Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Luke 12:52-53 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
We see growing division among families these days, often ending in divorce, children in care, and children being estranged from the parents. What is going on? What brings about this splintering and breaking of the very fabric of families: tearing society and kinship groups apart, one of the foundational pillars of human-kind?
Is it the gospel itself? Is it Jesus that causes these breakdowns? In the vast majority of cases, no. Most divisions occur among people who do not follow Jesus and so are not a part of the kingdom of God. The question of the gospel is irrelevant. These splits and divisions are part of the enemy's general strategy to destroy mankind as a whole as a means of frustrating the work of God. In some cases, splits happen because people who are at least nominally part of the kingdom have received no or inadequate teaching on the subject of relationships and in the absence of appropriate counselling and support simply follow the way of the world. In a few cases, the gospel - the differences between those who follow Jesus and those who don't - is a significant factor.
We must expect opposition to the gospel, people - particular people we know well or who have known us for a long time - disagreeing with our faith decisions or practices. But we should not go looking for trouble and meeting it halfway by provoking splits or assuming that disagreements are based soley on our practice or new-found belief. Our witness of the hope we have in Jesus should always be consistent with Paul's admonition to the Romans:
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.