What I’m Reading Today: 2 Corinthians 5
One of my role models in ministry and life is my mother. She has one of the strongest faiths I’ve ever been around. She is also a tremendously principled person who uses those principles as bridges to others (instead of as walls to cut herself off from those who fail to live up to them – as some people do).
There is one area – however – where she and I don’t see eye to eye. That area has to do with our view of people in the church. When I was younger and people in our local church would start to act badly, my mother would shrug and say: “Well, the church is made up of people just like any other institution – so we’re bound to have people who act badly.”
I don’t see it that way at all. You see I believe what should make the lives of our local churches different from other groups is what we are aspiring to be: the body of Christ. That’s a very different blue-print than most institutional entities. As such, it’s very clear what values we are called to embody: values like love, grace, mercy, and justice. When some lose sight of that goal, our call is to remind them of that.
I strongly believe that our local faith communities should be the one place on earth we come closest to experiencing the reign of God. I know it might be impossible to achieve such lofty status 24/7. Nevertheless, it’s a goal I constantly keep before me. And in both faith communities I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve, I can honestly say that’s been true for me. I couldn’t imagine devoting my life to a community where that’s not the case.
Paul wrote about the way one’s faith in God should be reflected in your relationships with others. “All this comes from the God,” Paul wrote, “who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”
So how does your relationship with/connection to God affect your relationships with others (both inside and outside of your faith community)? Something to think about today.
Til next time…