The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Breaking Up

In the case of a divorce, no one ever wins. A bond of unity is broken and it affects more than just two people. If there are children, their lives will be changed forever and the stability that they always believed in is shattered.
In laws, siblings, and even common friends all have to change the dynamics of their relationships with the two people that are divorcing.
Even if the splitting couple come to amicable agreement in settling things afterward, there will long be ripples in the pond of their lives.

Now compare all of that to a church split. 
It is a very sad event and many people will be affected. Longtime members become very disheartened. New believers will not understand and have a distorted view of spirituality. Church leaders worry and become heavily burdened. But most of all the church becomes a mockery to people of the world.
How on earth do these things happen?

The church is full of people, human beings. The people have been washed in the blood of Jesus and have had their sins washed away. However, they are still human. They will still sin. Christians are not perfect people. (Gasp!)
And anytime people are around each other, there will eventually be problems. 
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 ESV)

People can be selfish, people can be overly sensitive, people can be blunt, people will disappoint, people lack compassion, people gossip, people manipulate, people expect things from you, people harbor grudges. And the faults go on and on.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:1-4 ESV)

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13 ESV)

Our focus should be Christ, His Kingdom and His work. We should be responding to people with love, kindness, inclusiveness, and always forgiveness.

And if, still a church splits, the only way for any involved to ever heal from that is to avoid taking sides, refrain from participating in gossip, work at bringing about peace, seek God's guidance, be very disciplined, re focus on Christ and His Kingdom. Every action, thought and words should come from humility. 
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

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