“Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” Romans 14:18
Our brothers and sisters in Christ will wrong us. We will wrong them. Our brokenness, the enemy’s schemes, and the temptations of this world will always pose a threat to kingdom testimony. Yet tomorrow’s testimony depends on our ability to remain unified today and push toward maturity when church family conflict arises.
The way we fight for kingdom testimony is to put Jesus‘ practical words from Matthew 18:15-17 into action.
- We must fight face-to-face versus knife-to-back. Instead of running around venting the wrongs that have been done against us or spilling the latest gossip, we must cut sin off at the pass and go straight to the source first.
- If that doesn’t work, we fight arm-in-arm not us-versus-them. We bring a wise and mature person with us to help settle the matter recognizing the real enemy and creating solutions for reconciliation.
Yet often unifying efforts come with a cost. Are we willing to count the cost to preserve Jesus’ testimony? Jude 22-23 called us to fight with perseverance, while risking getting wounded ourselves. He says, “Be merciful to those who doubt, save others by snatching them from the fire, to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Take this opportunity today to ask God how he would have you take a step of love toward someone you know is disrupting the unity and testimony of Christ. Ask God with a posture to obey whatever God asks you to do. Then obey in courage if God does ask you to step out.
By Yvonne Biel