Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Never forget that born again Christians are works in progress, but how can a person proclaim Christ, yet lack the love of Christ? Those who claim Christianity need to strive to learn Christ-like behavior and confess sin or they should think twice about professing Christianity. Start with the milk of the word of God and work toward the meat. Being a witness to the unsaved is powerful. But if Christians are no different from the world, why would an unbeliever desire salvation?
1 Corinthians 3:2 (KJV) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able
Love within the body of Christ should create an atmosphere of listening to others and a desire to share. It is not a time to be annoyed or feel bothered while hearing about another person’s pain. Annoyance should never be a response. We are required to bear one another’s burdens.
Galatians 6:2 (KJV) Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ
A healthy response to those who share is to acknowledge their pain and to gain an understanding of prayer needs. Pride and a haughty spirit has no place in the body.
“Someone who is haughty is arrogant and full of pride. When you’re haughty, you have a big attitude and act like you’re better than other people. A haughty person acts superior and looks down on others. Haughty people are disdainful, overbearing, prideful, swaggering, and obnoxious.”
Proverbs 6:18 (KJV) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall
I Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV) Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing
Hebrews 10:24 (KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works
Believers must learn to bridle the tongue. Many people have experienced rejection, been scolded, experienced receiving cold shoulders and/or been unfriended on social media by sharing hardships, by asking for prayer or sharing political points of view. Social media adds an extra dimension to sharing personal experiences. It exposes the heart and creates keyboard warriors and bullies, who can be cruel, harsh, or impersonal. It is also a great gauge into the hearts of those reading postings.
Interestingly, critical people often reject others pain while sharing their own personal pain. Hypocritically, it is ‘do as I say, not as I do’, or do they think they are more important than others in their own eyes? We live in a time where self-importance has crept in to the Body of Christ.
1 John 4:20 (KJV) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
We are required to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. God says to love one another. He does not give an exception to not love if there are disagreements. A lot of bickering could be avoided by learning how to agree to disagree.
Ephesians 4:29 (KJV) Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear
Far too many Christians reject those who refuse to agree personally and politically. Sometimes those in leadership roles can be the worst hypocrites.
“The term “agree to disagree” or “agreeing to disagree” is a phrase in English referring to the resolution of a conflict (usually a debate or quarrel) whereby all parties tolerate but do not accept the opposing position(s).”
Cliques have no place in God’s plan or in small groups or in ministries. A high school mentality exists in some ministries and churches leaving many on the outside looking in. Fear of rejection keeps new people away from strongly bonded cliques. Some potential attendees bring emotional scars and baggage which blocks them from reaching out.
A group’s job is to welcome new members as they are. Withhold assumptions; don’t equate their shyness as disinterest. Be compassionate and learn to encourage. The world lacks compassion; it offers enough discouragement!
“The word compassion is a compound word meaning with (con) passion (great love and pity). The Greek word for compassion used in the New Testament is “splagchnizomai” and this verb means “to be moved from the bowels” which is a Jewish idiom meaning “having deep compassion” since they believed the bowels were thought to be the seat of emotions like love and pity. Don’t we feel something in our stomach when we are moved greatly with passionate feelings like grief, sorry, heartache, pain or sympathy? This is not feeling sorry for someone necessarily but it is having a deep, abiding compassion for people and their plight in life.”
God requires our fellowship with one another. Many say they worship in their own way, because of negative church experiences. Wounding and rejection inflicted within the body of Christ can be the most painful. Coldness in the world is to be expected, but coldness in the body should not exist.
Hebrews 10:25 (KJV) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching
Finally, replace judgment with love. Love the elderly, orphans, widows, neighbor’s, strangers and those you disagree with.