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October 10, 2022
Today’s reading: Psalms 91:1
Avoiding divisive people
We read in Romans 16:17-18:
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
It’s quite interesting to note how Paul was about to close his letter to the Romans and suddenly, he inserted this instruction in Romans 16. Paul wrote, “I urge you.” This tells us that this matter is important and it should be addressed.
As we can see, as early as the first century, we are seeing people who were causing divisions and offenses in the Body of Christ.
Why is there a great need to warn the brethren? Because these divisive and offensive people don’t introduce themselves as who they really are. On the contrary, they see themselves as a hero who will save the church from wrong doctrine, wrong leadership, and wrong decisions.
Perhaps, they themselves are deceived as well. Whatever the situation is, these people use smooth words and flattering speeches. They justify and rationalize things to the point that what they say seems to be convincing. It seems that they have a point. They mix truth and lies. They twist situations to favor their argument.
Sadly, there will be those who will be deceived and most of them would be those who are simple, new to the faith, or not deeply rooted in the truth.
The warning is clear. It is not so much about if these divisive people would come, but when. We know that they will appear and perhaps, they are already here.
Thus, we must be vigilant and alert. We must know who these people are and note them. Once we have identified them, it is a must that we avoid and separate ourselves from them.
Their deception can be infectious. They may spread like a wildfire. Without timely intervention, it can create more chaos and problems.
The sooner we act, the better it will be.
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