Question – What is the greatest commandment of all? Many Christians answer the question with:
Christians may verbally quote it, but do they physically characterize it? Do I? We, in the Church, may be good at saying what we believe, but what about the goodness of our behavior?
What about today? In today’s critical and super-hyped, yet less-informed, culture where the Greatest Commandment stands solid before the wavering Church, a Great Divide is growing wider and larger in too many gatherings across the land.
Troubling trends in the Church are forming where,
- Facts don’t matter. Opinions do.
- Right is right. Wrong is wrong.
- Talk much. Listen little.
- Anger first. Understand last.
- Truth is before Justice. Justice is without Truth
- Grace is privileged. Mercy is merited.
- Love is without Sacrifice. Sacrifice is without Love.
As COVID restrictions are lifted, and the Church gathers more intentionally, it is becoming apparent just how divided we have become. “Believers” more readily speak with both their mouths and their feet, and from opposing points of view; scientifically, politically and ethically. “Should we or should we not gather?” “Do we or do we not obey government authorities/mandates?” “Will we or will we not cooperate with those who hold different values?” “Who is right and who is wrong?” Talking heads state their “informed” opinions everywhere. So do we.
This is not an easy time! Yet such is the time into which we were born. It is for “such a time as this” that the Church is to be actively present and purposely engaged. For that matter, every season of Church history has been under the sovereign Hand God, as confusing and troublesome as each season may seem. So, what are we as individual Christ-followers to do?
Obey the commands of God. This is easier said than done! Life gets complicated and confusing. However, because only God has the end goal in mind, only He has the greater perspective (the “Big Picture”) in view, we must ask some questions. Ask:
- Am I reacting or responding?
- Is my understanding of the whole Text of Scripture informing my opinion or wisdom?
- Do I listen before I speak?
- Is this really about winning versus losing, or something else?
- What value am I giving the opposing brother/sister?
- Is my “attitude” in check?
- How much is really about me rather than all about them?
- Am I seeking to love God more intimately through this?
- Am I willing to love the unloveable in this?
- Where am I placing my hope and trust, in God or in something/someone else?
- AND, is my desire to bring it all to God in prayer?
These 10 Asks are not intended to be an exhaustive “Litany of Do’s” rather suggestions to consider as we, the Church, start coming back together. As the world around us becomes more polarized and divided, may we become more connected and united; whole and healthy
In the end, it all boils down to you and me in Christ; drawn together by God and unified in His Spirit. What is your response to the question?
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV