"He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones." —Luke 17:2
Jesus warned us that scandals (better translated "divisions") will inevitably arise, but woe to those through whom they come (Lk 17:1). To avoid promoting division, we must:
- be on guard (Lk 17:3). We can promote divisions without even trying,
- correct our brothers and sisters if they wrong us (Lk 17:3; Mt 18:15),
- forgive seven times a day (Lk 17:4) and seventy times seven times (Mt 18:22) both those who repent and those who don't (see Lk 23:34ff), and
- speak, pray, and act in faith (see Lk 17:5-6).
We must make every effort to preserve unity and avoid promoting divisions (see Eph 4:3). If we are lazy or apathetic, divisions almost automatically proliferate and worsen. If we are not ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18), we become ministers of alienation by default. Look at the divorces, denominations, wars, factions, fights, etc. in our divided and dividing world. We need followers of Jesus to make peace through the blood of the cross (Col 1:20; Eph 2:13-14). Will you let war be made by your apathy or will you pay the price of peace by taking up the daily crosses of reconciliation?
Prayer: "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace" (see Mt 5:9).
Promise: "In his teaching he must hold fast to the authentic message, so that he will be able both to encourage men to follow sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it." —Ti 1:9
Praise: George relies on the Holy Spirit to instruct him on what to say, to whom and when.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Jesus and Peace on audio AV 42-1 or video V-42.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010
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