families always protect, always trust, always hope, always perseveres. Families never fail.
Kind of changes the perspective a little? May God bless you and your Church family.