Is there disharmony in your church? If so, how much do you, yourself, contribute to it?
If your answer is “none,” would you change your response if I asked: Are you quick to judge your fellow believers? Do you sometimes fail to give them the benefit of the doubt?
This week, I want us to consider how we love each other. Or, more accurately, how we fail to love each other.
In his 1881 sermon, “Love’s Labours,” Pastor C. H. Spurgeon said, “In reference, first, to our fellow Christians, love always believes the best of them. I wish we had more of this faith abroad in all the churches, for a horrid blight falls upon some communities through suspicion and mistrust.”
Spurgeon’s words are sobering. And quite embarrassing. The world notices how we turn on each other within the church. Our witness suffers when we judge and spread rumors about each other. Even more serious, God sees our unkind actions and grieves our shameful behavior.
What would happen if we, the church, repented of our attitudes and actions toward each other? What if, this week, we asked God to examine our hearts and show us where we have failed?
The more we choose to believe the best of every believer, the more we’ll experience a spirit of unity, accurately resemble the body of Christ, and genuinely reflect His love.
We can begin this transformation by heeding the verse Pastor Spurgeon referred to in his statement. I especially love 1 Corinthians 13:7 in the Amplified Classic edition:
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
When we stop judging one another and instead be “ever ready to believe the best of every person,” we can more easily endure “everything without weakening.” Rather than backbiting, we can humbly pray for our brothers and sisters and never forget, “There, but by the grace of God, go I.”
Speaking for myself, if it wasn’t for God’s grace, I’d be a goner.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
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