The Greatest of These…

I strongly suspect that we’ve gotten it all wrong. Without love, I’m nothing. And I don’t mean this in a hearts-and-flowers, chocolates-and-wine kinda way. Deep down, to the core, something is really wrong with our faith when we have such trouble loving each other.

And then every now and then someone gets it right. We recently had a situation in our church that could have been very divisive, that could have resulted in all kinds of fundamentalist vs. liberal bickering. But it didn’t. Why? Because our elders and ministers refrained from this and encouraged dialogue instead. They drew our attention to the hundreds of times Jesus and the apostles valued love and unity over all else. And when Jesus prayed for us, He prayed specifically that we would be one, just as Jesus is one with God (John 17:11). I feel truly blessed to be a part of this particular congregation, and it was inspiring to see love in action through that situation. But it took a lot of inner work to back down from that ledge, to say to someone “I may not agree with you, but that’s okay.”

May we so strongly seek the love of Jesus that we’re willing to do this work, to go through the trouble of truly loving each other.

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

2 thoughts on “The Greatest of These…

  1. Hi Anna,
    Reading your post I don’t know whether I am joyful or saddened. Joyful that love has prevailed for your congregagtion, or saddened that Christianity is so deeply divided over issues of doctrine that are not worth being divided over.
    Yes there is a point at which we should divide ourselves from those who confess the faith yet are in willful rebellion to Christ, predominantly in the area of sin. But today we are so divided over doctrine, and we know full well that a divided house cannot stand. It does not bode well for us.
    Whatever happened to love conquers all.? How can the love of Christ be proclaimed from a divided house.
    Sadly today, there is more unity in Islam.

    I have been part of the same congregation for 11 years. I still go to the church I got saved in. In think this is a testimony to God, not to me. I know how many times I wanted to leave because I didn’t agree with the senior pastor Then somehow I miraculously realised that my rights and desires in these situations would have no hope of furthering the cause of Christ.
    I think we need to stop thinking about or own wants and desires and think about what God would find pleasing, that Christ would be proclaimed from one united body of believers. After all, from a scriptural perspective, I think I’m supposed to be dead, right!

    God bless.
    Tim.

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  2. Hi Tim,
    Your statement about Islam having more unity is sobering. And you’re right, this is a saddening post in that way. Because for the one situation I know of where things worked out well, I can name at least three others where churches have split. Not to mention all our denominations within the faith!
    You make an excellent point about realizing that your rights and desires would not have furthered the cause of Christ. And it becomes even more sinister, I think, when we begin to equate the two (my rights/desires = cause of Christ). How far we’ve fallen.
    Anna

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