By Bob Stacy
I remember well the day. My stomach churned and my heart seemed to do cartwheels. I had heard that something I’d said in the previous day’s sermon had really upset her. And she was not only a member of the church, she was a friend.
What Should I Do?
“What should I do?” I asked myself. “Forget it and go on as if it never happened, or try to make amends?”
Disharmony seems to rear its ugly head in every relationship. And it’s never pleasant. I remember a church that split over the question of whether to build a new building or put a new roof on the existing building.
Of course, there are bigger issues that cause disharmony, issues such as the choice of a teacher for Sunday school class, the selection of a certain individual as an elder, the use of literature from a certain publishing house, or the hiring or firing of the preacher.
Nothing is more harmful to the peace of God’s people than disharmony. The Philippian church was a favorite of the apostle Paul, but even within that church there was disharmony. Paul wrote, “I plead with Euodia and Synteche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yoke-fellow, help these women” (Philippians 4:2, 3). To those in Corinth who were causing disharmony, he wrote, “I appeal to you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you maybe perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10). And remember Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”
The Choice: Harmony
I’d better go see her and try to straighten this out, I thought. And what a beautiful experience. I apologized and explained what I’d meant by the remark that had hurt her. She cried. I shed some tears. We prayed. And that was the end of it. My stomach churned no more. Peacemaking and harmony are always worth the effort. Peacemakers “will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Could it be better than that?
Bob Stacy is has served as preaching minister in a number of churches, as founder of Christ In Youth, and as a professor of Bible and ministry in three colleges. He and his wife Nell are presently serving the Spring Hill Church of Christ in Middletown, Ohio.