Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Romans 14:19 (NKJV)
If there’s anything Americans likely can agree upon, it’s just how divided their United States has become. Anger, dissension and fear have become primary drivers as many people lean on their own understanding rather than seeking God during these times.
Billy and Franklin Graham know that these tumultuous waters can be navigated only through prayer. In a recent Facebook post, Franklin Graham urged Americans to pull together.
“We need to go beyond politics and come together in prayer,” he wrote. “Democrats and Republicans have to work together and make choices for the good of the nation.”
Unity is particularly critical for Christians, Billy Graham writes below in this My Answer column. Be encouraged as you read how you can be a difference-maker in a troubled world.
Q: Why can’t Christians seem to get along with each other? We have a few people in our church who do nothing but criticize everything (including our pastor), and they just generally like to make trouble. Haven’t they ever heard that Christians ought to love one other?
A: The Bible is clear: love for others should be the mark of anyone who claims to follow Christ. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
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Over the years I’ve talked with a number of pastors who had experienced some kind of trouble in their churches. Sometimes they admittedly were at fault, perhaps neglecting their pastoral duties or failing to prepare their sermons adequately.
But sadly, in many cases they had become discouraged solely because a few disgruntled people opposed them—just as these people had opposed their predecessors.
Why did they oppose them? Perhaps they wanted to control everything, or always be the center of attention. Or perhaps they were driven by jealousy or anger or some other hidden motive. But whatever the reason, they were opposing God’s servants and blocking His work—and that is always wrong. The Bible warns, “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged” (James 5:9).
Don’t let the sins of a few keep you from Christ, and don’t let their negative attitudes poison you and your support for your church and its pastor. Instead, pray for them—and if God gives you an opportunity, confront them about their need to be filled with Christ’s love. In addition, your church’s elected leaders may need to intervene. The Bible says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15).