Galatians 5:13-26
If you are always biting
and devouring one
another, watch out!
Beware of destroying
one another (v.15).

Because my husband and I live in the “Bible Belt”
(historically, the South and parts of the Midwest
of the US), we can drive for miles around town
with at least one church always in view. While the
variations of buildings and denominations can be seen
as a demonstration of the diversity within the body of
Christ, sadly we can also mark far too many of them
as divisions from another body. Having experienced a
major split in our own church almost 4 years ago, I’m still
trying to process the complexity of the situation and the
resulting hurt and disillusionment.

Scripture clearly indicates that there are times and
seasons when God works within the factions of man. In
the Old Testament, God specifically told Rehoboam and
his people not to pursue the tribes that were leaving to
follow Jeroboam, for their departure was “[the Lord’s]
doing” (1 Kings 12:24). Later in the New Testament,
irreconcilable differences brought Paul and Barnabas to
the point of separation (Acts 15:39).

However, in a world where human trafficking, slavery,
and destitution still exist and believers around the world
suffer death for the gospel, I often wonder what God thinks
of our church disagreements. When we enjoy prosperity,
we can forget that church is not really about us. While there
are justifiable reasons to rebuild and tear down (Eccl. 3:3),
we must realize the high level of accountability in such

Ultimately, the justification should not be our comfort, but God’s Word.
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but
against the sinister and divisive powers of the enemy. When our feelings are
hurt and our frustration level runs high, it’s a difficult truth to remember. May
we live watchful of the hour, so that we might be a pure bride ready for the
Bridegroom’s return and not a bride dismembered by factions. —Regina Franklin

• John 13:34-35
• 1 Corinthians 1:10
• 2 Corinthians 12:20

How have you allowed
a personal hurt to
shape your view of the
church or others within
the church? Why is
Jesus so insistent that
we understand that the
true measure of our
discipleship is our love
for one another?

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