Conflict, such a powerful word…conjuring up many different feelings and tapes in our head. In today’s scripture, Paul exhorts believers to agree with one another, to love each other and to work together with one mind and purpose.
Jesus’ last instructions, moments before he ascended to heaven, leave no doubt what the church is to be doing: “And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
If we are to be effective witnesses, as Christians, we need to work together with one mind and purpose (the mind of Christ). Our witness can be hurt…and even destroyed…if we are involved in pride, bickering, gossip and other habits that can only lead to strife and division. We need to set aside personality conflicts, social differences, cliquishness and anything else that divides us and keeps us from accomplishing God’s purpose for us and those we are to minister to on His behalf.
Conflict is more complex than this, but attitude and focus…my kingdom come, my will be done or Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done mentality is what steers the process to a fleshly demise or a God-glorifying experience.
Today, think of an area in your life in which you are experiencing division with a sister or brother in Christ. Are you putting Christ in the center…your greatest need should be to please God and honor Him, not ease your own discomfort. Acknowledge specifically an incident or situation where you have failed in the area of relationship. Prayerfully examine how pride might be playing a role in the division.
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My Father and my Lord, Please forgive me for sometimes allowing pride or other wrongful attitudes to lead to division with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to do my part in walking in unity so that we all might be more effective witnesses for Jesus and accomplish what You have called us to do. Help me build courage to withstand the pain, hurt, or anger I sometimes feel in conflicts, knowing You can provide more to me in that pain than in the good times. I pray this and all prayers for the one was the perfect witness, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.