Peace in the Church
Peace in the Church
The peace of God can only permeate the church when its members live at peace with one another.
When I was a pastor in Arizona, there were two men in the church who were greatly admired. They were both successful businessmen who desired to see people come to Christ.
One of these men, Harvey, owned several steak house restaurants in the area. In the early years, Harvey had some partners who turned out to be crooked, and he had to go to court to prevent them from stealing the businesses from him. During those tough years, he walked faithfully with God and left a good testimony in the courts and the community. He was also very generous. He once treated my entire family—all 15 of us—to an expensive outdoor steak dinner at one of his restaurants. The second man, Tom, had sold a successful business in the Midwest to move to Arizona and lead a nationwide Campus Crusade campaign. When I met him, I was impressed—he had sold everything and moved across the country to serve Christ for free. Thousands of people came to Christ during that campaign.
When the campaign was over, Tom was ready to get back into business and start earning income again. Harvey was building some additional restaurants, and he hired Tom to oversee construction. In the process, something happened that drove the construction costs dramatically beyond what was expected. Harvey was disturbed at how much the project was costing, and he made some questioning comments about the way Tom was handling things. Tom felt he was being criticized for mismanagement, so he started making comments about Harvey's "poking his nose in when he didn't know what he was talking about."
The whole situation got a bit edgy, and people in the church began to pick up on the tension. Harvey and Tom avoided each other at church. The Sunday school class that ...
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Donald Sunukjian is Homiletics Chair and Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.