So heres the thing. We all don’t have to agree on everything. I may feel strongly about something and you may feel strongly about something else.
If you have a pang in your heart for homeless vets or homeless families then guess what? God put that pang there. That is your calling. That is your deal. Do something about it.
If God puts a pang in your heart for orphans and widows….then guess what…You should move to Swaziland. Ok maybe that is not going to happen but you get what I am saying…. You will be stirred to do something for orphans and widows.
I truly believe God gives us all very different passions and gifts. They should not all be the same. In 1 Corinthians 12 it talks about how our human body is a unit made up of many parts. It compares it to being a Christian…we are one body…but we all have different parts to that body. God made us all unique with different gifts and passions.
So why would I ever criticize someone else for their God given passion…..their “part” in the body. I wouldn’t. I certainly wouldn’t fight about it on Facebook. The truth is we all are accountable to God for our actions and what we do and don’t do with our life.
Living in a developing country for 2 years now has made me appreciate so much being an American. We are a blessed nation. We really have no idea how good we have it.
But honestly I don’t want my 1st identity to be that I am an American. I want my first identity to be….. I am a Christian….I am a follower of Jesus. The fact that I am an American is a dead giveaway anywhere I go in foreign countries because of my accent. (Them…OH…You are an American….I love your accent. Me….Yes I am an American but I don’t have an accent. Them…Yes you do. ) Ha.
What is my dead giveaway that I am a follower of Jesus? That is a harder question to answer.
I would hope it is because….
I am loving my neighbor as myself.
I love how it is written in The Message Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 7
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of rusty gate.
If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all of his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Loves cares more for others than self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first”, Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Then in verse 13 it goes on to say…. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Let’s face these are daunting scary times. But fear should never be a factor in how we live or love others.
If I had a dollar for every time someone looked at me sideways when I said I was going to move to Africa for 2 years I’d be one wealthy girl. One person I ran into….when they found out I was going to Swaziland they blurted out…. WHY?? Do you know how dangerous it is in Africa?!? (FYI…Swaziland is probably one of the safest countries in Africa)
I tried really hard not to be insulted….but I wonder how insulted God was. He was the one who called me here. I actually had friends betting on me whether I would make it the full two years or not. How’s that for confidence? But the truth is…. My friends were right. I don’t have it in me. But with God all things are possible.
Am I perfectly safe in Swaziland? No. Am I ever scared? Yes. Did bad things happen while I was here? Yes. (And are we truly safe anywhere…No!)
But I realized sometimes worst fears can happen. And God uses it. It actually has built my confidence in God. I know He is with me. I know He will see me through. Let’s face it BAD THINGS happen and will happen all the time. You can try with all your might to control a situation…. But the truth is there is really very little we can control. So why not submit to God. Why not love our neighbor as ourselves. Why not show a hurting world a love only God can give.
My point to writing this blog is to encourage you to do your part. Be brave. Fight the good fight and let others do their part. Let’s not criticize each other. What good does that do? None actually. If we are loving others….and that is ANYONE… no matter their race, religious beliefs, or ethnic back ground…. it is a win for righteousness. It matters more than we could ever truly know.
Yes lets be wise. Let’s pray and ask God for wisdom and strength and a love for others only He can give.
But the wisdom that comes from God is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help those who are troubled and to do good for others. It is always fair and honest. People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.
My Prayer as Christians we can walk in God’s wisdom and love for others. And certainly remember…… We are all on the same team. No need to get nasty or rude. Let’s all just do “our” part to what God is calling us to.