Today I am heading off to the high school for my school's Special Olympics area competitions. We will be competing in basketball skills today! We have really worked hard to improve our skills and so I hope the kids..............have fun!! I am excited to be there to cheer them on!
This morning Lord Jesus I turned to Romans 16:17. "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those that cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned."
I looked up what the words divisions and obstacles means in my lexical aids and it was quite interesting. Divisions is a person that really causes internal conflicts. One that tries to group people based on something they think needs to be done or someone that to gang people up on one another. Those that are trying to divide the church for whatever reason. (music, childcare, missions, whatever.......)
The word obstacle was very informative as well. The definition gave a word picture of what would be set for an animal to get trapped by. I would guess this trap could be set for someone very specific or it could be for anyone that walks the way of the trap and just happens to be caught.
I often wonder how we are to minister to those that cause divisions and such. How do we deal with those that want to set a trap for your spiritual "death"? There are those, even Christians, that want to see those in ministry fall - for what reason I don't know. But what does God call us to do with those that are so dangerous to the faith?
I find in this verse He calls us to "watch out for". Surprisingly it does not say to stay far, far, far away from and totally disassociate. No, it says to "watch out for". So to me, i think that puts the responsibility on us. Yes, the division causer and the obstacle putter (like those made up words?) will have to be judged for their heart and the actions it produced, but we too are responsible for our reactions to these traps.
Further down in this chapter Paul implores us to be "wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil". I don't believe innocent means turning our heads and acting like it never existed. No, innocent here I believe means innocent in not taking part, not falling prey to the trap, and not falling into the hands of a divisive argument or even conversation AND possibly dealing gracefully and gently with the one doing these things mentioned in the verse.
It would be much easier to have nothing to do with these kinds of situations. To stay far away from these kinds of people would be so much safer. But if i am honest I would have had to personally dissociate from myself. I would have to leave myself alone and not be with me. I have been guilty of being divisive, and I am sure I have set a trap or as i said before been an obstacle putter for some reason. We don't do this always consciously, but it can be done without us even realizing.
But no, God calls us to "watch out" but still be wise in dealing with these situations. As much as I would like to, I can not put my head in the sand and ignore! Oh Lord, Help!!!!!
My SS ladies and a few others from the church have decided to do the Bible study by Jen Hatmaker called Interrupted. I am so pumped!! I have read the book and it was so compelling! The ladies are doing this and and my hubby will be teaching Crazy Love to compliment us in SS class. I really think we are going to have some Crazy Interrupted Love flowing from these people. And no better time that the Holidays to get us trained to begin thinking about a life of giving!!!!! I am excited!!!!!