“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught: avoid them.” Romans 16:17
The church need only be guilty of the sin of division and pettiness to be rendered ineffective. Satan knows this well and has in many ways succeeded in destroying the voracity of the Holy Spirit’s power in the church by dividing it. The church family in many ways is a broken family riddled with a history of divorce. Doctrinal differences, cultural shifts, and extra-Scriptural dogma, instead of pushing the Church into a period of growth through prayer and discussion, usually end in a heated parting of ways. It grieves my heart to look into the history of the church and find it so fragmented to be almost unrecognizable. It’s even worse to know that I don’t need to look further than my own sinful tendencies to understand why the Church is the way it is. I entertain division and petty doctrines constantly. I fail to take the advice of Paul and avoid them. How will the church be God’s holy temple if it is a temple divided? How will we be a reflection of God’s redemptive glory if we are a fragmented mirror?
Lord Jesus, convict us of our pettiness and return us to a heart and mind united by your Spirit. Lord, let us avoid divisions!