The totality – the complete story – how something begins – how something ends – what’s in between the beginning and the end – it all needs to come to a rightful conclusion.
We know this, but we have settled to accept “soundbytes” as the best information to draw a conclusion. As I watch history being rewritten, I also watch and hear people reduce others to a single event or experience.
There is always more to a person than just a single event.
I remember one time more than 30 years ago. We were building an addition to the church. During the construction a boy from our own congregation broke in and stole something. I went to court to testify on his behalf, because he was a lot more than the action of what he did that night. I ran into him a few years ago. What a fine husband and father he is today!
Today, we are watching people respond to things they know very little about. But we are quick to make conclusions. I can’t stop the uproar that is in our communities, but maybe I can help to calm our spirits within our church body.
It is God’s desire for us to love one another. Not to be quick to judge. He calls us to raise our families with those values in mind. Beware of the world’s perspective that creates painful cracks in relationships. The Lord has words of guidance for us:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 NKJV)
“bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:13 NKJV)
Step back, away from your two sentence summary of another person or an event in their life and ask the Lord for His feelings, because He alone knows the complete story. He alone knows the heart of an individual.
Let us practice what Ephesians 1:10 (NKJV) says:
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.“
Our church body woven together by the Word of God and a common mission will make us unique.
Imagine a church who welcomes all – baggage included. To do that, we must see each other as the Lord sees us. A soul in need of forgiveness and a spiritual family to belong to. Where your past is covered under the blood and your sins have been separated from you as far as the east is from the west.
What should guide us most is our love for souls.
What we love, we do not criticize or rush to judge. If we love like Christ loves, then that will have fulfilled His desire.
That positions us to make disciples of Christ. In this order – and only in this order – does the church please the Lord, fulfill His Great Commission, and minister to its community.