Two congregations of differing denominations were located only a few blocks from each other in a small community. They thought it might be better if they would merge and become one united body, larger and more effective, rather than two struggling churches. Good idea ... but both were too petty to pull it off. The problem? They couldn’t agree on how they would recite the Lord’s Prayer. One group wanted “forgive us our trespasses” while the other demanded, “forgive us our debts.” So, the newspaper reported that one church went back to its trespasses while the other returned to its debts!
Such silly skirmishes would be hilarious if they weren’t so prevalent—and damaging. It's one thing to stand firm in major issues clearly set forth in Scripture. It’s another thing to pick fights over tiny jots and meaningless tittles. I never cease to be amazed at how petty we Christians can be over things that really don’t amount to a hill of beans in the final analysis.
Here’s what God’s Word makes plain to us about splitting hairs over nothing:
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all (Ephesians 4:3–6).
In Christ, we are not to be known as nitpickers! It’s not the way of Jesus.
If our knowledge is imperfect and our tastes vary and our opinions differ, let’s leave a lot of room in areas that don’t really matter. Diversity and variety provide the body of Christ with a beautiful blend of balance, but a squint-eyed, severe spirit is a killer, strangling its victims with a noose of caustic criticism.
Are you making every effort to promote the unity of the Spirit? Trust me—that’s not a nit-picking question.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord...Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.