Some stories in the Bible encompass a whole chapter or more and have one main lesson for us. However, sometimes the Bible is overwhelming. For example, let’s be overwhelmed with these 59 words. We can spend a lifetime in 59 words like this.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
It Is Sometimes Hard To See Bible Correctly
I have blogged on the challenge of verse 9 before. It is worth another look when you have a moment. Here, it leads off a stream of commands. Actually, verses 14-21 has yet more of the same.
It is super valuable before asking the world of us that God says be sincere. We Christians have a tendency to fall into pretending. Everyone is nice at church. However, we go home and yell at our kids.
God’s goal is not to have us act good in fellowship. Thus, we must be aware of taking on too much at the same time. That goes double for these 59 words. We should not take any step that cannot be sincere.
Each of these commands are a lifetime of pursuit and growing. The Bible says by faith we can be the children of God. He never says when we will be the adults. We get to be children all our lives for a reason.
We should not see words like listed above and start to pretend around other Christians. Further, we Christians should applause those who are messy but searching for the right way in this lifetime.
Here in China we encourage messy churches. Corinthians had a messy church but they surely had great strength. We should applaud this real church that drew I Cor 15 out of Paul. When we can spawn more messy churches where love is real, we will make a better mark for God as his messy children.
The Bible is Overwhelming Or How We View It?
My oldest is a Christian of merit who started to swear commonly in about 9th grade. It was quite disturbing to me. I queried her a few times without condemning her. She solved it over a 1-year process that was integrated and did not involve pretending. That is the way God has for us and 12 months is not the outside limit. She is still working on anxiety, but she is doing her very best to not pretend. I am still trying to do better in the above list in my 50’s. Let’s see God’s way.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
When God changes us inside, then the outside will flow. When we pretend on the outside, we have faced the Bible wrongly. God’s goal is inside first. When we make young Christians around us pretend rather than embrace the process, then we may be harming God’s little ones.