Monday, May 12, 2014

Be Inclusive

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.  Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Romans 12:16 (NASB)

As children of God, we know that we are to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) and peace seekers (Romans 12:8).  The question remains how do we do this?

The first step in living in peace with our family in Christ is to have an accurate view of ourselves.  In Romans 12:16, we are told not to be haughty in mind, not to be proud.

proud-feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.

We are not to take pride in what we have accomplished, what we own, nor in who we know.  That is worldliness (1 John 2:16).  Instead we are to boast in the cross (Galatians 6:14).  We can boast in all  Jesus Christ has done and Who He is!  

If we are practicing pride, we will not be able to associate with the lowly.  We will only want to associate with those who can do something for us.  We will use people to our convenience and never develop true relationships with one another.  Our continual pretense will prohibit any true fellowship.  

The NIV tells us to be willing to associate with people of low position or be willing to do menial work.  I love that!  Let's first step out of our comfort zone and reach out to sisters in Christ across age groups, stations in life, or anything else that may separate us into different categories.  Away with the boundaries!  We should be able to glean wisdom from the widowed grandmother to the unmarried college student.  We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).  Let's not look at what separates us but WHO unites us:)

Secondly, let's be willing to do menial work.  I have often told my children that everyone wants to serve the Lord with a microphone in their hands and only a few with a broom in their hands.  Preaching the Word is beautiful, but it is not the only way we can serve the Lord.  Picking up the paper from your church's floor, sending an encouraging text to a new believer, or cleaning the bathroom during church clean up is also service.  Let's not work to the eye but unto the Lord (Colossians 3:22-23).

Let's look for those God provided opportunities to include  those we would not be likely to fellowship with and foster deeper relationships.  Let us do everything, even those menial jobs as unto the Lord.  Let's be more inclusive in fellowship and in work.  Let us remember that we brought nothing into the world and we will take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7).  So let's not be prideful but boast only in the cross!

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14