It seems that every day, we must try our best to overcome divisions in our families, friends, churches, communities, nations, and world. Biblically the source of divisions are our own sins and of course Satan loves to plant the seeds of divisions.
- "What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:1-2) "
- The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 3:20)
- "But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” (Jude 17-19)
It is very important define what a divisive person is and IS NOT.
- 1. You can be totally different and NOT be a divisive person.
- 2. You can disagree passionately with others and NOT be a divisive person.
- 3. You can be the lone voice of reason and Biblical principles standing against the crowd and NOT be a divisive person.
Here is my definition of a divisive person: A divisive person intentionally, actively, and repeatedly rubs raw the resentments of people within a community, fans the latent hostilities of many people, searchs out controversy and issues rather than avoiding them, and stirs up dissatisfaction and discontent.
Divisive people are defined in the Bible.
- “A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good. (Proverbs 16:27-29)
- Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1)
- He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. (Proverbs 17:9)
- He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. (Proverbs 17:13)
- The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. (Proverbs 17: 14)
- He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 17:15)
- Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. (Romans 16:17-18)
So how can can we effectively deal with people who act as divisive people? It is important to remember that divisive people are just ordinary people like you and I who sometimes act in a divisive manner. We too can be divisive people, if we aren’t careful. Even the people who act in a divisive manner can stop at any time through repentance.
1. Do not get angry. Divisive people are like arsonists. Arsonists hate flame-proof materials and wet matches. Divisive people are happiest when people, especially their opponents get angry. Because, when we get angry, we unintentionally spread the seeds of division to others. The world says, “fight fire with fire.” This is a really bad tactic. If an arsonist breaks into your home and sets your curtains on fire, should you defeat him by setting your sofa on fire? No, you would use a fire extinguisher or water to put out the flame before it can spread. Even though the actions of the divisive person are designed to make us feel angry, the Bible says,
- "So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:25-27)
- “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (Proverbs 15:1)
- He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16: 32)
- He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27)
We cannot let ourselves be controlled by insults. Just remember that many years ago, people called guys who spent all of their time thinking about computers and software "nerds" and "computer geeks." Now, we call those same guys BILLIONAIRES. Imagine if Bill Gates thought this, "People are calling me a "nerd" so I'm going to stop learning about computers, instead, I'm going to try to a professional football player, those guys are cool."
- "God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
- “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!" (John 17:20-23).
- "Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?" (Proverbs 6:27)
- "Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:7-8)
- "Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 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.” (Titus 3:9-11)