You know what would make the enemy happy? If we Christ followers couldn’t get along. Oh wait . . . that’s already a problem, and it’s a big one. And, thanks in part to social media, it’s growing.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35Click to tweet
The enemy knows we become unrecognizable to non-Christians as daughters of the King when we fail to love each other. Our ministry weakens, making his job easier. Oops! That isn’t what we mean to do, but it’s what happens. So, he hunts for opportunities to divide us (I Peter 5:8). And divide we do, scattering far away from our own sisters in Christ, the very people who are meant to encourage us and build us up in our faith.
Take Facebook, for instance. Comments aren’t getting any kinder. “WHAT!? You do/don’t believe the Sabbath is on Sunday!? And you call yourself a Christian . . .” I get it, I do. Sometimes when I find out that a friend—or a leader I respect—has a different viewpoint than I do, I get panicky. Does this mean she won’t want to be friends? Does it mean I can’t trust her as a sister in Christ? Or learn from her? Even be around her?
All I know is that John 13:35 calls me to love her. It doesn’t give any exceptions. Loving her doesn’t mean agreeing with her. It means treating her with kindness and respect. It means not building a wall between us or abandoning her friendship. It means remembering that we have the same Holy Spirit living in us.
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18
Instead of being offended by those who interpret Scripture in a different way than we do, maybe we can learn from them. We can talk without fear or animosity and find out which Bible passages influence their beliefs. We can even share how we understand that same topic (I Peter 3:15). Healthy communication builds friendships and makes us wiser.
“Iron sharpeneth iron;
so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
When we desire to glorify God with our words and actions, we have nothing to fear. We don’t need to feel like we have to “convert” a sister in Christ to our way of thinking. We can all make sure we have a scriptural foundation for why we believe what we believe and compare what we hear from others with what the Bible says (Acts 17:11). The Holy Spirit will guide us.
It can be hard when people don’t “believe” the way we do, but God wants us to be united in our love for each other. Let’s put our liberty in Christ to good use for God’s glory!
Family Radio Staff