THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
UNITY AND PEACE - 4
1 Timothy 1:1-14
will always find something to criticize about our brethren.
However, while we are of course not blind to the shortcomings
of others, we should not allow our thought-about criticism
to become destructive, to lead to words and deeds that lead
to conflict and disunity.
do we avoid that? Simple. When becoming critical of others,
examine your own situation first. Criticize yourself first.
“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s
eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
(Lk 6:41). If we are honest with ourselves, we will discover
that it is not so much the other person who has to change,
but rather we do.
supposing you honestly find yourself in the right and the
other person in the wrong, what then? Then you stop comparing
yourself to the other person, but now look to Jesus. “I
keep the Lord always before me” (Ps 16:8a). Then, rather
than becoming self-righteous, we become aware that we too
are sinners, and that the Lord is patient with us, tolerant
of us, forgiving. Then we can see rightly how to deal with
those we were critical of in the first place.
who become intolerant of others, who gossip about and malign
others, who say they cannot forgive, are those who do not
have an intimate relationship with Jesus. For if they did,
they would act very differently. Those who humble themselves,
who “love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and
a sincere faith” (1 Tm 1:5), who even though they are
in the right might give in just to preserve relationships,
are those who have the wisdom and heart of God. “I bless
the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me.”
the former rant and rage, the latter are at peace. Even though
they are maligned, they try to continue to love. The former
have lost their peace and even threaten peace and unity in
the body, the latter simply rest in the Lord. As such, “with
him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken. Therefore my
heart is glad, my soul rejoices” (Ps 16:8b-9a). And
they continue to be peacemakers in the community.