Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning:
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves,
measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,
so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Romans 12:3-5 NLT
When Unity Is Not Our Reality
I glance at my phone just in time to see the lit-up news teaser, and once again I can’t believe what it relays. I tap the link and read the article, sickened to my core by hateful words and pixels.
“Oh Lord, may Your Kingdom come,” I pray out loud.
A friend messages me harsh words that make it painfully clear we stand no closer to a better relationship than we did a year ago. No amount of explaining or apologizing on my end eases the tension.
“Oh Lord, may Your Kingdom come,” I pray out loud.
It is good to dwell in unity, but how heartbreaking it is when we wake to yet another sign that unity is not our reality.
How soul-crushing it is when the way things are supposed to be are far from the way things are.
I want to flail my arms and talk through clenched teeth at people believing they’re superior to others. But then words from our pastor’s sermon float into memory,
The way of shame and guilt and the way of tolerance are both outside-in approaches. Christianity is an inside-out approach. It’s about transformation. Jesus died for His friends, but He also died for His enemies. ~ Pastor Vince Hoppe
And I’m convicted to my core because heaven help me, there’ve been times in my life when I’ve been guilty of feeling superior to others.
There’ve been times I’ve squinted my eyes rather than opened my heart, talked when I should’ve listened.
There’ve been times I’ve forgotten that Scripture says we belong to one another.
I can pray for others and dialogue with others, certainly, but I can only act for myself.
As one who belongs to Christ, I can repent as I welcome His deep work within me so I may best reflect His abundant light around me.
When I look to Him as my true belonging place, I see myself not overly or underly, but in reality. And I see others as people also made in God’s image.
May each of us welcome Christ’s inside-out work that inches us closer to His kingdom come.
And may each of us do our part to keep the body of Christ in good working order as we treat people with care.
After all, we all belong to each other.
How do you sense Christ performing His inside-out work within you so you may best reflect His light to those around you?Leave a Comment
What a beautiful picture with this verse!!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I find God saying to me over and over again (I am a remedial learner sometimes). ” Bev, you can’t do anything about anyone else or their actions, the only person you can work on is yourself and you do that with Me.” I am learning to control what I can control, do something about the things I can, and then trust the rest to the Lord’s loving providence and sovereignty. Many times a day I have to remind myself that God’s got this covered. He has me covered and He has “them” covered. He calls me to live in unity and peace with others as best I can and then to rest in Him. Great reminder this am.
Kristen Strong says
Bev, you remind me of the verse Romans 12:18 that talks about as far as it depends on you (me), live at peace with everyone. I’m also a remedial learner, and I sometimes forget I can only control the actions of myself.
Always appreciate your presence and contribution here, Bev. Much love.
Jasmine Ruigrok says
Oh… how painfully timely this is. Friday I felt so worn thin, empty and done with church, and today after telling myself it was going to be my last morning there, I heard a message about having God’s power to stay… and now this. How to keep going when you feel like you’ve given all you can, and you don’t know what else to do… Thankyou for the reminder to keep looking to Christ as my belonging place and not people.
Thank you. What a great reminder. This is my one thing, today, to move forward with Jesus.
Convicted as I read this this morning. I’ve been so in turmoil lately with the actions and stances being thrown about in our world. I want to scream and cry and try to convince. I want to get angry and shout back. But I’ve slowly been coming to the realization that hate begets hate. Cruelty begets cruelty. So I must be train myself to be living in the midst of this angst. And remember that love begets love. It was His greatest lesson for us. And His last teaching here on earth. Thank you for this reminder. We are all one body. May I be the eyes that see, the ears that hear, the mouth that speaks uplifting words and the hands and feet of Jesus. ❤️✝️
So many typos…”so I must train myself to be loving” is what I meant to say.
Beth Williams says
I sense God leading me closer to Him. I attend church 3 X a week now. I am more involved in various ministries around the area. This country is so divided now it pains me to watch. Many people don’t have a clue as why they feel a certain way. It’s their way or the highway. I try to listen & see everyone’s view point on subjects. Worry less about trivial matters-like what someone wore to church. Just glad they are there. I try to do what I can when I can as often as I can for as many people as I can. In that way I shine God’s light in this sin darkened world.
Really appreciate your words here, friend… xoxo
Rebecca L Jones says
I don’t think it’s necessarily that we feel superior, we just realize that our life in God is. I have had this experience, I think people that that I was ” Holier than thou ” when I actually felt left out or unworthy, still I knew Christians sis not behave certain ways and I guess that left me out even among some church folk. I didn’t want to just gossip, or talk about heath problems, I believed in healing, and I understand it can be hard, but I rarely hear anyone say, I know He’s working it out or something to that effect.