Titus 3:9-11—But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
If I had to choose which type of leadership challenge is the most difficult, draining and frustrating, I would weight most heavily those people who are dividers. Dividers can almost be described by one word—petty. Dividers are defined as those who willfully choose to ignore pressing issues to focus on their minor agendas. A good example in Christendom is a person who maintains with belligerence that only the King James Version is acceptable for Bible translations. God establishes His two main priorities with the two greatest commandments as read in Mark 12:30,31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbor as yourself.” The church struggles to do this and to live out the gospel. Meanwhile, Mr. Divider lost all sight of love in his quest to defend an archaic translation as the world’s paramount issue.
Dividers are disloyal. Rather than build the team they build their agenda. Dividers are corrosive. They bring disrepute to the reputation of their organization by their stubborn behavior. Dividers are proud. They camp on the turf they have staked on principle and run up their flag of cause expecting that one day everyone will salute their superior position. Dividers are antagonists. They look for every opportunity to cast doubt on those they oppose and to harm anyone “foolish” enough to stand in their way.
Jesus had no tolerance for dividers. When He encountered the ridiculous actions and positions of the religious leaders He blasted them for their pride and hypocrisy. You can read His diatribe in Matthew 23:13-36. I suspect the Apostle Paul had similar feelings about those who called themselves Christians yet went around subverting his ministry. His warning to Titus is a warning to us. Avoid disputes that are not profitable for building up the church. Warn a divisive person once and then again. If the warning goes unheeded, reject that person—put him or her out of the fellowship. The cost of tolerating, placating or participating with a divider is too high a price for the body of Christ to bear. The mark of a great leader is not to put up with a divider but rather to put out the divider. God tossed Satan out of heaven for spawning rebellion. Do you think He will do any less for the person who insists on harming His church?
More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world.—William Barclay
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)