by: Carole L. Haines
“For the love of Christ controls us…Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh… If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
Jesus so deeply cared about how we treat one another in the Body of Christ that He demonstrates and mentions it in some form several times in His last words to the Disciples at the Last Supper (John 13-17).
God has brought me some amazing verses for Part 2 of “How I see you, how you see me.” I find it so comforting that God is leading in the smallest details of life. I got up a few days ago and began a study in the Book of Acts. Yesterday, I just happened to be in the part of the Bible study on the Story of Cornelius in Acts 10-11. Please take the time to read both chapters. In it you’ll find timely words for this teaching on how we are to view each other in The Body of Christ. Here are a few excerpts from the story of Cornelius.
“Again, a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” (Acts 10:15)
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. (Acts 10:34-35)
“Therefore, if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
The story of Cornelius is a fantastic example of how God wants to transform our old patterns of thinking and make us new. Christ’s love is to guide us in all we do. I feel like such a toddler in this area sometimes. I shared with you about my struggle with rude drivers yesterday, but the other thing I blew up about, was forgiving someone who has mistreated me on numerous occasions. I was triggered in a conversation and completely lost it, yelling out, “I hate ___________.”
Ouch! All I could do was confess the outburst and ask God’s forgiveness, and then seek His face on how to forgive this person, I thought I had already forgiven. I guess forgiveness comes in layers sometimes.
But God is definitely speaking to me on how I am to view others in His Body and how I am to allow others to interact with me. I literally lifted my hand in a stop when a person started to share gossip and said, “I don’t think God is asking you to share that with me, I’m not listening to that.”
We need to be good stewards of our hearts and minds, with what we allow ourselves to think and say about ourselves and others. We are no longer to look at people from a worldly, judgmental point of view (See verses above). We are to choose to see believers as New Creatures in Christ. We are all on a journey of transformation with Jesus and we’re going to blow it sometimes. Grace is the response God has with us and the response He wants us to extend to one another in times where forgiveness is needed.
God calls us to Love One Another from the heart, to forgive from the heart, as He does. This takes a lot of work and His continual gentle guidance. But He promises us that He began this good work in us, and He will finish it (Philippians 1:6). We need to believe that for each other sometimes, when the ugliness comes out. We need to lift each other up, forgive and trust in God’s process of change within ourselves and all who are in The Body of Christ. If we do not yield, the crap comes out sideways, like it did for me a few days ago. When it comes out sideways, it does come out at the most inopportune times, doesn’t it? Sit with Your Lord about this. He loves us too much to leave us as we are. Be Blessed.