Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT), "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
A father took his son to the mountains, for the first time, where there was a good cavern. He told his son, as they stood on the edge, to scream. The little boy screams “Ahhh”. Suddenly they hear the ‘Ahhh’ returning back to them.
“What was that?” The boy asked wide eyed.
“It's called an echo. What you say comes back to you in agreement. Listen to this. I like pizza,” the father yelled.
Again, the echo repeated the words.
Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a circle of people who always agreed with us? My oldest, when younger, always got upset with her brother because he never agreed with her and never thought like her or did the things the way they “should” be done. Honestly, haven’t we all thought that way at least once? Although, I suspect we could all say that we’ve thought about it more than once.
Just think about it, wouldn't it just be easier that way? No more arguing, no more hurt or disappointment. Of course, that would mean everyone would have to think like you 😉.
I do believe we are able to find friends who think more like us, and of course they’re friends because we do share a lot in common. Yet, even among the people we surround ourselves with we will differ on opinions, choices, how someone does things differently. Friendship comes because we have learned to accept the differences and like them for who they are. They don't have to fit “our” mold to be friends with us.
It really matters to God how we get along with the others. It's not only about our vertical relationship with God in life, it also must include our horizontal relationships. God specifically tells us we not only need to be right with each other (Colossians 3:13-17), but to be at peace, with everyone living in unity (Psalm 133:1).
God did not create us to all be robots who all act, look, and think alike. He created us each unique, different, each with our own ideas and opinions. Yes, many times we will coincide with others, but we are still unique. One important reason: if we all were of one mind, with actions and so on, we would not be able to do the work God has asked us to do.
Romans 12:4-5, “Each one of us has a body with many parts, and these parts all have different uses. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body, and each part belongs to all the other parts.” What's your talent(s), what do you feel you are great at, enjoy doing, and can praise God or share God in? When Jesus tells us to go into the world and preach the gospel He is saying, use the talents He gave you (not what others have) and share about Him. Just like your body needs everything to work together, they all still have their own special part, and we need every part to function as God created us. This is the same with those around us. We are all meant to work together yet we all have our unique differences. If everyone was a preacher, we'd have no prayer warriors. If everyone worked with the children, those who led the small group ministries would not be around to minister to the adults. If everyone was a song leader, or, there would be too many cooks in the kitchen. Accepting all the working parts in the church is like accepting those who might think, and act differently than we do.
Wanting to live your life in an echo chamber, I believe, would become rather mundane and boring and it is not how God wants us to live. Like I told my daughter when she was younger. Living with others means you have to live with differences. And, who knows, those differences could really spice up your life.
Let's climb down the mountain with the echo chamber and climb up the mountain that leads to us closer to God. To be more like Christ, let's accept everyone where they are and who they are as we all live in unity and for one purpose. Serve God and look towards the day of salvation.
I hope you have found time to spend time in the Bible more than just a devotional here and there. It is in studying God's Word that we can grow closer to Him, understand Him, and become more like He wants us to be. We just finished a Bible study on learning to walk with God through many Bible people we know. Our new study is on learning to let God lead in our lives and giving all we have to Him. Each study has some questions and many different verses to explore as we seek a closer walk with God.
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