Skip to main content

We are all part of one another....

You know how you read through scripture, noticing some truths here and there, and all of a sudden something you have read a gillion times just sticks out to you this time?  I have these moments once in a while, too.  They are like the Holy Spirit says "here's something you might want to grab hold of today" and the words just seem to be the ones I pay attention to in a new way.  I love the Pauline epistles, so I "frequent" them often.  They are probably some of my "favorite" parts of the Word.  I think I connect with David in the Old Testament because he struggled with "real stuff" and he messed up, but he always came back to God in repentance, looking for restoration, and finding more than enough grace to enter into God's presence each time.  I connect with the Apostle Paul because he was kind of a "know it all" Pharisee who needed to be "cut down" a few notches in order to see truth as God would have him see it.  There have been times when I counted on what I "knew" because I had "studied", believing somehow that made me "okay" with God, instead of leaning into the relationship God desired with me and trusting in his grace, not my own merit or good works.  Regardless of who we "connect" with in scripture, one thing is true - we are all part of one another.  None of us is without importance in God's family - none of is of more importance than the other.  We ALL matter.  We ALL belong.

So put away your lies and speak the truth to one another because we are all part of one another. It’s time to stop bringing grief to God’s Holy Spirit; you have been sealed with the Spirit, marked as His own for the day of rescue. Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King.  (Ephesians 4:25, 30-32 VOICE)

Belonging to means to be part of - to be adjunct to the make up of the whole.  Without that part, the object in question is "less than whole".  None of us is without need of the other.  Just as reliant as we are on plants to produce oxygen into the atmosphere, we are reliant upon one another for the "richness" of growth which takes place in our lives.  I think this is why Paul takes a moment to really call us out on our "behavior" in the family of God.  He tells us to be truthful with one another - not because we need to point out each other's faults, but because we cannot truly see ourselves as we are. We need the reflection of our behavior through the eyes of another. My pastor puts it this way:  The eye cannot see the eye.  In other words, I can see WITH the eye, but the eye cannot look back into itself to see itself.  We often cannot see our own behavior as it is seen by others - we need their sight, not just our own "insight".

Bad behavior is sometimes covered up under the guise of "it was a rough day", or "you deserved that".  We excuse it because we felt justified to some extent because of the pressures of the day, or the bad behavior of another.  If we examine the impact of our behavior in a different light, we might just be convicted to deal with our behavior a little quicker.  We are all PART of one another.  We aren't just "us" existing as separate from one another - our lives "fit" together.  As such, when the wrong behavior is exhibited, it is like trying to make a connection of a bunch of puzzle pieces when the one piece we are trying to connect to "sort of fits", but not really.  Paul is telling us to not tolerate that behavior - banish it! There is a similar word picture of this concept in the Old Testament. At certain times of the year, the priests would take a goat (referred to as a scapegoat), lay their hands on the goat, ask God to see this goat as "bearing the sins of the people", and then they'd set the goat free to wander further and further from the camp until it was completely gone and out of sight.  The idea was one of "banishing sin".  It was "expelled" from the camp.  

We aren't supposed to tolerate bad behavior because it hurts the whole.  This might just mean we need to be honest with each other in a kind way and help each other see what we cannot see in ourselves.  If I am part of something, I usually exhibit a little more "carefulness" with that thing.  If we begin to see ourselves as part of one another, connected by the blood of Jesus into inseparable relationship with one another, we might just begin to exhibit a little more "carefulness" over our relationships with one another.  Instead of allowing excuses for bad behavior, we might just ask the other person to help us consider our behavior in the light of how it affects not only the one exhibiting that behavior (you and I), but those who are subject to that behavior.  To truly grow together, we need the first recognize we are not just one of many, we are all part of the whole.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce


When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw