Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:9-13
Today’s verses can be distilled down to one word, love. We are to love each other. Nothing disturbs me more than to see Christians battle each other. When we fight amongst ourselves the unbeliever will see us as no different than anyone else. The big problem is that most of the time we fight over things that have no major doctrinal importance.
When we disagree, the first thing we need to do is go to the person we have the disagreement with and in a loving non-confrontational way try to work out our differences. Now sometimes we may need to agree to disagree. There are many issues that come up between believers that are not salvation issues and which the Bible does not give a clear answer. I have seen people get upset over worship styles, the uses or non-use of spiritual gifts and what spiritual gifts still exist. None of these have any effect on one’s salvation yet they can cause falling outs between believers and split churches. Sometimes the rifts are so deep that one or both sides choose to leave. In a lot of cases both sides leave and those caught in between are left.
Now there are issues where we cannot compromise. If we see a brother teaching something that goes against God’s word then we need to correct them. Once again it must be done in love. If we cannot get the brother to change after a one on one talk, then we need to get one or two other believers to talk to them, once again in love. After that the church as a whole needs to discipline the offender and as a last resort remove them from the fellowship. But always this needs to be done in love.
Our love for one another and our love for the lost is how we stand apart from everyone else. When we put love aside, when we confront, when we criticize, that is when we follow the world and stop following Jesus.
Have a blessed day,