And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. —Romans 16:17-18

Water is so powerful when moving. Typhoons, tsunamis, tides, hurricane surges, flooding rivers and torrential downpours all can be so very destructive as told in the tale of The Little Dutch Boy— “Dutch legend has it that there was once a small boy who upon passing a dyke on his way to school noticed a slight leak as the sea trickled in through a small hole. Knowing that he would be in trouble if he were to be late for school, the boy pocked his finger into the hole and so stemmed the flow of water. Some time later a passerby saw him and went to get help. This came in the form of other men who were able to effect repairs on the dyke and seal up the leak.”

“This story is told to children to teach them that if they act quickly and in time, even they with their limited strength and resources can avert disasters. The fact that the Little Dutch Boy used his finger to stop the flow of water, is used as an illustration of self-sacrifice. The physical lesson is also taught: a small trickle of water soon becomes a stream and the stream a torrent and the torrent a flood sweeping all before it, Dyke material, roadways and cars, and even railway tracks and bridges and whole trains.”

“This tale originates from the American writer Mary Mapes Dodge and is in fact not a real myth, although many people believe it is. She published this tale in ‘Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates’ in 1865. The Little Dutch Boy is a very popular myth in the United States (and other countries), but is not well known in the Netherlands and has probably been imported there by American tourists.”

People that cause division, according to the above verses, do so for their own personal interests and not those of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are self-serving and not Christ-serving. Just as rushing water causes instability, so to the words of a person causing division, stirring up conflict. It starts as a drip, then a trickle, then a stream, then a river and then an uncontrollable flood that brings destruction. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him… a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16, 19).

This principle is true among God’s people, but the principle can be seen in the world as well whether it be national, state, city, town, business or school level. Those that cause division are bringing instability at any level because of their personal interests. How should these things be dealt with? We are told in the verses above to “stay away from them” and that will “plug the leaky dyke.”

Dear Father, oh please may it be my motivation to speak and act according to Your desires. May I not cause division, but encourage your people to move forward united. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *