“Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,”
What is a factious man? Well, it’s someone who loves to divide and cause schisms. They love to stir up stuff. So, Paul says to give them a couple of warnings. Then if they don’t stop, withdraw from them, reject them, shun them. God is not about chaos, therefore, neither should we be.
Unfortunately, many of us are so insistent on seeing our agenda carried out that we will, as my dad used to say, argue with a fence post. I’ve seen this happen between close friends. I’ve seen it happen among church staff. I’ve seen it happen when both sides have good ideas or motives. But it is important to remember we are to preserve the unity.
Okay, mom and dad, let me ask you a question. Are you a factious? Do you demand your rights to the point that you cause division? Your kids are watching. Why do we think we can act one way and expect our kids to act another? We can’t! We can’t preach one thing and live another. Our children learn far more from our actions than our words.
Is it easy to “be the wrong one” for the sake of peace? Nope! I hate it. But for the sake of unity, we are asked sometimes by the Lord to let it go. It is far more important to teach our children how to work with others than to demand their rights. Now, there are times when we must stand our ground. But most of our disagreements could be settled with some compromise.
Will you pause before reacting next time? Stop and ask yourself if this is worth the division it will cause if you push your side. I bet you will find it’s not. Believe me, this is one area I have to look at internally myself. I can be hard-headed and demanding. I know I’m right and will bow up to prove it. Join me in some self-examination.
Help me, Lord, to pause and reflect before reacting. Help me see the big picture and the need for peace. I praise You for the strength to do this.