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This is the second in a series exploring why we should live intentionally in the body of Christ. Hint: It's not about us; it's about other people. Feel free to read Part 1 before diving into this post.
REASON THREE: YOU BRING BALANCE AND PERSPECTIVE TO THE CHURCH
For years, people in my church made semi-frequent jokes about charismatic believers (ours is less charismatic). They didn’t mean any harm, but these quips subtly stirred disunity by making our less charismatic church seem “better” or more “mature.” So I spoke up in love.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for joking and keeping it real with believers of all denominations. But when it comes to things that stir spiritual snootiness or disunity? Not good.
Now it’s been a long time since I’ve heard jokes about my charismatic brothers and sisters, whom I love dearly. A small change, some might say. But any time balance and perspective increases, the body of Christ wins.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (1 Peter 3:8).
REASON FOUR: YOU PRACTICE GREAT FORGIVENESS
To stay in a church, whether you've been deeply hurt or not, requires a lifestyle of forgiveness. Because you will wrong others and others will wrong you. This is the nature of imperfection.
And it’s really a beautiful thing to be a part of.
If our ultimate goal is to be like Jesus, then forgiving the unforgivable is the biggest step to achieving it. In fact, we’re never more like Christ than when we’re forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it.
The proof is in the cross.
Then Peter came up and said to him “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22).
REASON FIVE: YOU DO WORK FOR THE AUDIENCE OF ONE
We all want to make a difference in this world. But not just a difference. A big difference. The problem with this desire is that we often overlook the small differences we can make along the way. The differences seen by no one but God: the Audience of One.
Like discovering your gift and serving the body with it.
Or engaging in vulnerable and sometimes awkward discussions with other
believers who are stuck in a spiritual rut. This kind of work doesn’t get noticed. It comes purely from a heart set on wanting to please Jesus—not the people around us.
live intentionally in the body of Christ—would all do well to take up the motto that small is the new big.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:3-4).
REASON SIX: YOU GAIN WISDOM FROM OTHERS
The foolish and ignorant think they’re the most spiritual people in their churches. The wise, however, seek out those who exude a deep love for Jesus and wish to glean from them.
Chances are that many of your fellow believers are farther along in their walk with Christ—if not in knowledge, then in maturity, and if not in maturity, then in love (2 Peter 1:5-8). It’s to your great advantage to listen to them and gain their wisdom.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).