S (Scripture) – Acts 23:6-10 “But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, ‘Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!’ As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’ And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.”
O (Observation) – Division is defined as, “disagreement between two or more groups, typically producing tension or hostility.” There is no greater time of division in our country than during the political season. We are all Americans – United States citizens – yet we can be so divided from within, casting piercing glances at others without the same political ideology that we have, badmouthing candidates we have never actually met based on how the media portrays them, rallying behind candidates we have never met because of video clips we have seen of them on social media, and harboring hostility in our hearts because the future of our country is up for grabs and the uncertainty is enough to drive some people over the edge.
A (Application) – Division is nothing new. Ever since Cain and Abel, people have been fighting, have been divided, have had different world views, ideologies, and beliefs about the world as we know it. We, humanity, have never all agreed on everything. Even within the church of Jesus Christ we can’t even agree on what God says is true, despite having the same Bible. What we can do in the midst of this tension is respect each other. We can listen to each other, try to understand what the other person is saying instead of assuming we know what he or she is feeling. If we can have respect for each other and not allow the enemy to get a foothold in our lives by harboring bitterness in our hearts, then we will be able to have our disagreements without the hostility of dissension.
P (Prayer) – Lord, nothing going on in our world is a surprise to You. Anyone who believes that there is no such thing as free will only needs to look around at every opinionated man and woman in this world to see that it seems everyone is going in their own respective directions at times. Thank You for Your patience, Lord. Thank You for never giving up on me. I was one of those people that walked this earth with a clenched fist, thinking I knew better than You did. Now, You bring my chaos into order, and the whole world makes so much more sense when I simply believe You. Help us all to respect those with different beliefs than us, so that we might attract others to the truth of Jesus.