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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Arguments Happen

arguing couple
Author Biography

    Vernell's approaching a 10-year anniversary at CBN. She's a life-long learner who enjoys reading and laughter with friends and family.

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Vernell Windsor - Prayer Center Coach

I had a heated argument with my boyfriend over the phone in college. I stood directly in front of a mirror as I spoke very loudly. I saw that terrifying look of anger on my face and thought, Who are you, and what have you done with Vernell?

It sounds funny now, but that experience taught me that I got too angry. While reading Acts 15, I pondered their argument about the need to circumcise the Gentiles for salvation. Did these men of God exhibit more restraint than I did? Paul, one of my heroes, probably let them know precisely what he thought about them and their ideas!

Acts 15:2 says,

"And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders."

We have a modern saying, "Go big or go home!" So, Paul and Barnabas went to the top authorities of their day for resolution as the magnitude of the argument warranted it.

The spirited debate continued in Jerusalem. Peter intervened to bring forth the wisdom of God. It must have sounded like a modern-day mic drop! Let's read what Peter said to them,

"And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will" (Acts 15:8-11).

Clearly, confrontations can occur at any level. Peter's manner of speech brought silence to those gathered. James was able to make his recommendation to the council after hearing about all the wonders the Lord had done through Paul and Barnabas. There is nothing like the wisdom of God to get to the heart of a matter.

Paul, Barnabas, and Peter recognized the grace of God upon the Gentiles. They boldly spoke the mind of Christ to those gathered. The Lord did not ask anyone for permission to pour out His Spirit upon the Gentiles. Peter was an eyewitness to the Holy Spirit's visitation upon Cornelius and his whole family in Acts 10. This same outpouring reached all the way through time to me! After college, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus as well!

As believers, God invites us to come to Him for His wisdom in those difficult situations with others. Of course, arguments happen, but God prevails when we yield to Him.

Let's pray! Father, let Your wisdom prevail in all we say and do. Let us glorify You in every relationship with one another. Deliver us from the enemy who would cause strife and division, in the name of Jesus, Amen!

~

Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved. 

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