Dealing with Petty Conflicts Among Brethren

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Petty Conflicts

  • Source of unnecessary strife between faithful Christians
  • Different than matters of sin, error, matters of personal judgment, and rumors/gossip (though this sometimes goes along with these conflicts)
  • These petty conflicts could be caused by any number of things — we’ll notice a few in this lesson

First, Some Things to Remember

  • The value of each person (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 8:11) — each member of the body is important (1 Corinthians 12:20-26)
  • The importance of unity (Ephesians 4:3)
  • We are to give preference to one another (Romans 12:10)

NT Examples of Petty Conflicts (or Potential Conflicts) Among Brethren

  • Euodia & Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3) — don’t know the specific problem, but we do know that their names were both in the book of life, implying faithfulness to God; possible this was as simple as a difference in personalities conflicting with one another; we must not let such things drive a wedge between us (Ephesians 4:3)
  • Paul, Barnabas & Mark (Acts 15:36-40) — Paul & Barnabas separated, but this does not imply a breaking of fellowship (cf. Galatians 2:9), they just worked in different places; Paul didn’t hold a grudge against Mark over earlier disappointment (Acts 12:25; 13:5, 13; 2 Timothy 4:11)
  • Peter & Paul (Galatians 2:11-14) — Paul publicly rebuked Peter for his sin; many today would be greatly offended by this today, regardless of motive; Peter did not hold a grudge against Paul over this (2 Peter 3:15)
  • Paul & Apollos (1 Corinthians 1:12) — rivalries can sometimes form among brethren, as if they’re competing against each other (1 Corinthians 1:12; 3 John 9); Paul did not see Apollos as a rival, but as a fellow worker (1 Corinthians 3:4-9)

If a Brother Has…

  • Past sins — forgive him (2 Corinthians 2:6-8)
  • Better circumstances — rejoice with him (Romans 12:15)
  • Struggles — help him (Galatians 6:1)
  • Different opinions — accept him (Romans 14:1-3)

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