We live in a world where destructive conflict poisons relationships. Parents abuse their children. Children despise their parents. Spouses dominate their mates. Politicians destroy their opponents. Even in churches, conflict tears congregations apart. It happened in the early church (see 1 Cor. 1:11-15; Gal. 5:16), and it continues today.
When Mikhail Gorbachev spoke to the Congress of People's Deputies after the failed 1991 coup, he admitted that he had made mistakes as president. However, he asked his detractors to work with him rather than against him. Gorbachev appealed to Russian unity when he pleaded: "We are all one, side by side, and we shouldn't spit on each other."' Conflict is part of life, even in the church. Nevertheless, when we spend more time spitting on each other than talking with each other, we demean our opponents. and ourselves, and we lose sight of those things in Christ which unite us. - Keither Durso