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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Gridlock

By Bill Brandstatter

    A term that has entered our vocabulary in recent years is the word “gridlock.” Today it has a political connotation to it. When neither Republicans nor Democrats will budge on an issue, “gridlock” occurs. Gridlock results when neither part will budge for the good of the country. Politics is not the only place where there is “gridlock.” It is also in the church and in the home.
    In the church gridlock occurs when there are divisions between the members of a particular congregation (1 Cor. 1:10). This may be over matters of personality, indifference, or opinion; yet it results in neither side yielding to the other. Some will eventually leave if they don’t get their way. The way to stop “gridlock” is with humility. When brethren fuss and fight, someone has to give or the church will suffer. We need to have the attitude expressed by Paul to the Christians at Philippi. He told them: “Doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of your also to the things of others” (Phil. 2:3,4 ASV). With this kind of attitude, brethren will grow closer together. Unfortunately, many are busy trying to maneuver into a position of authority in the church. They want the pre-eminence like Diotrophes in 3 John 9. Some who want control will be surprised if they get it. Let us always remember Christianity involves a group. When we are looking only to benefit ourselves, we are in the same camp as some of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.
    There is also “gridlock” in marriages. Both husband and wife want to go in opposite directions. This can occur in everything from where to live to how to raise the children, and all points in between. Husband and wife are to work together. When the Bible says “the two shall become one flesh” (Eph. 5:31), it denotes unity. There are going to be disagreements. No two people under the same roof will agree on all issues 100% of the time. The key is how to handle the disagreements. Wives are to submit to their own husbands (Eph. 5:22). Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:25). If there is gridlock and neither is willing to yield to the other, the marriage will eventually wind up in trouble; and, if there are children, they will suffer greatly.
    In all the above areas “gridlock” will not be overcome by a stubborn, unyielding attitude. Someone is going to have to take a step to solve the problem and benefit the country, church or the home. Gridlock can be overcome with love.
- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/


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