Scripture: Romans 15:1-6
Observation: Paul tells us our focus should be on other people and doing what is right. Just as Jesus never lived to please only himself, neither should we.
Application: Chicken or beef? Chocolate or vanilla? Hot coffee or iced coffee?
Clearly, these are some of life’s most important questions. The right answers: chicken, chocolate, and iced. If you answered beef, vanilla, or hot, then consider our friendship over.
I kid, I kid. (Unless you don’t like iced coffee at all – that’s something you’re gonna have to work on.)
We all have different opinions, perspectives, ways of seeing the world. Think of all of the things that divide us from other people – different viewpoints, different opinions, different philosophies, different theories, different actions, different visions. These differences often start out small, but then too often grow and form and overpower. Think of all the things these divisions cause – disagreements, polarization, silos, fights, battles, wars.
These things are so, so far from the vision Christ had for the church.
I love how Paul says it in verse 5:
“May God who gives you this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Jesus.”
As a church body, we are all different. Some of us have followed Jesus for decades, others for years, others for months, others not at all. Some of us prefer a specific denomination or translation of the bible. Some of us prefer contemporary worship, others prefer hymns.
All of that is okay – until it divides. We cannot allow our differences to divide. Because through division, we lose sight of what really matters: Jesus.
Let’s vow to be a church that is united. A church that loves and accepts and encourages. A church that’s here to make a difference, not just a point. A church that’s gracious and welcoming and real.
Who’s with me?
Prayer: God, I pray that you will help me lay aside my own thoughts, opinions, and perspectives to better embrace those of others. I pray you’ll allow me to model unity in the church, to accept and love and encourage others. Amen.