3.25.14 “I used to think you were a pain!”
Ephesians 4:14-16 NLT Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, Who is the Head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Right before this section, in verse 11 the list of “roles” or “functions” fulfilled by the people in the church includes: Apostles (Looking Onward); Prophets (Directing Upward); Evangelists (Reaching Outward); Shepherds (Nurturing Inward); and Teachers (Unveiling Deepward).
Last Sunday, Pastor Weiser used 5 volunteers to role-play this list. It was a light-bulb kind of moment for me. I must admit, some of the Roles didn’t grab my heart. During those explanations, I found myself uninspired, and not engaged.
Yet, when he described one of the Roles that related to how I am made – I began to cry. He then said, “as we went through each Role, I bet some of you felt passionate about that Role. I bet your mind began spinning with ideas, and your heart began racing as that Role was described!”
Yes! Exactly! That was happening to me! I found myself thinking of people within the Point of Grace family and how they fit into the various Roles perfectly!
And then the twist – the knife-in-the-gut kind of moment when God grabs reaches down and grabs my attention and lovingly, yet seriously shows me how He does NOT want me to behave.
Pastor then used the volunteers to show what happens when one of the Roles gets out of balance with the rest – when that Role thinks their way is the only way – and how unity is compromised – and how feelings are hurt – and how churches become divided. Convicted! Furthermore, Delton shared another example of how the differences between siblings can become a competition instead of appreciation of our differences! I am sure we all could relate to that with our own brothers and sisters! Wow! Amen to that!
Now, apply that to Church Family Sibling Rivalry! I loved when he jokingly said something like, “I used to treat you like a ‘pain’ because you are different than me! But now I see we are not in a competition! You are not a ‘pain’ – you are just different! And I don’t have to be a pain to you anymore, either – I am just different!”
I am so sorry Lord, for the ways I have behaved like this. I am so sorry for the ways we at Point of Grace have behaved like this. Please forgive us and fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we can be mindful of our differences and work toward the Unity You dreamed of for Your Church!
So, right now – I apologize to all my brothers and sisters in Christ for the times when our differences have caused Sibling Rivalry between us instead of appreciation for the way God has designed us! And I pray that then next time you see me as a “pain” – you will just see me as a uniquely created Sibling in Christ! I hope you can see me as "different" instead of a "pain!"
With all of this newfound information swimming in my head – I went back and re-read Ephesians 4 starting at verse one and marveled at how it just keeps unfolding into a beautiful vision for how our church can become! I hope you enjoy re-reading it, too.
“Therefore I Paul, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”
From one “pain” to another! :) - Dawn