Have you ever had a dispute with a neighbor? Sometimes such disputes are hard to settle. Neighbors can be real stinkers. That’s what happened to Wayne Lambarth, literally. Lambarth has a dispute with a neighboring farmer over the property line between their southeast Michigan farms. The neighbor decided to show his disagreement by creating a “fence” made of cow manure near the disputed property line. He piled manure in a 250 feet-long wall standing between two and three feet high. It is a real nuisance for Lambarth’s tenants who live a few yards away!* This does not sound like living in peace!
Disputes also arise among followers of Jesus. For some things, the Bible does not clearly state whether it is right or wrong. People can have different views. One side may condemn the other for some practice. The condemned side may view the opposing side with contempt. This type of dispute actually occurred among the early Christians in Rome. They disagreed on whether it was morally right to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols.
Paul wrote to them and provided several principals about how to treat each other in this type of situation. The key is in Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”(NIV)
Remember, when you disagree with other followers of Jesus on matters of opinion, don’t be a stinker. Keep the peace!
*Gavin Evans, “Man Builds Wall of Manure Over Property Line Dispute With Neighbor,” Yahoo! News, Thurday, April 29, 2021, https://news.yahoo.com/man-builds-wall-manure-over-175450976.html.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.