Yesterday we looked at the trap of pride in our lives. Unfortunately one place this has manifested is in the Church! God calls everyone who believes in His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior to be brothers and sisters who love and respect one another.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Churches should be the most unified places in the world, and all Believers should be in perfect harmony with one another, but that is not the case. We tend to think the denominations and traditions we grew up with are the only right way, and everyone who thinks differently than us is wrong!
This morning I listened to a gathering of 5 pastors from around the world, all men whom I have respected for some time. They were from different backgrounds and nationalities. They were honoring each other for the things they have always admired about each other. One man was humbled and convicted when he said that one of the pastors was disciplined to never speak a negative word about anyone else. This was made more obvious because he was going through great persecution and accusations from other churches, but he never once spoke against them.
1 Peter 2:23 and while being reviled, He (Jesus) did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
The pastor telling the story confessed that the same could not be said about him. He repented in front of the other pastors, and the thousands who were listening in. He said he should be honoring all Christians as his brethren, but instead he tended to criticize them.
Another pastor spoke up with great tears in his eyes repenting for the words he had spoken against pastors (even some of the men he as directly talking with), in the areas where he did not totally agree with their theology. Great conviction humbled him in front of these other pastors, as he asked for their forgiveness. He had learned that they were great men of the Word, and even if they had some differences, they deserved to be honored. He resolved in his heart to stop judging the characteristics and traditions in other churches, and instead humbly love them. He went on to say that our criticism of one another has produced a destructive religious spirit that dwells among different denominations and traditions. This spirit can be dismantled through honest and open repentance and forgiveness. Then the body of Christ can truly be in oneness under the leadership of Jesus Christ!
What about you? Are you disciplined to never speak a negative word of criticism about someone? No matter what they may say about you?
Let’s confess our sins to one another, and hold each other accountable in this area. May the spirit of honoring one another be upon us in a great way! Then the power of God will be able to move freely through us.
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