DEALING WITH DIFFERENCE
“…when you come together in the church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must also be differences/heresies (αἱρέσεις) among you, so that those who are reliable/tested (δόκιμοι) may be made manifest among you.” (1 Cor 11:18-19)
Obviously, this passage talks about a very common occurrence among human beings: differences of opinion and divisions. (We need not understand the word “heresies” here in the later, dogmatic sense). And he is saying that our reaction to disagreements, be they great or small, is a measure of our “reliability,” or we could also say “genuineness,” as members of a community.
This tells me that I need to take care, and watch my reaction to any polarizing and divisive issues, which can potentially wreak havoc both within me, and in my relationships with my immediate or larger community. Before I jump in and contribute to discussion, either in person or online, I need to ask myself: Is it worth it? Am I building up, or damaging? Am I leaving room for the grace of the Holy Spirit, or is my own agenda in the forefront, cutting me off from Him?
Let me be careful today, and remember that any disagreement is a test for me, to keep Him in the picture. So I’m not one of “those,” as it says in the Psalm, “who say: Our tongue we will magnify; our lips are our own – who is the Lord to us?” (Ps 11/12:4)