United in purpose, in thoughts and decisions,
I beg you to be of one mind.
Let harmony flow so there are no divisions;
the church should be ever aligned.
Why criticize your brother's motive or action?
Why try to make him appear small?
His life does not need to meet your satisfaction
or precepts you've nailed to the wall.
Why, who made you judge and a jury demanding
your brother meets laws of your own?
One day we will all face true judgement when standing
before mighty God at his throne.
Agree to pursue what makes peace with your brother,
encouraging words are a start!
The worldly ones with no thought for another
are those who split churches apart.
A gossip shares secrets with those undiscerning;
avoid such a blowhard as friend.
Without any fuel raging fires stop burning;
no gossip brings tensions an end.
If any believer or brother has wronged you,
confront him to work issues out.
If he will not listen take others along to
be witnesses, ending all doubt.
Submit to your leaders whose only ambition
is keeping their eye on your soul.
With joy let them lead you with not one condition;
it profits you not, on the whole.
I urge you to honor the leaders who guide you,
their work is exceedingly hard.
Advising, instructing, for walking beside you --
esteem them with highest regard.
This poem won second place for the May 2020 poetry contest