Laying it down

Lately in my walk with the Lord, He has been working with me on my ‘getting alongness with others.’ Yes it’s been a buried issue that the Lord brought up to me recently and helped me get rid of it once and for all.

Let love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil, but hold fast to that which is good. Love one another as members of one family—live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, readily adjust yourself to people. Never overestimate yourself. Repay no evil for evil. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:9-18. Amplified version and its paraphrased. I encourage you to read it through and study it.

I am heavily involved at my church and one thing we absolutely do not joke around with is strife. It is defined as a strong or bitter disagreement or fighting. It is a killer of many churches and ministries; many marriages, families and friendships have ended because of strife. The list can go on and on about how strife enters. Once strife is there and if not resolved and stopped it can be devastating. At my church we just absolutely do not give place to it at all! I am glad too, because it is so much more better to be in unity.

Unity is not getting offended when someone else’s idea is used and not yours. It’s putting others interests first before your own. Its not thinking your better then someone else. It’s not being jealous but happy for someone who gets blessed with a new car or raise at work. Unity is also forgiving even when you think they don’t deserve it. Getting along sounds a lot like walking in love and that’s why its important.

It says in 1 Peter 3:11, Let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it. This means that we need to go after peace with everything we have so that we can live at peace with God, others and with ourselves. Peace means freedom from disturbance and tranquility.

I know that I want my body to function in a healthy unified way. In the body of Christ we all have our part to play and staying in unity keeps the body healthy and strong. If one part of the body is not at peace the whole body is affected and as a whole we need to put a stop to the part that is bringing disruption. The pastor of my church brought this topic up one night and I was deeply convicted; from that point on I am determined to never let strife enter in any way. As a church family we need to be accountable to each other like that. We need to ensure that strife will never enter in.

I have started a personal bible study on ‘getting along.’ I have found that there are so many great scriptures about it in the bible. If you struggle with this same thing I encourage you to seek God, he’ll tell you if there is any strife in you. Then find the scriptures that point you in the way you can live towards others in a unified peaceful way. We are to stay unified and in love to bring glory to God for His kingdom and to bring an end to strife.

7 thoughts on “Laying it down

  1. Very good Tracy, I would add as an addendum to your thoughts the idea of Unity is not uniformity.

    God created us with diverse gifts, backgrounds and viewpoints. Part of the beauty of being in different churches over the years has been seeing the diversity of the family of Christ. We need different aspects of each other and there are areas some parts of the body are strong in that others may be weak in. We can appreciate the diversity God has created and don’t all have to think or be the same to be in unity. So in that context I would say that one thing God has taught me is that we can disagree in love.

    Sometimes the MN nice culture we grew up in can lead to the idea of equating strife as strongly disagreeing. Paul talks about bearing with one another in love. In my church we talk about the in the essentials the Gospel is the standard, but in non essentials love and grace. We can disagree but we can do so in love and grace.
    We can have diversity of look, thought, background, ways of worship and ideas but have unity through Christ in the gospel.

    It also brings to mind the distinction of peacemakers vs peace seeker. Sometimes in conversations of getting along we just want there to be peace for the sake of peace. No conflict whatsoever. Peace seeking at any cost, even the cost of standing up for something that is not popular.
    But conflict can be good if we approach it in a healthy manner. This is true in relationships and in larger contexts. Where we respectfully listen and engage with each other. And in recognize things we may not have thought of before. We can wrestle with challenging things in vulnerable honest ways. Peace makers want to see peace and unity through Christ but will not sacrifice the taking a stand for what is right even if others may disagree. Rather they seek to build bridges on common ground and allow for freedom in love in areas where we can disagree.

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