Editor’s Note: Today we celebrate Stepping Stones’ 2nd birthday and thanks to you, over 10,000 people get Stepping Stones each day. We get great encouragement and testimonials from you daily and we thank you so much. As a result of its popularity, Stepping Stones has led to Solomon’s Portico, our devotional for teens/young adults. Thank you, God, for using and blessing us through this community of Your children!
Jesus’ last instructions, moments before he ascended to heaven, leave no doubt about 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 the purpose God has for us and for those we are to minister to on His behalf.
Conflict is obviously more complex than this, but a ‘my kingdom come, my will be done’ instead of ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done mentality’ is the key ingredient that steers the process to a fleshly demise instead of a God-glorifying experience.
Many excuses allow us to fall back on and avoid working through a conflict with another person. Don’t fall into the laziness trap or the addiction to comfort we all suffer from when you have this difficult but important decision to make. In the long run avoiding the conflict will be more harmful to you than the uneasiness you will feel while trying to solve the conflict.
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, guilt, or ego. Specifically acknowledge 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. Your decision, choose well.
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.