~ celebrate Halloween or abstain
~ stay home or go to work
~ grocery store or farmer's market
~ homemade or store bought
~ Republican or Democrat
~ Barbies or no Barbies
~ public school, homeschool or private school
~ no TV, yes TV
~ short-term missions or long-term missions
~ 10 children or one or two (or none)
~ hymns or praise music
~ women up front or women in their seats
~ immunizations or no immunizations
~ a simple Christmas or an extravagant one
~ giving of our money or of ourselves
~ a glass of wine or "No thank you, I don't drink."
~ long hair or short
~ breast feed or bottle feed
~ pants or skirts
~ video games or not
~ whole grain or processed
~ oven or crock pot
~ boxers or briefs (see- it can get a little ridiculous)
I could go on and on and on.
All these issues have the power to divide. And part of me wonders if they exist as issues for this sole purpose.
We all lean one way or another. I do (and on some I lean harder than others). And so do you. When we're faced with the opportunity to weigh in on them (via facebook, blog posts or face-to-face conversations), what do we do? What should we do?
If our stance on a issue is grounded in God's Word and our understanding of His will for our lives in that particular area, we can rest in that. We can express our views and even explain our reasons for believing them in a Spirit of love. We can ask questions and answer questions but it should not be our goal to "win". Our goal is to show love- to be in a relationship that will foster growth, support and opportunities to minister to each other.
If we could all agree, it would be wonderful. And, we should strive for that- with the right heart and attitude.
Do not let them divide us. We are made for unity.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! Psalm 133:1
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 1:10
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:2-6
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:1-3
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14
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