10 Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don’t be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose. 11 My brothers and sisters, Chloe’s people gave me some information about you, that you’re fighting with each other. 12 What I mean is this: that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” “I belong to Apollos,” “I belong to Cephas,” “I belong to Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in Paul’s name?
“Has Christ been divided?”
I once attended an ecumenical conference and after the meetings were over, I spent some time getting to know a Methodist seminarian around my age from another state. At one point, I realized I had been talking for awhile about my opinion on a rather heated topic and apologized to her.
“I fear I’m projecting. I don’t actually knowing how you feel about this.”
I had just assumed that she felt like me. I had heard many other attendees of the conference voice opinions like mine and sort of assumed that most people who were attracted to this type of event were of a like mind.
She thanked me because she didn’t agree with me, but she had been too nervous to voice her thoughts because she too was picking up that the majority of people at the conference thought like me (at least the more vocal ones). She then told me her viewpoint and we talked about our experiences that brought us to our differing opinions, each of which had religious reasoning to it. But, we decided not to divide Christ.
We got along quite well and now were speaking more deeply because she felt that her voice would be heard even if I didn’t agree. She too was very receptive to listening to my point of view. We walked away with respect for one another, and yet, still with our own convictions in tact.
Not dividing Christ does not mean that we have to be carbon copies of each other. It does mean recognizing that Christ is bigger then ourselves and our experiences.
I belong to Christ.
Christ was crucified for me.
I was baptized in Christ’s name.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
When have you seen people handle differing opinions well? What elements of the conversation made it respectful? What is one thing you can incorporate into your own speech to more easily talk with those of other viewpoints?
Prayer: God of all, You have created an extremely complex universe. Forgive us for not always recognizing the expansive diversity of it all. Cultivate within us words of unity and peace. Let it be a ripple effect from our own lips. Amen.
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