An Urgent Appeal

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

This article is short. It is because the subject doesn’t need a lot of words. What it needs to action.

Jesus said the premier indicator people were His genuine disciples was love; a bond of mutual affection and respect that unified them as a distinct community. Since that is a distinguishing mark of Jesus’ followers, we can expect the adversary to oppose it. It seems of late he has pulled out all the stops in dividing the Body of Christ. While division has always been a challenge for the Church, it kicked into high gear with the Covid-19 plague as churches and individuals differed widely and vehemently over how the church ought to respond to government lockdowns. Now that Covid is behind us, the heated rhetoric has shifted to other realms of contention, mostly over politics, but there are numerous other subjects people argue over.

And it’s gotten ugly. My appeal is this …

Let’s make it our aim to hold forth in discussions of our differences with a spirit of charity and kindness, rather than disdain and meanness. Ditch sarcasm. Leave off the snark. Go into conversations more concerned to represent Jesus than ‘your side.’

As I listen to some argue for their side in an issue, they seem far more interested in scoring points than changing minds. It is as though they think being verbally brutal and making the other side look like foolish is the goal. Jesus warned us not to CALL people fools in Matthew 5:22. How much worse is it when your goal is to make someone appear as one? Jesus said before we appear before God in worship, we ought to go and get right with those we’ve so abused.

The greatest command is to love God and others, not to win debates.

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