Staying positive in the midst of discord…

Titus 3:10-11, “If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.”

At first glance, it may seem that having to deal with sowers of discord would be a negative thing, but the truth is that it should produce positive results. Those who wreck the peace in a body are people who have “turned away from the truth,” and thus have been condemned by their sins. 

It is very tempting to ignore, run from, or roll over, but while this may seem loving, it is actually very cruel and very unhealthy. When the truth is ignored and “peace at all costs” becomes the practice, unholy long term conduct continues. This cancer will spread and affect the godly. 

We will be coming to this topic when I preach 1 Cor 5 in a few weeks while going through the sermon series on 1 Corinthians.  For now, however, you may ask, “how do you deal with a factious person?” Very simple rule: keep the spiritual battle in the Spirit. Speak the truth in love. Don’t insult the person directly, but focus on the spirit and the conduct that resulted. Call them to repent, and call them to change (as Paul instructed in this passage and others). Give them suggestions to get help, whether it is through the church, through counseling, or through a mentor. Most of all, be ready to receive the repentant, hoping for a change in heart and in action. 

The idea is to restore the sinner, the goal is truth and love expressed, and the hope is the glory of God. It IS a positive thing, though it IS very difficult. May we live holy and call one another to be holy!

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