Romans 15:5-7 “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.”
Are you a peacemaker who lives in harmony with other believers or a troublemaker that likes to point out faults, shortcomings and failings in others?
The Apostle Paul was dealing with this exact situation in the church in Rome. He points out in the first four verses how the strong believers didn’t need to tear down those weaker than them but build them up and help them to learn to do what was right (vv. 1-2). Paul then reminds them that Christ did not live to please himself, he sacrifice himself for everyone and we should be following Christ’s example (vv. 3-4)
The crazy thing is we are still fighting the same battle today as the church 2,000 years ago! We have a tendency to not be patient with others, we discourage and point out what is wrong instead of building on what I write and in general we nitpick and tear down instead of build people up.
Paul gives a great challenge to the church in Rome that applies to us today. Live in complete harmony with each other and bring glory to God. When we live in unity it pleases God, it brings glory to him and is a shining light in the darkness of the lost world. Is it a wonder an unbelieving world shakes their heads as they look at the actions, attitudes and words coming out of the church and find it completely unbelievable? Too often we spend all our time arguing over something that does not matter in the long run and in the end an unbelieving world sees hate instead of love, fighting instead of peace and hurt instead of healing.
Make the decision today to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt 5:9). The choice is ultimately in our hands. Which choice will you make?