It seems that just about every Christian congregation will at some times or another experience a conflict. Sometimes it is centered around building projects. Maybe it will be a mission project.  It could even concern congregational employees or membership privileges and responsibilities. Sometimes these disagreements are generated by genuine concern for someone’s eternal welfare, but at other times the discussion (and conflict) will center around the mantra “We’ve never done it that way before.”

St. Paul wrote in our text: “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.” He then asked two very important questions: “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother?

His reply was as follows: “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’"

We humans may not share total agreement in all things; but there is one point where we must agree: “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…” He concluded his argument with a succinct statement: “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

So, then, what about the arguments and disagreements that so often mar a congregation’s ability to serve God and offer Him true worship? Do they bother an individual because of some doctrinal point or not? Do they deny Christ or disavow God, or not? My mother used to call most disagreements arguments over “peripheral piffle.” That was her way of saying that something didn’t make much difference. Saint Paul would probably have agreed with her.

But then, what is important? “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’" What is important is faith in and confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord!

God grant us the ability to look beyond our own thoughts, and instead believe in and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord! Amen.