Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Tuesday, August 4

Today’s Readings: Psalm 146; 2 Samuel 13:23-39; Mark 8:22-30; Acts 24:10-16; Psalm 119:153-176

Over the years, I’ve talked with lots of friends of other faiths and of no faiths about their perception of Christianity. I’ve gotten a lot of interesting answers about the faith – answers ranging from “It’s that movement that’s anti-intellectual” to “It’s that group of folks who hate those who are different than they are”. Many of those comments make me sad – for they are strong indictments about the face of Christianity some of Jesus’ followers have put out there. One thing some individuals have done in presenting their faith is lead with all of those things that set our faith apart from others. Often, this is done with an “I’m right and you’re wrong” edge to it. In today’s reading from Acts, Paul gives us another way of presenting our faith. In that passage Paul didn’t start by emphasizing differences – he started by emphasizing areas of commonality. “In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street,” Paul said, “I serve and worship the very same God served and worshipped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures” (Acts 24:14 from The Message). Paul knew a very basic fact about human nature: people are more responsive when you begin by affirming commonalities than if you lead with differences. All of this raises issues larger than just our faith. This raises issues about how you approach life as a whole. Are you someone who leads with differences and divisions in your interacts with others, or are you a person who leads with commonalities and shared values? In your interactions with others today, pay attention to yourself and see how you answer that question through both word and deed. Til next time…

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