I am not sure where or when the criteria for being a good Christian became being obnoxious, stubborn and antagonistic, but it has sure set our wonderful faith back ever since. It seems that everywhere one turns, people are fighting each other in the name of Jesus. The spirit of conflict appears to have overtaken much of the Body of Christ, just as it has much of the world.
I am so very weary of fighting. I am so very weary of people more interested in winning the battle than doing what is right. I am so tired of word battles resulting from splitting hairs doctrinally. I am so tired of the brother against brother mentality that permeates Christianity.
Pride is an ugly creature. It lurks in the shadows and then pounces upon its prey out of nowhere. Once it overtakes someone, they change from a rational and caring person into someone who only cares about being right, the best or the victor. When two or three people allow pride to rule, the resulting conflict is always ugly and the aftermath always gruesome.
A relationship built upon conflict is doomed to failure. Openness and honest and wonderful but open hostility and conflict are not. At some point, if people want to protect any element of the unity of the faith, they must lay down their arms and sign a peace treaty. If not, unity will be permanently splintered and our faith fatally fractured.
It makes little difference who is right and who is wrong when it comes to technical points based upon one’s research of the scriptures, yet people have been fighting over this for thousands of years. God is not interested in whether we get the fine points right so much as that we get the big picture right. If we quit wasting so much time splitting hairs and instead sought to comb those hairs into a beautiful hairstyle we would in turn glorify Christ who is the Head.
Families, friends, churches and denominations have split over some truly insane and trivial matters. When all the emphasis is placed on differences the result is always division and ultimately the destruction of the particular relationship. Again, when the spirit of conflict usurps the spirit of unity, the results will only serve to glorify selfish pride instead of Jesus Christ.
If even one fourth of the time devoted to endless word battles and relentless haggling over theological detail were diverted to building up the Body of Christ via comfort, exhortation and edification; the results would be astounding. Instead of always demanding to have the last word and be right, we should seek to speak the best word and try to build up one another instead of tearing each other down.
In conclusion, if one were to look at the fruit of the spirit in Galatians and the fruit of righteousness in Philippians, there is nothing about pride, being right or winning the word battles.