Sunday, February 23, 2014

Don't Spend a Lifetime Dealing with Divisive People

"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful:  he is self-condemned."  Titus 3:9-11

Let's start with the basics and define "Divisive" - (these definitions are from Merriam-Webster & American Heritage Dictionaries).  Divisive - "causing a lot of disagreement between people and causing them to separate into different groups.  Causing divisions or dissention."  Thesaurus: disruptive, contentious, conflict-ridden, troublesome, discordant, hostile, spiteful, bitter & acrimonious.

I'm sure that we can all think of someone from our past (or present) who is divisive.  Let's break down the verses above. 

First of all - "arguments and quarrels about the law" - how many church families (by "families" I mean the Christian family of believers not blood relations) have been split in half or worse because of a small disagreement over church policy that has nothing to do with God?  I shutter to think of the amount - let's just say "many." 

As I have mentioned before, I have a temper and struggle with this weakness daily.  It is because of this temper that I often quarrel & argue over "useless" things and in the end I am the one who has sinned and eventually have had to ask for forgiveness.  The fault lies with the quarreler.

Besides a "temper" - what else could cause useless quarrels?
- gossip (which most often involves lies)
- arrogance (which causes cliques that leave some left out and even mocked)
- selfishness (is the most cruel quarrel causer)

The perfect example of a "divisive" person who was arrogant, selfish, a gossiper with a temper was a character from "It's a Wonderful Life" - "Mr. Potter".  Watch the video below keeping in mind how his arrogance, selfishness & twisting the truth caused dissention:

A special thanks to bvon44 for sharing this on YouTube

I need to clarify - I'm not saying that you should give in to everything - there will be times when you will have to stand up for what's right and what you believe in.  What I am saying is that dealing with a disagreement needs to be dealt with in the right way.  As you saw in this video George Bailey acted the opposite of the way that Mr. Potter acted.  Mr. Potter was arrogant, selfish and a liar with a bad temper -   whereas George Bailey was humble, selfless, truthful and calm (while standing up for what he believed in).

Secondly, a divisive person needs to be warned or held accountable for his/her actions.  As it says in Titus "warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him."  That's very simple - let that person know a few times and if they still won't repent or change then just forget about it - don't obsess on the situation. 

Now, don't take the part "warn him a second time" too literal.  Not every situation is the same - "warn" a few times might mean 4 times - don't focus on the number 2.  Also, don't take it to the other extreme - we CANNOT change other people.  Let them know what they have done wrong but then there will come a time when you will just have to walk away.  You are only responsible for your own actions - you cannot force someone else to change themselves.

Being "divisive" will cause you to be "warped and frustrated". 
Instead strive to be Christ-like with humility, truth, compassion and patience.

Valentine Signature, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

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  1. Hi Angie, Such a great words of wisdom and encouragement! Thank you for taking the time to leave the sweet note on my blog, I'm following you here in God's Growing Garden ... Looking forward of your further posts! Blessings to your week, Nina


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