I can remember when I would jump on any differences that others had from the way I saw Christ and the church and would confront people over them without much love. It got worse once I got burned a few time in authoritarian churches. Then one day God showed me that I was getting back from pastors, church leadership and others the same thing I had been handing out! You reap what you sow. He showed it to me with this passage…
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:7-10 KJ2000)
What I got out of it with the help of a brother who confronted me in love was that if I sowed division and received others “unto doubtful disputations” I could expect the same treatment. I had to get tired of being rejected by others and getting back from them what I had been doing. God teaches us that way. He lets us get a boat load of flack back of the same kind thing that we have been handing out to others that we might learn… He rubs our nose in the very thing that He wants us to never do! If we sow love and acceptance among the saints, we will get that back. If we sow disrespect and judgment among them we will get that back as well.
The next thing I share here is important… Notice in this passage above the words, “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap…” There is a delay. We go out and sow to others the way we want to be received by them and it takes a while for that new crop we are sowing to come to fruit, so we need to hang in there and keep sowing to the Spirit of Christ’s love and eventually we will get the same back from others.
In short, I had to get tired of having ME shoved back in my face! I had to come to the place where I hungered for Christ so much that I didn’t want MY point of view to be heard at the expense of finding HIM in others. Yes, I do draw a line, but it is only when people attack Jesus for what the church has done to them and even then I am patient and ask God to show me how HE sees their hearts. I don’t jump on differences in doctrine, but rather try to stir the conversation back to focusing on our Lord. Christ has to be our center if we are ever to have any meaningful fellowship IN HIM. If we keep beholding Him as His body, we will eventually become what we behold.