Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
The words of Jesus brought divided opinion. He was righteous and he was afflicted, even among the religious. Not many things are more heated than religious arguments. Some were willing to consider that He was divine; others called him demonized.
Jesus predicted this kind of polarization. “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Luke 12:51 It is better for people to be divided over Christ than for both parties to continue in sin and unbelief.
The chasm between a believer and unbeliever is wide. And when it involves an intimate relationship, there are constant sparks when the ways of heaven and the values of the kingdom of darkness collide. Clashes come numerous times a day.
Business partnerships can be at odds; divided on ethics, divided on styles of leadership. Jesus promotes servant leadership. This repels the one who seeks to use his power to further himself.
Marriages can be at odds; divided on financial priorities, divided on parenting styles. Jesus asks parents to raise their children in such a way that when He calls them, they respond. A parent who is obvious in his disdain for Christ is not willing to have his child serve a God who asks them to lose their life for Jesus’ sake.
Many of you who are reading this right now know the loneliness of walking beside a person where you share more differences than similarities. At times, you may grow weary of speaking up so you cave in to behaviors that grate against your spirit. Perhaps the lack of peace haunts you and you wonder if this can possibly be of God. Jesus would answer with a resounding ‘yes’. God’s children must not love peace more than they love truth or else we will relinquish our convictions for a sense of false harmony. Peace at any cost is not Jesus’ way.
My natural bent is not to fight – but to cave to others’ pressure in order to gain peace. You didn’t do that. You were willing to be quiet and you were also willing to create heat so that people would have to choose truth or error. Lord, I have a lot to learn from You. Amen