14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
God’s gift of the church is good, healthy and wholesome. But because we are not always good, healthy and wholesome, it takes a continual attitude of submission and willingness on our side to trust and believe God why church matters. This means we are to extend this grace of community to one another with lots of love and patience. And I really mean with lots of love and patience.
It is easy to get offended or feel rejected because we don’t take time to understand the other person. After all, it is more straightforward to know how we feel and how we wanted to be treated than figuring out what someone is expecting or actually wants from us.
What we really need to do, if we desire a good, healthy and wholesome church, is to cancel the debt against those who did not care enough for us and learn to start again. Now, you may think it is impossible. But it is not. It rests on who you really believe in—God’s words or yours. Being mindful of what is lacking in our brother and sister should not take us down a negative path. If we choose to take that path, we will chalk up a long line of messy relationships and not walk away clean.
If all of us can experience many fresh starts with God, who says we cannot do that with one another? We are not meant to survive church, but to flourish together as Christ’s Body so that the life and power of God can be seen in us and through us. Most times, however, we let excuses and poor reasoning get in the way of God’s intent for His people. This is why we choose not to be truthful with most people, not because we don’t want to hurt them, but we don’t have what it takes to grow successful and strong friendships.
The Apostle Paul tells us Christ-like love is the basis and foundation of every healthy friendship. And whenever love is lacking, we become critical and judgemental and do not look for the best in people. This is why Paul says we need to watch out and be careful not to justify ourselves by “feasting” on our brothers and sisters in Christ with our fault-finding and attributing bad motives on others. So instead of tearing each other down, build each other, instead of hurting each other, heal each other, and instead of backbiting each other, bless and receive each other. In doing so, we fulfil the law of Christ.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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