People can be troublesome.
Yes, that’s the way God made them. Or should I say, made us. Each and every one of us. And all because He made us with a free will, a full range of emotions, a capacity for expressing (and embodying) both goodness and evil, blessing and cursing, kindness and unkindness.
One of the most important things about us is one of the most overlooked things about us: we were created for fellowship. Yes, with Him….but not just with Him. We also need fellowship with each other, to be bound securely together in a unity that transcends our personal quirks, tastes, preferences. The kind of unity that enables us to see the bond of Christ as more unifying, precious and binding than our time and experiences of walking this earth together.
Pastor Larry has been teaching on perceiving God, first and foremost, as a family man – actually, a family unit, as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The three together, in unique and perpetual harmony, individual yet never wavering in love and affirmation. A gracious, triune God who invites us in, through Christ, to become a part of this amazing relationship and to relate to one another as part of this same amazing relationship. Jesus prayed, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.” (John 17:11)
Perhaps it is difficult to become one with Him because we struggle so terribly with becoming one with each other. It’s sort of like a “people version” of Jesus asking, “…if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” (Luke 16:11)
Are we “being faithful” with those around us, in the way we treat one another? And If we are not being faithful with those we can see, touch, embrace, comfort, and encourage, a fingertip’s distance away…can we properly interact with, integrate into, manifest the reality of an unseen heavenly Father Who is wanting His Imprint and Heart to be shared everywhere we go?
Paul instructed the Colossians to “…put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so should you. Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity…” (Col. 3:12-14)
Love. “patient…kind…not jealous…does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly…does not seek its own…is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…” (I Cor. 13:4-7)
We are all capable of an unpleasant word, a harsh tone, sarcasm, rejection, or – as Paul wrote, “anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech…” (Col. 3:5) His advice to the Colossians was to “put them all aside.” (Col. 3:8) It was good advice to them….and it is good advice to us.
We are His. All of us. We belong to one another.
All of us.