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Church Family

Church Family
By: Anna Williams

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Colossians 3:12-15 NLT

When I was growing up in church, adults always referred to each other as “Brother”          or “Sister”  . It feels rather foreign or old-fashioned to do so now, but I have to say something is lost by dropping that custom. I think we easily forget that as fellow believers, we are children of God and members of His family.
            Our culture is very much driven by the mentality of a buyer’s market. We think “I’ll get what I want or take my money elsewhere.” This is fine in some circumstances but can be damaging in others. For instance, when we take that mindset into our local church, we can have a consumer’s attitude and we miss out on serving opportunities. At the first sign of a disagreement or when we see someone handling a situation different than we would, we leave and move on to the next church.
            God calls us to seek unity with one another – to clothe ourselves with love, humility, gentleness, and patience. We see the value in doing this with our parents, children, or siblings because of the love that we share. Oh, that we would gain a similar view of making these same efforts with our church family!
Do you need to make peace with someone in your church family? Have you been harboring unforgiveness or perhaps criticizing someone behind their back instead of making efforts to communicate with them and gain common ground?  
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you work through these feelings and then prior to speaking to that person ask yourself: Does this plan reflect mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and most importantly – LOVE? If not, keep processing your emotions alongside the Word and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Until you can answer that question with yes, you need to wait to act on it.

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