Back in my younger days and hanging out at the bar on Friday nights, you develop a bond with your like minded drinking buddies and in some ways, it seems they are closer to you than anyone else. It can be an allusion for sure, as the thing keeping everyone on the same page is the same escape from the world mindset, with alcohol serving as the happy elixir.
In our conversation, the family member commented on how in some ways a group that he is in, the people seem closer than even in the church. This comment came after revealing the issue brewing in his own congregation. The amazement is to just how easily someone can dismiss someone else over trivial matters and so much so, even the world doesn't seem to go to such extremes. Obviously, we know this isn't true, the world does the same, but shouldn't the church stand out above in its love for one another?
These things are not isolated events and in my own Christian walk, similar issues have happened time and time again. You get excited about the love everyone is seemingly walking in and even the Pastors preaching on love and a good solid gospel, then an issue arises and perhaps someone leaves the church or those you are in disagreement with think you are just being rebellious and need to see things their way. Shouldn't we give each other the benefit of the doubt and do all we can to save our relationships?
I know we're all sinners. I know I've made mistakes. Lord knows I myself would like some do overs, but I truly fear for the church and long to see the type of love that is possible in Christ. Brothers doing all they can to win, keep, and stay close in Christ even while in serious disagreements.
Now I know, sometimes core doctrinal and or sin issues have to be settled by brothers/sisters going their own way, but these should be the exception and not the rule. I have pursued more than one brother in my life. This love is not always reciprocated, but it should be, if we are in Christ.
So, if you are reading this and consider yourself Godly...ask yourself, how has your own walk with others been. Have you been fair in your dealings? Have you ever swallowed your pride? Have you pursued your brothers/sisters? Have you ever apologized first? Or perhaps, like above, you just let them walk away and think yourself right in every disagreement or situation?