Friday, February 10, 2012

You're Different

I recently heard of a church that would not participate in a community service project with other churches because of their differences.  They reasoned that to work alongside people who held a differing doctrinal belief would indicate they were approving what they considered false teachings.

The Bible is not silent on this issue. It's right there in the book of Galatians where Paul recounts his early years of ministry.  Peter and the other original apostles were of Jewish background and were straining to believe that God would offer grace to Gentiles. Having passed that hurdle, some of them insisted that Gentile believers had to follow the Jewish customs and laws. Paul persuaded them that to do so would be to add constraints to the free grace God was offering. In fact, he said that living in Christ should even free the Jewish believers from that bondage.

They finally came to an agreement that Peter was called to minister to the Jews, and Paul was called to minister to the Gentiles and that they would do so without loading each other down with unrealistic - or ungraceful - expectations.

Paul writes, "All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along." Galatians 2:10 (TNIV)

That's our problem. We focus so much on our differences that we keep each other from doing what makes our hearts sing. I want to help people. I want to show them the love of Jesus. I want to help them walk closer to God. In order to do so, I'm going to focus on THAT rather than wasting my time pointing out how different you are from me. Chances are we're much more alike once our focus shifts. Let's try it.

Photo Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>

1 comment:

  1. I really feel God has placed this heavy on my heart lately. He wants His church to be united. Four walls is not the church. WE ARE THE CHURCH! If we are to fight against the enemy we need to join forces, put our differences aside and say the Word of God is all we need to have in common to win this war. thanks for the post