When our five young grandchildren get together, things change. They greet each other with smiles and hugs. Then you can hear their soft sweet voices asking each other to go play. But things soon deteriorate. Before you know it, they are fighting over the same toy. It can quickly escalate to screaming, crying, hitting, or even biting. Usually, they won’t stop until an adult intervenes. As annoying as this may be, they are simply acting like children.
The truth is, there is often little difference with the bigger kids, from age 20-80, who are brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. We often meet and greet one another with a smile, hug, or happy words. But it doesn’t seem to take very long before we, too, are fighting, backbiting, and refusing to get along. This is exactly why the Apostle Paul begs the believers at Ephesus to rise to the level where each one is: “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). This passage tells us God has given all believers a natural state of “unity” by virtue of mutually knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The word “unity” means a state of oneness, harmony, agreement, or accord. We all have the responsibility to “endeavor,” (meaning to try hard or make an earnest attempt), to “keep,” or maintain, this precious unity. Throughout Scripture, the Lord repeats this principle. In I Corinthians 1:10, Paul writes: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same…judgment.” To make this possible, the saints are told that the “…strong [or mature] ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification” (Romans 15:1-2). When we act to keep this harmony between believers, Paul says. “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men” (Romans 14:18).
When conflict arises between believers, it is because someone is serving self rather than serving Christ. Someone is acting like a child, and someone needs to act like an adult. Which one are you going to be? Let’s choose right now to act like a mature, Christ-like adult.
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