“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed…that there are quarrels among you.” 1 Corinthians 1:10-11
Church fights are all too common. So common, in fact, that it’s cliché. The problem isn’t that believers disagree; but that they remain disagreeable. When the Apostle Paul heard that Corinthian believers were fighting among themselves, he urged them to live in unity. He understood the price of division. Conflict creates confusion; and if left unresolved, it leads to collapse.
To Paul’s dismay, he was at the center of the conflict. These believers drew dividing lines based on their favorite teachers: Paul, Apollos, Peter, or Jesus Himself (v 12). Sadly, many Christians still pick sides today. When disagreements arise in a church body or a denomination, dividing lines fuel the conflict.
Infighting put the Corinthians into a state of confusion. By picking sides, they failed to see that each teacher had the same message – salvation in Christ (v 13). Believers are called to be united in thought and purpose. If anything usurps the message and mission of Jesus, then confusion is bound to follow.
Jesus warned what happens when conflict is not resolved – collapse. He said,“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25). Abraham Lincoln understood the implications of this warning. As a candidate for the United States Senate in 1858, he said: “’A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.”
While it’s important for citizens of a nation to be united, it’s imperative for citizens of Heaven. When we’re unified, the world sees a clearer picture of Jesus. Without this unity, we actually lead people away from His message of hope and salvation. So ultimately, the price of division is that we fail in our purpose.
Ask God to reveal if you’re contributing to conflict or confusion in the body of Christ. Has a disagreement caused you to become a disagreeable person? The price of division is too high. Rather than picking sides, seek unity. It’s the only way to effectively share the hope of Jesus Christ.