Many years ago i heard Warren Wiersby talk about the church like this:
The church, that is to say, the body of believers brought together, is much like a bunch of porcupines. They all come together and huddle and gather, and sooner or later someone pokes someone else with a quill, and then they seperate… but over time they come back together, and poke each other. This process goes on and on. And the truth is as sinful people in a sin scarred world we will poke each other. Its not the poking, but how do we deal with the poking, and how do we learn to change that behavior that matters.
We have been a part of the kingdom for a long time, and we have known seasons where there was great unity, and peace and openness. And we have witnessed times when the church was not a safe place to be… attitudes, and judgements overruled grace and mercy.
Somewhere in these years of being a believer the Lord impressed on my soul how important it is for me to handle such situations with great care. It is true that each of us are responsible for the health of the body, just as each of us takes care of our own body. Here are a few of the scripture the Lord gave me as tools to remember and use:
- Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
- Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
- Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
- Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”