Thank God for His People
Occasionally there will be a Diotrephes in a congregation. Every once in a while, there will be an Alexander and Hymenaeus, but more often there are those like Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos, and the people at Ephesus who burned their pagan books. And, often there are people like Paul mentions at the end of Romans 16. People who are helpers. People who want to get along. People who really care about more than themselves.
But who gets the attention? Most often it is the one who causes the trouble. Consider, if they are in the minority, then why do they get most of the attention? Why not give them the “little attention” they should receive? If the wood were taken away the fire, it would go out. I have observed that when a person is causing trouble, it is usually not over what is said to be the problem.
I have observed that most brethren love the Lord too much to hinder His work. It would break their hearts to know that in some way they were the cause of problems. God’s people are hard workers. Most just want to know what can be done to help. Someone joins a local church and says, “Please put me to work.” I have never heard anyone say, “Please let me cause all the trouble I can.” The very hint of being just a slight reason for anything less than edifying is heartbreaking.
Again, I have observed that God’s people have a genuine love for each other. Most will go out of their way to get along. Most will take the wrong. Have you ever noticed at the end of Paul’s letters how often he mentions people who were helpers or fellow laborers? Love for one another will take the lead in putting the other first. For all the people who cause problems, there are exponentially more mentioned who are helpers and builder.
Further, I have observed God’s people love God’s word. They hunger and thirst for it. Most want simple, plain Bible teaching and motivation. There is the expectation that they will be taken on a journey through God’s word. They want to be changed by His word. They want their family to follow His word.
God’s people are peace-loving. They will contend for the faith when necessary, but at their heart, they love peace. The important thing is not who is right but what is right. When it is necessary to admit wrong, wrong will be admitted and change will follow. Not just to save face but to be right with God, His word, and His people. What is right and being right is most important.
So, let us give a hand to the people of God who love to get along. Let us stop letting the person(s) who causes trouble dominate the conversation. Thank God that most of His people are peace loving, selfless, God-honoring disciples.