S65P4 – The godly friend: fighting division
A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
She was one of the most unassuming people in the group. If anyone had a doctrinal question or needed scripture explained, she always seemed to have the answer. She certainly knew the word thoroughly, and she often lead bible studies and prayer groups. Her spiritual knowledge and wisdom drew many to her, and she was a frequent source of confidence. Over time, however, she would break those confidences. People began to wonder how their secret struggles and opinions became known among the group. She justified her whispers by saying that she only told certain people what she thought they needed to know. The truth is that she knew to expect that her words would cause division.
Being a godly friend is not just about having a relationship with an individual child of God. Those who are friends of the Lord are friends of the Church body. Our desire should be to foster unity among the body, which is required for her preparation in anticipation of the coming of the bridegroom. We should want to see the Church come together as He wants to see the Church come together. It should offend us that someone would want to divide the members of the body because that frustrates our common goal. This should make us consider the division that we witness every Sunday morning when doctrinal issues with no eternal effect keep us apart. Perhaps the focus should not be our differences but the common faith that we share.
We are to be peacemakers and healers within the body. Our job is not to tear the Church apart but to make her grow together. With the exception of removing from her the wolves and false prophets, our goal must be unity. We will know the friends of God among us because they will share this goal with us. When someone practices gossip, division and the betrayal of confidences, we must be on alert. Those who cause division in the Church only make her take steps backward instead of moving her toward her purification and preparation for the return of Christ. Father, remove from us individually any spirit of division, and remove from the Church those who seek to divide her.