“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Churches are filled with sinners who are drawn into a community where the same interpersonal dynamics that exist at home or at work exist in the body of Christ. Church is not a slice of heaven, but a group of broken people seeking to love as Christ loves and at times falling short. For a new Christian, church life can be disillusioning if the expectation of perfect harmony is the anticipated standard.
Conflict is a reality in many churches. Consider this fact for a moment: Every letter that the Apostle Paul wrote (except for the Epistle to the Ephesians) was written to a church with problems that needed to be resolved. Some of these problems included issues that were moral, some doctrinal, and some relational. There were and are no perfect churches because there were and are no perfect people.
Maybe we should anticipate occasional tension and even conflict in church. After all, Satan hates the church, imperfect people fill the church, and a fallen world surrounds the church. For all the church’s faults however, it is still the bride of Christ and the hope of the world.
God calls us to take the unity of the church as our personal responsibility. Romans 15:5-6 says, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
LIVING OUT GOD’S BEST TODAY
Application of God’s Truth
The church is a reflection of each individual member. If every member acted as you do within the body what kind of church would we have? Determine to be a person of peace within the church.