I never thought that I would write this piece. Whenever I would think about it, I would just shake it off. It’s not that important, right?
But then I began to wonder if other brethren had been mistreated and were hurting because of this. It’s then that I realized that even if a handful of brothers and sisters in Christ were being mistreated by other Christians – then this IS important.
A Real Conundrum
We expect to be mistreated from those in the world. Actually, if we are not mistreated by those in the world, then perhaps we should take a hard look at our walk with the Lord and our testimony.
But when others who we truly believe are brothers and sisters in Christ verbally batter us to try to make us feel inferior or just not very important in the body of Christ- this is a big problem.
I believe that this shows two problems:
- The offending person is filled with pride
- This person seriously needs to read 1 Corinthian 13 (over and over)
We are commanded by our Lord Jesus to forgive:
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-29).
We clearly see from the Scripture above that forgiveness is of utmost importance to our Lord Jesus. After all, think about everything that He forgave us when He was on the Cross!
Also, Peter was speaking of his brothers in Christ. I’m pretty sure that just like us, there were arguments, and at times, bad feelings between the Apostles. But our Lord made it clear that we were not to find ourselves in a state of bitterness. That meant to go to the person who did the offending and try to make things right again.
Yes – even if we have searched ourselves and know that we did not do anything to cause the other to lash out, we are to humble ourselves and seek peace with the brother or sister. This is not easy, brethren.
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). (emphasis added)
Brethren, we can be very well known, and be doing incredible things for the Lord; but the Word clearly says that if we have not love – we are nothing.