Chaplain Corner; February
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
—Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV)
Cindy Hess Kasper writes, “As I ventured out several weeks after shoulder surgery, I was fearful. I had become comfortable using my arm sling, but both my surgeon and physical therapist now told me to stop wearing it. That’s when I saw this statement: ‘At this stage, sling wear is discouraged, except as a visible sign of vulnerability in an uncontrolled environment.’ Ah, that was it!!! I feared the enthusiastic person who might give me a bear hug or the unaware friend who might bump me accidentally. I was hiding behind my flimsy baby-blue sling because I feared being hurt.”
You see, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can be scary to be sure. We want to be loved and accepted for who we are, but we fear that if people truly knew us, they would reject us, and we might get hurt. What if they found out we are not smart enough? What if they think we aren’t kind enough? What if they think we aren’t the right color? Not the right religion or denomination? Not the right gender? What if we just aren’t good enough?
When we are honest and vulnerable with others, we may discover we have mutual struggles battling temptation or learning how to live obediently. But most of all, when we are honest and vulnerable with others, we can share the wonder of God’s gift of grace in our lives.
As members of God’s family, we have a responsibility to help each other grow in faith. We’re told in the Bible to “encourage one another,” to “build each other up”, and to “be patient, bearing with one another in love”.
“There is one body,” says the Apostle Paul. Unity does not just happen; we have to work at it. Often differences among people can lead to division, but this should not be true, especially in the church. Instead of concentrating on what divides us, we should remember what unites us: one body, one Spirit, one future, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God!
Have you learned to appreciate people who are different from you?
Can you see how their differing gifts and viewpoints can help the community or church?
Learn to enjoy the way we complement one another.
No one is ever going to be perfect here on earth, so we must accept and love others in spite of their faults. When we see faults in fellow humans, we should be patient and gentle.
Is there someone whose actions or personality really annoys you?
Rather than dwelling on that person’s weaknesses or looking for faults, pray for him or her. Then do even more—spend time with them and see if you can learn to like him or her.
Accept the challenge to be the better person.
Accept what the Bible teaches.
UNITY—in the essential things.
LIBERTY—in the non-essential things.
LOVE—in ALL things
Blessings on you,