HOW TO IDENTIFY AND DEAL WITH DIVISIVE PEOPLE
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” – Romans 16:17-20
Now, at the end of all this in verse 20, there is a promise to us: And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
In all these things we must never despair. God will soon crush Satan – the one ultimately behind church divisiveness – under our feet. Therefore, we have much to rejoice in and every reason for confidence as we move forward together as a church.
- How can you “watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles” without being paranoid or judgmental?
- Without naming names, do you feel that we have any such people involved in your church?
- What are some practical ways we can avoid such people? What if they are family members, even spouses?
- Looking at the passage as a whole, what “appetites” might divisive people be serving?
- What is the difference between smooth talk/flattery and just trying to be kind with our words?
- Why does Paul include the promise of verse 19 in this passage? What does this have to do with the rest of the paragraph?
- If you suspect that you are a divisive person, what should you do? What steps can a divisive person take to respond to this passage?
- This passage is written to the church at large. Do church leaders have a different responsibility toward divisive people than the laity? What other scriptures can shed light on this question?
Take some time to pray for your church., your brothers and sisters and lastly lay on the altar of Grace and Mercy and ask God to have favour on you. That He will purpose these things in your life for His honour and glory.