North, South, East, West: Different Yet One
Romans 14:10 “So why do you judge your brothers and sisters in Christ? And why do you think you are better than they are? We will all stand before God to be judged.”
Have you ever tried to help someone with homework or to learn something they need help with?
When my youngest was in middle school doing homework, she would ask for my help. I willingly went in to see how I could help but soon discovered a roadblock. After I would begin to show her how to get the answer, she would quickly cut me off. “That’s not how the teacher taught me,” she would say with frustration that I can’t help her.
No matter how I would try to show her how I could come to the same answer, she would be frustrated because I wasn’t doing it the teacher’s way.
Having children over the last several years finishing high school and becoming adults has taught me many things. One lesson has truly been patience, but another has been our differences. When children are small it is easy to get them to think like you or do things your way, but as they grow into their own thoughts and independence we become as polar opposites as the east is to the west.
Sure, we all might share common roots and ideas but to get to the same conclusion may be entirely different approaches. What takes me five steps could take them ten.
The key is to understand that we all learn different ways. That doesn’t make anyone right or better than the other, it’s what makes us, us. Eventually my daughter and I would figure it out and the homework got done.
Paul struggled with this same thing when it came to the Jews and Gentiles when teaching Jesus to them. They all believed in the Christian faith yet couldn’t agree on how to move forward without arguing as to who was right. Paul had to urge them not to be the judge of each other’s hearts, we all will stand before God to be judged and answer the Lord.
I may not read my Bible like you do or do devotions the same way. My prayer walk is not like yours. We all forgive each other but not in the same way. How I teach Jesus and how you do will be different styles. He says in Romans 14:8, we all live and die in Jesus, we all belong to the Lord. But as individuals we all get there in different ways. Ways that only the Lord knows will work for each of us.
When we choose Jesus, we become part of the same Christian family and no matter how polar opposites we are from each other, we all have the same promise of salvation ahead of us and our mission is all the same, teach Jesus to everyone.
No matter how we teach Jesus let’s celebrate our differences and help each other, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.” I know I could stand to learn a few new techniques and you too could probably learn some new ideas along the way. Let’s just remember we all are on the same path when we choose God and we all will reach the finish line at the same time.
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