TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Titus 3:10-11 “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
I’ll never forget a conversation I once had with someone. We were discussing an individual who was stirring up gossip in the church I pastored. I was trying to figure out how best to deal with it. The one I was speaking with might as well have thrown ice cold water on me because the shock of what they said produced the same effect.
“I think it’s great having him as a part of our church family. Every church needs a cranky old man.”
When I heard those words, my mind was drawn back to John 17:20-23 where Jesus prayed over and over “that they may be one.” Someone who is divisive and a gossip is someone who is fighting against the very thing that Jesus is praying for us. So, no, a church does not need to tolerate that and it should be dealt with.
When we look at our Verses for Today, we hear yet again God telling us through His Word that we are to take gossip and divisiveness within the church body seriously. Titus was a preacher and this instruction was given to him to implement within the congregation he shepherded.
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11)
Did you hear that, friend? If someone is stirring up division in your congregation, warn him a couple of times. If he or she continues, then “have nothing more to do with (them).” Do not go out to eat with them. Do not invite them into your home. Do not sit with them in church. “Have nothing more to do with (them).”
Why should we respond this way? Because gossip and divisiveness isn’t a small, benign sin. In fact, what they are doing is really (more importantly) pointing out who they are.
They are “warped and sinful … self-condemned.”
Friend, it is no small thing when we cause division within a church.
Jesus prays for and is the author of unity.
But, disunity and chaos is in the realm of Satan himself. If someone is perpetually causing trouble and stirring up problems, then it may say a whole lot about where they are headed when they breathe their last breath.
If truth is on the line, then we stand up for truth even if lines are drawn. And if sinful behavior is being tolerated in the church body, then we stand up, humbly but resolutely, against that, too. All we need do is look at the New Testament epistles to realize that Paul was not silent when it came to point out doctrinal error and sinful behavior.
If we have been guilty of words that cause division in the church over matters that have nothing to do with doctrinal error or sinful behavior, then we need to confess it and repent. I have certainly had reason to do that before. I’m certain that you have, too.
But, if someone insists on divisive words and behaviors and insists on continuing in it … “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11)