Something has been laying heavy on my heart the past couple of weeks. It’s been allllll jumbled in my mind, but by the grace of God, I am going to try my best to articulate what I believe He has placed on my heart.
Before I continue, I want to make something clear, this is for Christians exclusively. I often write to a wide audience, but this post is directed at my Christian Family. If you’re not a Christian, I don’t mind if you continue to read, but it probably won’t be applicable for you.
With that being said…
Since I have started writing, I have met some AMAZING Christian women. Outside my circle of Christians within my local church, I don’t have too many other friends that I can say we are “kindred spirits”. So, it has been SUCH a blessing to gain friendships with women who live across the country, even world, and yet have the SAME HEART. We are family. I pray for them often. I cheer them on. I genuinely love them.
Because we are on the SAME TEAM.
In the height of all the political chaos, the thing that bothered me the most was Christians attacking/accusing/slandering/and dishonoring EACH OTHER. This should not be so. The Christian has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and we should think very carefully before speaking a word of dishonor towards those that Jesus chose to die for.
Are we flawed and imperfect? Absolutely. But if you think another Sister, or Brother, is in the wrong, then you need to approach them about it. NOT post or talk about it to someone else.
And as I was praying for the Church, the Bride of Christ, I could not help but see how this was clearly the hand of the Enemy at work.
We are in a time where truth doesn’t matter in politics or our culture. So when things get so foggy and disfigured, it’s easy for the Enemy to plant offense or discord in our hearts. We see it as, “well, we just have a difference of conviction. A difference of opinion. We’re just different.” And that can be true, yes, but a “difference of opinion” won’t brood offense.
We are in a battle, and Satan is making his assault on Christians, by inserting division in our hearts against our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies,
AND ONE WHO SOWS DISCORD AMONG BROTHERS.”
If you are a Christian, then you are family to other Christians (John 1:12). Most would do anything for their earthly family, how much more so should we be committed to our eternal family?
In this verse in Proverbs, God makes it CLEAR His hatred for division within the Body. God hates it as much, as “hands that shed innocent blood.” Wow.
In the times we are in, everyone is preaching “LOVE OTHERS! LOVE THOSE THAT DON’T KNOW JESUS!”
And yes, I 100% agree, but even MORE SO we are to LOVE THE BRETHREN.
Meaning, your unity with the church should be more valuable than your frustration in the “non-essentials”
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Sister, brother, we will change the world by the way we love each other.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There are 3 things that mark a Christian as a Team Member (family member):
1. You Have the Same Vision.
- When you are on a soccer team, if the team is divided in which direction to kick the ball, they will fail.How true for us. We need to have the same vision; to love God and to love people.
On the field, you use your different skills, and abilities, and work towards the goal of winning.
But your pride doesn’t reside within YOUR abilities, it’s in THE TEAM. It was the congruent effort of the team that brought success. Likewise, we shouldn’t boast in ourselves, but in Christ who brings success to THE TEAM.
We need to let go of our differences and our offenses and come together to work toward the goal of winning.
If you do have a different gifting, dream, passion than those of your local church family, how can you insert the way God made you to the vision of the Pastor you are under? I’m not saying you have to be a clone, but if we don’t have the same vision nothing will get accomplished. Use the way God made you to win the goal.
Pray for creativity, humility, and love.
And here’s the hard truth: you’ll never find a perfect pastor that you always agree with, so don’t leave the church every time there’s a difference of opinion.
Which leads me to my next point….
2. You’re Committed to Each Other.
When my husband was in high school he played football, and in the summer before the football games would start they would have their summer camp and train the players. I believe they did this #1 because it helped them practice as a team, but #2 because they needed to know each other and be committed to each other.
In order for us Christians to accomplish anything, we have to be committed.
If every time a soccer team went to play a game, and the teammates had to worry if little Johnny was going to run off out of fear in the middle of the game, the team would probably get nothing accomplished.
How true for us, if we’re constantly having to put out internal fires motivated by fear that people are just going to leave. How can we get anything done?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.“
Christians need to live a life marked by love to none believers in hopes they would become a believer, but we also need to live a life marked by love with those who are in the church. This is INCLUDING LEADERS.
Love is at the center of unity, so if the unity of the team has been thrown out the window, it’s not in the name of love; but in the name of selfishness and offense.
↑ That is a work of the Enemy. Division in the church.
3. You Bear the Burden of Other Members.
This requires TRANSPARENCY and VULNERABILITY from all team members.
I’ll stick with my soccer friend “little Johnny” as the example:
If Johnny has a hurt ankle and doesn’t share that information with the team, he will bring the whole team down. They won’t be able to succeed because little Johnny won’t be able to play well.
BUT if the team mates know that little Johnny is hurt, they can bear that burden and pick up the slack.
How can you trust a team member if they’re not honest about their struggles? Vulnerability is what builds trust. And we can only BEAR each other’s burdens if honesty, transparency, and vulnerability reside in the heart of the Christian.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Galatians 6:2 (AMP)
“Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].”
We will display CHRISTIAN LOVE when it’s given to other Christians. That’s where the sharpening and growth will happen for the name of Jesus.
I will end with this:
You will know when division has entered the heart when criticism is on the tongue.
If you want to help the refugees. If you have a heart for the women at the women’s march. If you don’t agree with Trump. YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Don’t criticize other Christians for their choices (unless they’re sinful, then confront them privately), YOU do something that makes a difference.
Give money to charities that help the refugees more than Americans ever could.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus and minister to the women that have been hurt by men and have bitterness in their hearts.
Don’t just criticize Trump’s new mandates on Facebook, live a life that serves.
Show an example of love by the way you serve.
I pray the church would set aside our differences, that we use them to sharpen one another, but that we would be unified for the cause of Jesus. That we would GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES.
What do you say? Will you be on the same team as the Church?
Will you forgive and make a difference with us?!
Will you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Will you show that you are a disciple of Christ by the way you LOVE THE CHURCH, in word and action?
Will you fight against this tactic of the Enemy with me? Will you make war in prayer? Will you fight alongside me?
Believing the lies of the Enemy is what will stop the progress of the Church.
Choose today to be counted amongst those who make a change and fight for the cause of Christ!
PS! Join me in sharing this post in agreement that you’re on THE TEAM! ♥