Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. —Ephesians 4:2
When public debate erupted over a controversial Singapore law, it divided believers with differing views. Some called others “narrow-minded” or accused them of compromising their faith.
Controversies can cause sharp divisions among God’s family, bringing much hurt and discouraging people. I’ve been made to feel small over personal convictions about how I apply the Bible’s teachings to my life. And I’m sure I’ve been equally guilty of criticising others I disagree with.
Does the problem, I wonder, lie not in our differing views nor even in how we express them, but in the attitudes of our hearts when we do so? Are we just disagreeing with views, or are we seeking to tear down the people behind them?
There are times when we need to address false teaching or explain our stand. But Ephesians 4:2–6 reminds us to do so with humility, gentleness, patience, and love. And, above all else, to make every effort “to keep the unity of the Spirit” (v. 3).
Some controversies will remain unresolved. God’s Word, however, reminds us that our goal should always be to build up people’s faith, not tear them down (v. 29). Are we putting others down to win an argument? Or are we allowing God to help us understand His truths in His time and His way, remembering that we share one faith in one Lord? (vv. 4–6).