“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them” (Titus 3.10 NIV).
A “divisive” person is someone who enjoys stirring up conflict and causing division. This is a deep-reaching character flaw that can really cause a lot of problems in relationships, homes, workplaces and ministries. The difficult part about people who are divisive is that many times they don’t realize it. They have so many emotional storms within them that they pour out those storms into the world around them, and they see this chaos and destruction as a normal part of life. But causing trouble and division is not normal. In fact, we are supposed to be keepers of the peace (Matthew 5.9). The only way to deal with a divisive person is to confront the problem head on. Ignoring the issue will only make the storms spiral out of control, causing devastation and loss. Paul explains that we can warn a divisive person two times, but after that we have to separate ourselves from them. If we don’t shield ourselves, they will be like a diseased body part that slowly sickens and kills the entire body. Much like gangrene found on the body’s extremities, a divisive person can spread their devastation to the lives of those close to them. We can still love and pray for divisive people, but we must always keep them and their influence separated or contained if we want the health of our relationships, homes, workplaces and ministries to stay protected. And just maybe, they will see the relationships that they are losing, and they will finally allow God to calm the storms within them.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them” (Romans 16.17 NIV).