Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#7. “When we disagree.”

Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#7. “When we disagree.”

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge—Leviticus 19:18. Years ago, I was visiting a congregation in a faraway land. I must have looked as if I belonged there because an old brother walked up to me and started speaking to me like a long-lost friend. He had moved back into the area and had recently returned to that congregation. He said, “You know, I should never have left this church. These brethren are the salt of the earth. But I got upset with someone and moved to another congregation; that was a mistake.”

The ability to forgive and move on is vital to our good work for Jesus. There is too much wasted when we allow ourselves to run away with our emotions.

This is especially so when we develop a grudge towards a brother or sister. Time and effort that is better spent building others up are squandered justifying words and actions of revenge—not that anyone is admitting to that.

A wise man once said: “Revenge makes about as much sense as biting a dog because the dog bit you.”

If long-standing, unresolved issues were not so destructive, they would be comical. If we could just standoff and watch ourselves as we seek to transform everything around us to our liking, we might get over a lot of things faster. God’s work is too valuable for us to allow the trivial to prevail.

It is sad to think that someone with who we have had a fallout has not changed in years. But consider that it is sadder still if we may have downgraded them as our fellow workers in Christ. Despite popular opinion, honouring someone as a fellow worker in Christ doesn’t require the other person’s permission.

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead” (1Pet.3:8-9)

John Staiger


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