Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9
It’s breaking out. People everywhere fall prey without even realizing it. Those who thought they were immune are being hit the hardest.
No, I’m not talking about ebola.
I’m talking about Christians taking out other Christians. Attacking. Slandering. Snickering. Backstabbing. Breaking ties. Lying.
What is the cause?
Honestly, I believe it starts very small, as all sin does. It might begin with not liking how someone looked at us or maybe they didn’t sit in their usual spot on Sunday morning. Maybe it was a disagreement over a sermon or how the potluck at church was cancelled. It may have started over a Christmas card getting lost in the mail.
You may laugh at some or all of the above, but it’s true. Christians can sometimes be the most petty and get a burr under their saddle over the tiniest thing.
How do I know? Because I’ve done it. As I sat and typed this, recalling others who have attacked and participated in going after another Christian, God boldly reminded me of something I cannot deny. I’ve done this and the number of times is too many to count. I’ve attacked. I’ve slandered. I’ve snickered. I’ve backstabbed.
But let’s be brutally honest. Every one of those situations could have been dealt with in a loving way if those involved had turned to God for their reaction rather than rallying support and/or blowing it out of proportion. Would He want the reaction of us getting huffy over someone’s mistake or small error, or would He have wanted grace extended and a civil conversation? Would He want more people than necessary involved or would He want it brought to Him in prayer? Would He want a letter/text/email sent in haste or grace/prayer/time? I think we all know the answer.
This may all seem over the top and like I’m scraping the bottom of my blog writing barrel. Sadly, I’m not. It’s all true and very, very sad.
The reality of it all is that satan has distracted us from fighting him by turning us against each other. He plants seeds of doubt, paranoia, and gossip and then sits back while we tear eachother apart. He gives us a taste of feeling like someone has wronged us or that we have a right to fight a fight over something that was never worth fighting over.
We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and refocus on God! Our gatherings should resemble the throne room where God resides instead of looking like a courtroom where we come to fight for victory over a fellow Christian.
Basically what is all comes down to is we need to pray. Pray against satan’s temptations in our lives and pray that we hold fast to what God has extended to us, His power over sin and His grace of which we are so very undeserving. Because remembering that grace that we don’t deserve that God has given to us should stop us before ever attacking another brother or sister in Christ.
And extend that same grace when we don’t receive a Christmas card from someone this year.