A bug on the ground looks at the world and describes it one way. An eagle soaring high above describes it another. The wise ones listen to each other. The fools insist on proving to everyone the other is a fool and a liar.

Christian, it is the same with a hand, a foot, a rib, a heart, and parts of the body of Christ. Refusing to listen and insisting on debate is a cancer that kills the body.

Whether you are the cancer or you are the body being threatened by the cancer, the prognosis of the doctor (and the recommendation from Paul in his second letter to Timothy) is that the two should be removed from each other so that the harm does not continue to spread.

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Where there is division and strife and toxicity, when you speak and they will not listen to you (or you will not listen to them), and you have taken opportunities to try and reconcile one on one — and you have taken opportunities to try and reconcile along with others — and if even the gathering is involved and there is still a spirit of debate and arguing and pride that does not welcome you and does not listen but insists on debate — common sense (and Mark’s instruction in chapter 6) underscores that where there is war even when you have made all efforts to make peace — it is better that we separate than remain together.

A cancerous and prideful fool might shake the dust from his feet to make a show to “those people” —

but a bold disciple who cares more about what God says in His Word than what people think of him might do so only because this is the wise instruction given, not because the people will see it and hate him for this offense against them, but that God sees in heaven that he is willing to obey his teacher and not bow to men

— so I recommend checking and carefully weighing your own heart in these matters.

Speak to the LORD, and He will give you wisdom.