Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The World Is Watching How We Love

What message are we as Christ-followers actually airing to the world through our interactions? Are we salt or just salty? I’m speaking to myself.

Let me be transparent here. I co-lead a ministry with two other women in our church. Last week, I responded to one of my co-leaders on a string of email messages regarding an upcoming event. Prior to this, impatience had wormed its way into my heart regarding a totally unrelated incident and an unrelated set of people; but instead of dealing with my impatience and letting that die away, this ugly attitude sponsored my reply to my co-leader. As I pressed the send button, my spirit fell into complete unrest. The message was fine; my tone behind it stunk. Holy Spirit started nudging me with conviction, You wrote that without Me. We need to make things right so the enemy doesn’t have a foothold.

You know how God works. It just so happened that I had been reading the book of Matthew. The Word from my morning quiet time came alive in me.

Jesus said, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God,” (Matthew 5:23-24 MSG, emphasized)

Later that night, while rocking in my comfy chair and trying in vain to enjoy a personal time of communion with the Lord, my unrest increased. Go to this friend and make things right. Even if my co-worker didn't detect the saltiness behind the mask of my well-written “sweetly corrective” email, I needed to make amends. The next morning, I asked her forgiveness in a private text and then made it official in person. 

God is more interested in how we amend our relationships within the church than He is with our nicest offerings. Amending a broken relationship in the Body is keeping His family together. Do we care enough about the interests of our blood-shedding Savior to take action?

Hypocrisy is leaving a trail of broken, unamended relationships, and then cheerfully dropping a generous offering in the plate to the Lord. Relationships are hard enough without adding the pretense element, so why would anyone in the world want to be a part of something so superficial? This might even fit into one of the six things God hates:

“... there are six things the Eternal hates … anyone who stirs up trouble among the faithful,” (Proverbs 6:16,19 VOICE)

What is the proof that God’s heart is active in us? As soon as we remember that our brother or sister has an issue with us, we leave our gift before the altar and hurry to go make amends. That’s love. And agape love among brethren is what will turn our world upside down.

Did the name of anyone who is at odds with you come to mind as you read this? 

Is Holy Spirit prompting you to hurry and make things right? 

Don’t delay. Blessed are the peacemakers.

Let’s do our part to dwell in peace with our fellow Christians and keep our Heavenly Father’s beloved family together.

Lord, make our hearts so sensitive to Your desires and loving toward our brothers and sisters that we feel burdened to make things right between us. In Jesus’s name, give us Your love for Your Family—our family.

Copyright © September 2019 J.A. Marx, used with permission.

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