Sowing and Reaping The Seeds of Discord
6:16-19 These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
In 1981, Roger Faulkner had been a member of a Church in a Chicago
suburb for nearly two years. He had served as a Sunday School teacher for more than a year
when the position of superintendent became available. Roger was excited about Sunday
School and felt that he would be an ideal successor to the position. He went to the pastor
and shared his vision and desire to serve, but to his disappointment the pastor and church
board later chose someone else to serve in that post.
Roger was very offended that he wasnt considered for the job,
but didnt say anything to the pastor about it. As the weeks wore on, Roger became
increasingly negative and critical toward the church and the people. He began to find
fault with the new superintendent and the Sunday School program. He began attending
services less and less.
Jeff Billings, another Sunday School teacher, began to notice
something wrong with Roger. After church one Sunday, Jeff invited Roger out to lunch.
Is everything Ok? Jeff asked. Ive noticed
that youve been absent a lot lately and I get the feeling that something is
Yeah, you might say that, Roger said sarcastically.
Im fed up with that stupid church and its immature leadership! The Sunday
School program stinks and the pastor couldnt preach his way out of a paper bag! Most
of the people here are unspiritual and unloving. Im just not getting fed here
anymore, and Im thinking about leaving!
Jeff was shocked. I cant believe what Im hearing!
Just a few weeks ago you were so excited about the church. You used to brag to everyone
that this was the greatest church in town. Just two months ago you told me that this was
the most loving congregation youd ever seen. Whats happened to change
Its not me. Its the church thats
changed, fumed Roger. Besides the incompetence of the Sunday School program,
let me tell you a few other things Im upset about...
For an hour, Jeff was amazed to hear Rogers complaints. For
many weeks afterward, he met with Roger several more times, hoping to encourage him, but
to no avail. Instead, he began to empathize with Rogers criticisms. It wasnt
long until Jeff too began developing negative attitudes and eventually even resigned from
Bill Stedlund, a friend of Jeffs, took notice that both he and
Roger were not as active in the church as they used to be. He observed that when they were
in attendance, they usually sat together and would often whisper to each other during the
services. He realized that something was wrong.
One evening, Bill saw the two at a local restaurant talking with
others from the church. He decided to join them. Hows it going, guys?
Bill said. Wasnt Sundays service great! Fifteen souls came to the Lord.
And what a sermon! Praise the Lord!
Everyone at the table just looked at each other. Sorry, we
didnt notice, said Jeff smugly. I guess we were too preoccupied with the
serious problems in the church.
Problems? What problems? Bill chirped. Are you
guys goofy or what? The church is going terrific. Lives are being changed every Sunday,
the church is growing, and the congregation is ecstatic. Whats your problem?
Apparently youre blinded to the reality of whats
really going on, said Roger. The church is ruled by politics and unspiritual
morons who dont care whose feelings they hurt. Besides, the people of this church
have more faults than an earthquake zone! And furthermore...
Bill interrupted, Whoa, wait just a second! Ive been
wondering whats wrong with you guys, and now I guess I know. You are the ones who
are blinded! You have developed a critical, fault-finding spirit and the Devil has blinded
you from being able to see the beauty of what the Lord is doing.
Roger, I heard you got your feelings hurt when the pastor
chose someone else over you for Sunday School Superintendent. But instead of talking with
him about it and forgiving him, you developed a bitter, unforgiving spirit! Now the Devil
has deceived you into looking for fault in everything. And to make matters worse,
youve taken your discontent and spread it to other brethren. This is a serious
violation of Gods Word. You ought to know that the Bible says God hates those who
spread discord among the brethren. The word hate is pretty harsh language
coming from God, and the Bible warns of calamity that will come upon those who spread
discord (Proverbs 6:14-15). This means you!
Spreading discontent is disobedience to God and will not help
solve problems, Roger. Gossip and bad-mouthing only makes a situation worse. Just a few
weeks ago, Jeff thought everything was going great until you illuminated him.
And How many others have you corrupted with your bad attitude?
Bill continued, How did Jesus teach that we should resolve our
differences with our brethren? You are to go to the persons who have offended you and talk
to them privately and resolve your dispute (Matthew 18:15). Did you keep the matter
private and go to the pastor? Did you go to others who offended you? No, you didnt.
You selfishly chose to spread your complaints and opinions to others to gather their
attention and sympathy to your own hurt feelings.
Roger and Jeff, where in the Bible does Jesus tell His
followers to judge, criticize, or condemn our brethren? You cant tell me, because it
doesnt say it! However, Jesus did tell you to love and forgive your brethren, to
submit, to prefer, to encourage, to dwell together in love and peace, not to bad-mouth one
another, and on and on! (John 13:34, Ephesians 4:29-32, 5:21, Romans 12:10, Hebrews 10:25,
Ephesians 4:1-3, Titus 3:2).
Roger and Jeff were offended by Bills lecture and thereafter
avoided his fellowship. But months later Roger became convicted about his sinful attitude
and realized that this was why the Lord had not been answering his prayers.If I
regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psa. 66:18). He repented of his
sin and asked the Lord to forgive him. A few days later he went to the pastor and the
other Christians that he had bad-mouthed, and asked forgiveness. Roger recovered from his
troubles and continues to serve the Lord to this day.
Sadly, the person whom Roger had influenced most, Jeff, became more
critical and bitter. The discord had taken root and had severely damaged Jeffs
faith. Unfortunately, discord is like a bad apple that will spoil the whole barrel
an infection that the Devil uses to spread his evil disease.
Jeff continued to spread the seeds of discord. Dozens left the
church and the discontent spread, severely damaging the ministry. Souls ceased coming to
the altars for salvation, and the loss of tithers caused the church to struggle for
several years. Jeff also had many heartaches and no longer serves God. *
Christians must never forget that their words can promote life or
death, unity or division, love or hate. Although Roger was forgiven for his evil words
sown, yet his mouth was an instrument of murder to his friend, Jeff, and others. Satan
used his mouth to nearly destroy a whole church. How many souls have been murdered with
the mouths of discontent believers? The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his
neighbor... (Prov. 11:9). The Bible clearly warns us to mark those who cause
division and strife and to avoid them. They are used by the Devil to cause trouble to the
church and to the work of the Gospel (Romans 16:17).
Are you a sower of discord? Are you being used by the Devil
to cause division and strife in your church? If so, be warned of the severe consequences
that you will face unless you repent of your sin and bring your mouth under control.
God promises, the sower of discord will face calamity. A worthless person, a wicked
man, walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points
with his fingers; perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows
discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without
remedy (Prov. 6:12-15).
If you cant say good things about your church, then
keep your mouth shut. If you dont think the church or its leaders are doing what
they should, go talk with them privately. Pray daily for God to help them. And if you
still dont think the church is doing you any good, then get down to the altar and
pray until it does, or get out of there and find one that will!
Whatever you do, dont become an adversary to the church,
its leaders or people! Regardless of what you think about your church, it belongs to
the Lord, and if it is in error Hes big enough to correct it without your
complaints. If you become a trouble-maker to your church, you will make yourself an enemy
to Jesus (Matthew 25:40), and He warned against becoming a stumbling-block to the faith of
believers lest you face severe judgment. But whoever causes one of these little ones
who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his
neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matt. 18:6).