When God chooses our community.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
This year my Christmas was packed with family and friends in close quarters. Maybe yours was, too. What potential for conflict as different personalities and family history tangle under the same roof! Even among family members, our individual families within our families can feel as different as these critters. Cats and mice and bunnies co-existing together? It’s not always easy. Often their strengths rub against our weaknesses and vice-versa challenging us in uncomfortable ways.
Yet, because of all of this, there also lies great potential for real love. Allowing for each other’s differences plays a part, but beyond that, humility is needed to recognize that we need each other because of our differences. Even amid the pain of sinning against one another and unresolved conflicts, Jesus holds out an invitation to us to fellowship with Him and grow in forgiveness and grace.
Our little families, handpicked for us by God, are little pictures of the greater family of God, His Church. In our custom half-caf soy latte culture we are tempted to treat people like American consumers treat a product. We would choose only people who make us feel good and confirm our values and ways of being. But God knows what we need most is not to be affirmed in our own ways, but to grow in love by living with those who do not think as we do. Only then can we grow in true Agape, Christlike love.
When God handpicks our community, it is always a gift.
“If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:14-16, New Living Translation
How have your interactions with friends and family been used by God to make you more like Him this Christmas?
Copyright photo and text Jen Brukiewa