Family Drama

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

                                                1 Corinthians 1:10

 

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

                                                Colossians 3: 12-15

 
I was gone over the weekend, working on a 72-hour spiritual retreat called the Walk to Emmaus (if you’re interested in attending one, please let me know!). I’ve worked on many a Walk as a team member, and each one has been special in its own way. This Walk went relatively smoothly, like most of them do, save for an interaction that happened late on a Sunday afternoon. Now, allow me to paint the backdrop: it was July in south Texas, 100+ degrees, what seemed like 152% humidity, and what seemed like 50 big plastic bins and sundry items that needed to be carried out of a big building and loaded into a utility trailer that was parked 300 feet away and could not be moved closer like we used to be able to park it. There are over 20 ladies, ranging in age from late 20s to early 70s, all operating on operating on about five hours’ sleep for each of the past three nights. Did I mention that it was over 100 degrees?

 

Another group had come in to help our team tear down and help pack, which was very nice. What wasn’t as nice, though, was the assessment and attitude of this outside group to a couple of team members who weren’t as ready as the outside group felt they should have been, even though by all estimates and schedules, they were exactly as ready as they were. Words were exchanged, feelings were hurt, and tempers flared to match the heat of the Texas sun.

Now mind you this, please: each of the people in these groups is the nicest person you’d ever meet, given any other circumstance. I know most of these people personally—they are my sisters in Christ. They are church-going, God-fearing ladies for whom I care about deeply. I don’t want anyone to read this and feel dissuaded from going on a Walk to Emmaus because of this—this is not the norm in any way, shape, or form. Beautiful things happened on this and every Walk; this was an anomaly.

 

I have prayed for all involved, and plan to figure out the root cause of how things got so sideways. Perhaps the schedule was wrong; perhaps there was a miscommunication—who knows. I will do my level best to ensure that there isn’t cause for it to happen again. But it might, and probably will, because we are only human. That’s not an excuse for bad behavior; it’s just an acknowledgement that sometimes our humanness gets the better of us, and in weakened states, such as the one described above, it gets the worst of us.

 

That being said, however, we must strive to follow Paul’s advice to both the Corinthians and the Colossians. We are the body of Christ. We are followers of Christ, and we are brothers and sisters in Christ—family. As such, it is imperative that we are in unity with one another, bearing each other’s burdens and loving each other. We may have the occasional spat with each other, like family members do, but if we are obedient to His Word, we will do as Paul instructs. Let us do what families do—build and hold each other up in love and in grace.

 

Prayer Requests

  • For brand new baby Christians who are full of His love and energy
  • For those who are persecuted for His sake
  • For those who are the victims of unspeakable evil things
  • For us to know and be obedient to His will

 

So allow me to offer this challenge, please: as a member of this holy family, if someone in the church upsets you, seek to understand where he or she is coming from—assume positive intent, pray for grace, talk to the person, and come to a resolution that is grace-filled. If you see your church brother struggling, withhold judgment and offer assistance. If someone offers a suggestion to do something a different way, honor your church sibling by being open-minded and supportive. We need to minimize distractions and divisions, as it all just plays into the hand of the enemy if we don’t. Grace needs to abound in ALL things, not just some, or we are at risk of being a family and church divided.  

 

Quotes

 

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”   — Corrie Ten Boom

 

“When Tim Tebow wore John 3:16 on his eye black during the 2009 Championship game, over 92 million people looked up that verse on Google. That means over 92 million people heard the gospel just because one man took a stand.”