Thursday, January 27, 2005

One Body and One Spirit

I have been disturbed today as I’ve pondered recent incidents within the Christian community. In one instance, a high profile Christian leader’s views on a couple of issues have been misquoted and misrepresented by the news media. I’m not too concerned about the response of Non-Christians. The Bible says their minds are “darkened” anyway.

But these godless reporters have been able to create quite a ruckus within the family of faith. Some believers have jumped to conclusions and caused great disunity by being quick to publicly criticize, condemn, and fault this leader – without getting their facts straight.

Many verses in the Bible refer to all those who are in Christ as one Body. And just as Christ extended grace to us as sinners, so should we extend grace to one another. Too often gatherings of believers, ministries and churches have been torn apart by rumors, public criticism and the mishandling of disagreements.

The New Testament has some good pointers to keep in mind for such difficult situations. I suggest you read the fourth chapter of Ephesians for starters and search other places for how to handle conflict and disagreement in a kind and godly way.

Are you at odds with a brother or sister in Christ? Are you angry with anyone at home or at school? Carefully consider how you should approach the situation. And don’t be too quick to judge. How you react can make a huge difference in the outcome for yourself, for the other person, and for the Non-Christians around you who may be watching how Christians treat each other.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2, 3