“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:13-15).

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We’re all so busy talking at each other that we’ve stopped talking to each other. Pointing out my enemy’s guilt doesn’t assuage my own. 

Concerning our freedom as believers in Christ, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:13-15). Concerning what is right before God, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). We can’t afford to “bite and devour each other”; otherwise, we “will be destroyed by each other.” The issues that divide us are symptomatic of a far graver problem; we’ve lost sight of our first love.

Controversies come and controversies go; such is the way of things. More and more, I find myself less concerned with the issues themselves, as I am with how I represent Christ in them. A shift in focus. Controversies, whatever they may be, are the fruit, not the root. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are the ones who need to humble ourselves and pray and seek God and turn from our wicked ways, then God will forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Jesus never commanded us not to judge. Jesus commanded us how to judge (Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:37-42; John 8:1-8), and I’m absolutely convinced that the root of our troubles is not the speck in our neighbor’s eye, but the plank in our own.

Seems to me all Jesus has really asked any of us to do is to seek him, to trust him, and to love him; none of which any of us can do without him. And if we love him, then everything else we ought to do will ultimately fall into place; the world will know us by our obedience.  

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