Rejoice in what we have in common. Sometimes it’s easy to see our differences first and ignore what we have in common.
As a summer time work-from-home dad, I spend many of my days wearing the chauffeur cap shuttling the boys to and from band camp, vacation bible school, and summer pool parties. I love to drive, but these 5-10 minute jaunts around town can sometimes get old.
Last night when leaving to pick up our son from a church pool party, I asked my wife if she mined driving, which is tough for a control freak like me to do, but I needed a break from my chauffeur responsibilities.
In the midst of the differences between you and your Christian brothers and sisters and how they interact with God, rejoice in the common denominators.
My wife and I shared great conversation on the way to the pool party. Although the conversation was good, I couldn’t help but notice that my wife swerved out of her lane a few times. She also exceeded the speed limit once or twice.
She tailgated the car ahead of us from time to time and she parked a good 3 feet from the curb when we arrived at the pool party. She committed most of the same infractions on the way home as well.
Throughout our drive to and from, all I could think of was how different I would have done things if I were driving. I thought about how I would have positioned the car differently in the lane. How I would have left more space between us and the car in front of us. I thought about how she didn’t signal her lane changes properly, and how I would have signaled differently, had I been driving. And in my mental conversation about the differences in our driving habits, my way was always the better way of doing things.
I didn’t say a word to my wife about her driving to her. There was really no need to say anything to her about her driving because overall, she got us to and from our destination safely.
One the way home, I thought about the differences in our driving habits. I’m not a perfect driver and neither is my wife. I thought about what gave me the right to think that my driving habits were better than hers.
I also thought about how Christians can become judgmental of other Christians because they don’t worship, praise, pray, study, or go to the “right” church. Most of the time the “right” way of doing things simply boils down to the fact that others don’t do things the way we do them. And since others aren’t doing things the way we do them, in our own eyes they aren’t doing them correctly.
I thought about how arrogance can creep in if we aren’t careful. I thought about how easy it is to slip into an area of rendering judgment on someone else and their relationship with God simply because they may do things differently than we do.
You are truly blessed if you have a thriving and ongoing relationship with God. This should be what we as Christians should strive for. But I want to caution you and heighten your awareness of the trap of thinking that your way is the only way.
It’s great that your way works for you, but relationship with God is a personal matter. Others may not praise as loud as you do. Others may not study as much as you do. Others may not give of their resources to the extent that you.
Rejoice in the attributes we share
Resist the temptation of thinking that your way (even though your way works for you) is the only way. In spite of all the differences between my driving habits and my wife’s driving habits, the common denominator is that we are both very safe drivers.
In the midst of the differences between you and your Christian brothers and sisters and how they interact with God, rejoice in the common denominators. Rejoice in the fact that we serve the same Savior. Rejoice in the fact that our intent is to display God’s love to a dying world. Rejoice in the fact we will serve and worship God together throughout eternity.