It’s going to happen to all of us at some point. And on Earth, it is final. When someone we know and love dies, they are now physically gone, and that is/can be extremely painful. We can feel helpless, lost, scared, uncertain and afraid. And something I’m sure we never consider is how unresolved issues with those we had negative experiences with will never be resolved, and closure will escape us. Why am I posting so morbidly?
Because recently God brought a passage to my mind that has been working its way through my thoughts and prayers for the last two weeks. It’s Proverbs 6:16-19.
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
I could write volumes on the first six items listed, but my focus for this post is on the last one: ONE WHO SOWS DISCORD AMONG BROTHERS. And the reason I’m tying this into death is because the time to reconcile and “make things right” is now. It’s while those who have hurt us or whom we have hurt are still alive. The goal as believers should be to keep and maintain peace in our families, our relationships and everyone we encounter.
Discord that is being sown is usually in the form of words against someone else. It’s mainly gossip or speaking about someone in the family/relationship who isn’t present to defend themselves with the intent of getting someone to think negatively about someone else. The speaker shares just enough information to help you “form an opinion” about someone who isn’t even present. Of course they wouldn’t say these things in front of the actual defendant, but they’ll definitely plant seeds to make you reconsider their character or motives. And the truth is that the one sowing the seeds is the one who has the ulterior motive. It also promotes unforgiveness and bitterness toward others. It’s destructive.
I’ve been in many Christian circles where some want validation for their hurts and wounds brought on by others, and to share that is fine for the purpose of prayer, healing and restoration. But to stay in the position of unforgiveness or anger is not healthy, spiritually or otherwise. And it truly has no place in God’s Kingdom.
Sin, and namely the sin of pride, is what hinders us from moving into a place of forgiveness for those who have wronged us. We think, what was done to me was so significant, I don’t have to forgive. I get to be the victim, and nothing is required on my part. But that kind of toxic thinking is harmful to yourself and others around you. Was the sin against you truly worse than what you’ve done against Jesus? Be honest.
Did someone pop into your mind just now? Someone who hurt you, or whom you’ve shared misinformation about? If you find yourself perpetuating events over and over again, ruminating on them for your own self-gratification, you need to stop. You are sowing discord, and God hates it. Why? Because He is about unity. Sin has been dividing us since the Fall. But to those who have given their lives to Christ, your life is not your own, and your reactions and responses reflect what you believe and the power of Jesus to a watching world. Are you letting Him move you in compassion to a place of forgiveness so you can love those who hurt you, serve those who anger you, and provide a place of safety for those who think differently than you?
And be advised: If you do not believe that the enemy prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), you’re mistaken and deceiving yourself. The goal of the enemy is to separate, divide, kill and DESTROY. You are made in the image of God, and because Satan hates God, he hates YOU. His tactics haven’t changed. He still tries to use US against each other, and he’s working mightily in those of us who struggle with letting go of hurts. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed for ALL of our relationships, but primarily the one with God.
Christians, it’s not okay.
1 John 4:19-20 says, “We love because God first loved us.Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen.”
Many families are divided because sisters are against each other, in-laws disagree and pull away, brothers are competitive, and children learn to cut off those who don’t think like they do, because it’s been modeled for them so well. But this is not the way of unity and it is not okay in the eyes of Jesus.
Caveat: I realize there are harmful, abusive situations where boundaries have to be made. That is not the discord God is talking about in this passage. And I also realize there are issues within families between believers and non-believers. We can’t expect those not walking with Christ to follow His laws. So, we need to be prayerful about forgiving them, loving them and modeling Jesus to them. Seek a Christian counselor or a trusted pastor if you are having trouble forgiving.
My plea is for those who are walking with the Lord to search deep in yourself and ask if the rift that was caused in your family is worth the remorse you will feel later in life when that person is gone. Can you truly turn a blind eye to it? Search your heart and reflect on why you won’t open your heart to the idea of that person being in your life. Is whatever happened really worth losing the relationship for yourself, your spouse, your children, and future generations? Is it worth acting in a way that is hurting your relationship with God? It’s easy to parade around on Sundays acting like we have it all together, but God knows the discord that is being sown in our families, and the way we hide so we don’t have to deal with ourselves. Denial is a safe place for many but it is still inexcusable in this instance.
Again, this is not okay. So if there is any truth to what I am saying, AND I KNOW THERE IS, Christians, I am imploring you to stop and repent of the words that are coming out of your mouths to character assassinate those you are hurting. Be alert of who is trying to get you to do the character assassinations, and don’t give the devil a foothold. Do not let him use you to hurt someone else. It’s divisive and truly hated by God. Do not feed into the lies spewed by those who try to sway your minds. Go directly to the person to set things straight, and don’t let gossip take over your conversations. We are accountable for our words and how we represent the Kingdom.
None of us who are believers should let time pass on these crucial relationship missteps. We need to pray about reconciliation, be willing to let Christ give us the love we need for others, and let ourselves be humbled to the point of forgiveness and restoration.
THE TIME IS NOW.
**If you do not have a relationship with Jesus and want to learn about Him, I invite you to go to the following link for great resources. And if you’d like me to pray for or with you, you may contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love, G 🙂