Christ told us that there will be times when the actions or attitudes of others will trip us into not loving our God or our neighbor (Luke 17:1). Because that is true, it may be our fault that someone stumbles into sin.
Charles Simeon was a minister in England from 1782-1836. God placed him in a church that had some real-life issues that frequently put him in the middle of conflict. In a letter he penned in 1817, he wrote to a friend some principles he followed while feeling others pull him off the path of peace.
- Hear as little as possible what is to the prejudice of others.
- Believe nothing of the kind until I am absolutely forced to.
- Never drink into the spirit of one who circulates an ill report.
- Always believe that if the other side were heard, a very different account would be given of the matter.
God will bless those who pursue peace in their relationships with others (Mathew 5:9; Hebrews 12:14). “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he (Proverbs 16:20).”