Lucas & I have been friends for about six years now, and over the past month our friendship has grown so much deeper than it has ever been. We have both changed in a lot of ways over the years, but the main thing we have in common is our love for the Lord. I learned so much more about Lucas’ heart from our last hang out, which helped me to better understand this post he has prepared. Taking the time to listen to someone really affects assumption making. So today, take Lucas’ post however you want, but don’t be afraid to explore a perspective that may appear to be different than your own. In doing that, I learned more about Lucas’ passion for the Lord & for people, and realized we are still very similar.
• • • • •
I dream of a day when the body of Christ is united. I’m not speaking of the unity of ideology, theology, or opinions. I speak of unity through respect, forgiveness, and love. It is impossible to please everyone. People will have different convictions, beliefs, and ideas than you. However, we can live at peace with everyone! A huge step of maturity is being able to talk to someone different than you, seeing their perspective, and loving them. God loves variety and this is what the kingdom of God has to offer. I picture heaven as a melting pot. I picture Bible scholars and new believers. I picture Arminians and Calvinists. I picture republicans and democrats. I picture tattoos and clear skin. I picture preachers and felons. I picture unity and love. Every judgement I’ve ever made about any one of these people has been left behind on Earth where it has ceased to matter. Every judgement is forgotten as I’m consumed by love. All of these people were once so different, and yet they had one thing in common. They all had Jesus. It’s such a beautiful picture. I dream of a day when the body of Christ can look past their differences and see Jesus in one another. I dream of a day when the body of Christ is united.
This dream of unity has been so important to me lately. I am finally finding myself comfortable with who I am in Christ as well as whom others are! As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. This is possible if we share the same focus of feeding the hungry, loving the hurting, healing the broken, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, and sharing the good news of Jesus! However, when all we can focus on are different political views, theological views, and convictions, the will of the Lord is not fulfilled. The hands cannot do work where the feet will not take them. Let us look past our differences and work together. I have experienced judgement within my own family for political views and matters of conviction. I would be lying if I said I have not judged them as well. But God loves variety and works in ways that are higher than ours! Someone tells me they felt led by God to vote for Trump. I believe them. Someone tells me they felt led by God to vote for Hillary. I believe them. Someone feels called by God to join the military in a time of war. I believe them. Someone feels called by God to protest war and speak peace throughout the nations. I believe them.
As I write this, I have 9 tattoos and a piercing. I drink in moderation and regularly use tobacco. If someone asks me, do you think these things hurt your witness? The answer would be yes… when it comes to a specific audience. However, I am comfortable with myself before the Lord and feel no conviction for these things. A man with no tattoos that doesn’t drink or smoke will be more likely to share the good news to those that I cannot. In the same way, I can share the good news to those that this man cannot! There are people in this world that will be more open minded talking to me than others. There are people in this world that will feel comfortable talking to me about my faith because I will share a beer with them. This whole world needs to know the good news of Jesus Christ. However, one personality, one political stance, or one outward appearance cannot do that. God wants to use all of us! Every personality, every political stance, and every outward appearance! If Christians hope to spread the good news throughout the world, we need to accept our differences, see Jesus in one another, and work together. We need to be united.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:2-3
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” -Psalm 133:1