As a child, I loved to sit on my mother’s three-mirror vanity desk and carefully arrange the mirrors so I could see countless images of myself. I entertained myself for hours by singing or making up stories to the audience in the mirrors. There was no ego involved; I created an unending supply of imaginary friends who happened to look exactly like me.
As an adult, I realise that I have some control over my environment. What I express to the world around me reflects back to me. If I reveal Christ in me by allowing His love, graciousness, and hope to shine through me, God can use me to transform my environment to reflect Christ’s love, graciousness, and hope back to me.
However, unlike my look-alike imaginary friends, Christ uses individuals of different flavours and life experiences to serve as reflections of His love, graciousness, and hope in our lives. A wise Christian doesn’t surround themselves with only those whose opinions and interpretation of minor peripheral doctrinal points are exact duplicates of their own.
Salvation through grace alone, the inerrancy of Scripture, the Godhead (Three in One), the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in physical form – these things we all agree upon as believers. However, our brothers and sisters in Christ who differ on the smaller points can bless us in incredible ways, if we are genuinely open.
I have held a social media ministry for decades, and as the years go on, I have made the following observations. Those who are open to differing opinions and are not easily offended live with less fear and anxiety. Their relationships with family are healthy, and they have an increasingly diverse group of friends. However, self-appointed guardians of rigid truths, dogmas, and political beliefs are often mentally and spiritually exhausted. They are suspicious of anyone whose thoughts differ from their own. Withdrawing relationship from those who might rub them the wrong way blinds them to their own foibles and character flaws.
Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Heidi Baker, one of my faith heroes, often says, “Love looks like something.” However, sometimes, that love appears in a different form than what we were expecting.
I would encourage you to take some time out this week to read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and 1 Corinthians 13 and note the diversity of gifts God gives us and the love and respect we are to extend to each other, despite our differences.
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Until Next Week,
©2021 Katherine Walden