Multiply or Divide?
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time.
After that, have nothing to do with them.
You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
Morris Taylor had an insatiable need to prove he was the smartest person in the room. He had received praise as a child for being gifted and talented and fed off every compliment into adulthood. He often failed to realize that he could win more hearts and sustain more friendships if he occasionally hit the off switch to his overly analytical approach to issues. The young attorney often debated colleagues in the firm, at bar functions, or even in the courthouse cafeteria. Winning arguments took priority over winning people. Morris perceived himself to be a critical thinker when in actuality he was a perpetual critic.
He believed that any writing whether in a letter, in an email, or in a brief could and should have been better written. Morris caused division in every team scenario whether on the job or on a voluntary ministry task at church because he always had a better way, in his mind, of doing things and often lobbied a faction to join his challenge to authority.
Critical thinkers provide the church and the world invaluable solutions to complex problems. They offer different perspectives instead of merely accepting the status quo. Perpetual critics place personal pride over solutions and division over edification. Dr. David Anderson from Bridgeway Community Church often states that there are two kinds of people: zappers and sappers. Zappers bring life, joy, and energy; whereas, sappers drain life, joy, and energy.
Jesus Christ provides an incredible example of a zapper. Although He walked the earth as our sinless and sovereign Savior who has the right to be a perpetual critic of all shortcomings, Jesus loved and encouraged everyone who came to Him with humility. The Pharisees and teachers of the law initiated debates with Jesus, yet He taught the truth in love. Jesus simply told repentant sinners to go and sin no more as opposed to humiliating people. He birthed many followers and bore much fruit because He laid down His life for others. The only division Jesus brought occurred as a logical consequence between those who accepted Him and those who rejected Him.
Have you selected a life of multiplication or division? Are you edifying and building people up? Are you dividing people and bringing people down? There is a big difference between being an analytical thinker and being critical, loveless, and prideful. There is enough division in the world. Multiply the character of Jesus Christ.