It seems the believers at Ephesus were having some relationship issues and the Spirit of God led Paul to address them. He wrote, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Couldn’t this have been written today to the Church? I mean, think about it. Even in one fellowship, one local church, there is backbiting, arguing, disassociation, slandering, bitterness, and rage when the people who are part of the Body of Christ are supposed to be kind to one another, compassionate to each other, readily forgiving one another the way Christ did all of us.
Beyond that, look at the differences between denominations. I honestly think God calls those divisions and He may not be too happy about them, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion for a whole ‘nother day.
The Protestants rankle at the Catholic ways while they themselves are divided into so many pieces – the Methodists don’t do things the Baptist way, the Pentacostals are too wild, the Presbyterians are too staid…. and no one who claims to be part of the Body of Christ likes the other people in the same Body.
If we who bear the name of Christ choose to continue the bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and evil behavior (that’s anything that’s against God’s word) we are the ones who are wrong. Personally, I don’t think we should identify as our denomination, but as a Christ-follower. We hold common ground. It’s at the foot of the Cross of Calvary.
It’s time we looked within ourselves. We may not want to spend oodles of time with every person in our local congregation, but we must genuinely care for every single person. We must never call names or hold grudges against the others.
It’s also time that we start associating with them, those believers from the church down the street, the one across town, the one that bears the name different than ours, instead of shunning them like they’re unbelievers.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.