I heard about two friends who got in a tiff over words. It started out mildly enough, but a month into it you couldn’t get them in the same room, let alone the same county. Facebook changes were made. Allegiances developed. It wasn’t pretty.
The worst part was that they both claimed to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Christians are supposed to forgive. They’re supposed to love. They’re supposed to have mercy and grace and to be a little bit like Jesus.
In Romans 12:18 Paul makes an interesting statement. He says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
I know a lot of Christians who have hung this verse on a large banner and waved it loudly each time they’ve found someone they can’t get along with. I have a feeling Paul didn’t mean it this way.
Paul had a disagreement with a friend once (Acts 15:36–40). It got ugly. It was over Barnabas’ cousin Mark. A sharp contention arose and Paul and Barnabas split. But there was no personal wrong involved. There was no need for forgiveness in this particular case. It was simply a matter of judgment and preference. And eventually it was resolved. In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul does a 180 on Mark. I love that about Paul.
I believe Christians give up too easily.
They give up on each other. They give up on love. They give up on God’s ways.
They fail to admit their part in the wrongdoing. They fail to correctly assess what’s at stake. They fail to remember Jesus.
Jesus didn’t wait for someone else to make the first move. He didn’t wait to be treated fairly. He didn’t hold out in the hopes that another option would present itself.
He forgave at great cost. He gave up His self-respect. He gave up His rights. He gave up being right. He gave up His life.
How dare we call ourselves Christians and not be willing to do the same?