Lately I have been praying for God to help me to use my gifts. God never disappoints and He has been bringing people into my life that is not just coincidence. It has been heavenly to say the least. On Friday I went to get my hair done and I brought some books to keep me busy because it takes a few hours when I go to the Salon. I thought it would be a great time to catch up on some reading.
God obviously had different plans for me and my hair dresser. When I initially made the appointment earlier in the week I asked for a certain lady but she was booked so they gave me another woman. Sadly the whole week before my appointment I just prayed this woman would not butcher my hair since it is so thick.
Anyway, the moment I sat down this woman commented on the fact that I was a Christian. Honestly, I thought she was going to attack my faith but was pleasantly surprised at God's plan. We had a wonderful talk about our life experiences and how she grew up in the church but did not like the church's rules. She grew up with a church that created a lot of man made rules that are not of God. I could clearly see how someone like this would reject all church's thinking that is what church is about. I felt sad knowing she is not the only one who feels like this.
What are we doing as the body of Christ to reach out to our fellow Brothers and Sisters in the Lord?? Apostle Paul wrote a whole book on how we are to encourage and love them.
Apostle Paul tells us it is not up to us to judge others. We are to love them as God loves us. Now that does not mean we should not encourage others to turn from sin. We are called to help them live in The Way. Just like an older sibling seeing their younger sibling making a mistake or what could lead to a mistake we want to guide our brethren away from danger.
So what does love and encouragement look like?? Pastors are great at conveying The Bible and helping us understand certain scripture. However, it takes experience, either your own experience or hearing of someone else's experience to learn how to apply that to your life. In other words it takes being vulnerable and showing your heart. We cannot be concerned with other people's opinions of us. In our weakness we may be able to show other Christians and non believers the love that God has for us. As Christians we of course should be pursuing God with all of our being. Next to that we should be creating relationships with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We were created for relationships and to learn and help one another.
We can rejoice with one another during times of great success as well as times of deep pain. Struggles create bonds on a deep spiritual level. If you do not believe me ask any combat Veteran. They are a prime example of the importance of relationships and the bond humans can have.
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17)