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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Softened by the Cross

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

As believers, being of one mind is not the same as agreeing on everything. It does mean that you agree on the core issues of faith in Christ. Although you might have different perspectives, you seek unity. If we all had the same approach—the same viewpoint—the same idea, we could not envision God’s whole picture. Paul compared each member of the body of Christ to each member of the physical body. The hand can’t do much without the eye to guide it. The idea in a head can’t be expressed without the tongue to speak it. We, also, as members of the body of Christ, discover we need each other to become the whole that God intended.

For this to happen, a humble attitude is paramount. Sympathize with each over, and love each other as brothers and sisters. Without tender-hearted love, your way to do something consumes you, and pride, which believes your way is the only way, grows without limit. “Don’t be selfish,” Paul wrote. “Don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Jesus Christ had” (Philippians 2:3-5, NLT). Do we get that? Are we willing to lay down our preconceived notions and listen to someone else’s perspective?

The idea that “my way is best” nurtures a critical spirit. Truthfully, at times we all fight a critical spirit. Some fight it easier and less often than others. But it is something we all must place on His altar. Jesus had the “best way,” and He had the answer. But the way He proved it was by laying down His life. He washed feet that didn’t see that less is more. He loved without receiving. He gave without hesitation. He extended us undeserving grace on the Cross. 

What if you believe that your way is best? And no one listens to you? No issue in the body of Christ is more important than His unselfish love—His amazing grace.  When you continually lay down your way—just as Jesus laid down His life—you exercise His gift of freedom. When you have no agenda, you have nothing to prove. Grace flows freely from a heart that has been changed and softened by the Cross. 

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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