1 Corinthians 1v10: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you respect one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
Like everyone else I know, I am deeply troubled by all that is happening in our beloved nation. I’m both sad and disappointed about the riots last week in Washington and I fear that some similar events may still erupt across several of our cities. I love the USA and feel privileged to be a citizen, so inside my heart is weeping for all of the unrest and violence that has taken place.
I know that it would be easy to pick sides and apportion blame; I have to leave that to the proper authorities. What I need to do is something that I have tried to do for so long: I have to find middle ground and allow moderation to heal our wounds. At the moment, we are broken and, just like anyone who is injured, if we keep poking the wound, it will never heal but instead it will fester and infect the rest of the body. I want us all to be united because I still believe that our freedom is a God-given gift which we should wisely cherish, encourage, and share with the rest of the world.
Sadly, I still see folks trying to score points over each other on social media – good folks, church folks, folks that I call friends. To them, I ask to cease and desist from doing that because it is precisely what got us here in the first place. The devil just loves to divide us – we’re easier pickings that way. It will take more will power to resist the urge to put someone right and keep them in their place, so that we can feel good about ourselves, our viewpoint, and our ability to score debating points. It’s much harder to be true peacemakers, to identify the issues, and seek a common solution. It will involve humility – which makes us uncomfortable – and patience – which is in short supply.
When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian Church, he did so because the congregation was divided into different factions. He wanted them to find a common unity in Christ, instead of identifying themselves with different leaders. He knew that factionalism would destroy the church from within, so he appealed to them to respect and work with one another in order to strengthen Christ’s mission to the wider community. It worked because almost 2000 years later, we can still read his important letter. If his appeal had failed, his words would have totally disappeared from history.
I hope you can embrace this message and will do your utmost to be moderate and find ways to heal us of all the things that harm us. It won’t be easy, but then again did Christ not ask us to take up a cross in order to follow Him?
Q: What can I do to help heal the divisions in our community? What must I resist in order to avoid doing wrong?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, allow Your Spirit to walk among our people. Heal us of all that harms us and keep us from saying, writing, or posting things that will continue to hurt, anger, or divide us. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.