Sowing Discord . . .

13 Aug

Proverbs 6:16-19:  “These six things doth the Lord hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

It is surprising to me that, in spite of our Lord’s words, above, so many Christians still sow discord among the brethren.  Just what is that?  Is it possible that many of us do not understand what it is and when we are doing it?

We sow discord when we go to anyone other than the person who can solve the problem with our problem.

We sow discord when we have gone to the person who can solve our problem but we don’t like his or her answer, so we try again with another person in our church, hoping to get a different answer this time.  Once we have gained a sympathetic audience, we then try to set these two people up at odds with each other.

We sow discord by setting these two people at odds with each other within our church, whether unintentionally or by design.  We especially sow discord if the two are both in leadership.  We really, really sow discord if we set someone up against a senior pastor when we don’t like the senior pastor’s solution to our problem, by continuing to “solution shop” with other members of our leadership till we find someone who recommends doing things the way we want them done.

When we do this, we are like a child who runs to Mom with a request and gets a “no,” so she runs to Dad, without telling him she has just run to Mom.  The discord happens when Dad says “yes,” then gets in trouble with Mom for doing so.  Meanwhile, the child has learned that “divide and conquer” works with her parents.

Many church leaders are very wise to the tactics of sowing discord among the brethren and will not play the game, but everyone can get tired and frazzled and get temporarily sucked into the game every once in a while.

Shame on us if we try to do that to our fellow churchmembers or to our leadership.  God   despises that tactic, whether or not man thinks it is fun to engage in it.  And Jesus showed us, in John 17, how much He values true unity by speaking of it in the Olivet Discourse to His disciples, His last sermon.

Should we not choose to be unified with those with whom we worship and with whom we share a precious faith?  The pull of the flesh can be strong.  We all have our preferences, even for how a church should be run.  But those preferences become idols if we put them between us and unity with other believers who have other preferences.

Let’s choose unity, as our Lord’s heart cried out for it right before He went to the cross.


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