I Corinthians 13:4-5
The hope of each brother in Christ should be not to turn every matter into the “end of the world” position. The danger of getting distracted by issues or difference is that the main things, proclaiming God’s Word and seeing the lost saved, becomes a causality. Just think of how the food that is or isn’t eaten, the associations or lack of associations have kept believers from obeying the Lord because of arguments that erupt. It is obvious that God used Paul to point out in Romans 14, that not every matter that was important to the Jewish believers wasn’t as important to the Gentile believers.
- Believers ought to consider the best of others I Corinthians 13:4-5; Romans 14:3
- The critical spirit that often follows the inspection of others positions, or the cavalier spirit that follows causes rifts to build in the early church.
- The word “exeutheneo” Greek word for despise pictures holding yourself in more esteem than others. The word “Krino” Greek for “judge” can be used as a critical position over another. The conclusion is that anyone who takes a broader view on the matter ought not to despise the person who takes a more restrictive position on the matter. On the other hand, the person who is more restrictive should not be caustic toward the one who takes a broader position by calling him liberal or a compromiser.
Application: Consider the other person’s background, Christian heritage, experience in the Lord, close fellowship allies before you pin them down to a “liberal” or “Pharisee” title.
Case situation (what would you advise in this case):
Mary desires to use social networking but her friend Martha believes it could cause a problem in their relationship as close Christian friends. What should Martha do? Her friend is at liberty to use social media, but are there potential problems of that media? What can be done to keep their friendship without name calling, separation from their time together?
- 2 Timothy 2:4-larger audience hunger, the goal to have people “like” you on the Face Book can cause folks to become entangled with a desire to please others rather than to please Christ, promoting self is not the Christian’s business but to promote Christ.
- I John 2:15-creation of fantasy and the disconnect from the reality can become a thirst where people imagine themselves something they really are not. The “second life” online obsession is a trap that appeals to the flesh. Every believer should live to be full of truthfulness and integrity in all that they do, even their use of the internet social media.
- Ephesians 5:16-time consumption that is not productive for the Lord. The reason why so many corporations have kept their employees from internet use during company time is waste of resources, it can happen at home too!. Whatever your responsibilities are they being hurt because of the amount of time you are spending on the social media?
- Believers ought to reach across the aisle to those who you are concerned.
Michael Kinsley, was quoted in the The Weekly Standard. He said the difference between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives were looking for converts while liberals were looking for heretics. In other words, conservatives were trying to convince people of their position while liberals were more interested in “enforcing discipline” on those who did not “toe the party line.”-RBO
- Believers ought to talk to those who don’t hold your position before you criticize them. When people who are saved talk matters out they often find that they are not on the opposite side of the matters just have communication differences.
- Believers ought to be careful not to be argumentative only to embrace the wrong crowd in other areas. Are you worried about the behavior of some young believer and then secretly causing strife in your own family with a critical tongue?
- Believers ought to allow the Holy Spirit’s power to change others before you paint them as compromisers. Is it possible to be strong in your stand for Christ and still be sweet in your spirit to attract others to follow the ways of the Lord?
Recommend reading: Unnecessary Division, R B Ouellette and David Sorenson. Striving Together Publications. Lancaster, CA 2014.