I am a pastor’s daughter, a student at the largest Christian University, and a Jesus believer.
I did not write this for my church here, or for my church back at home, or write it for those who lead or attend my University.
I wrote this because it is a conviction on my heart- and it needs to be shared.
I am anxious to deliver this message. I have fear of judgment, or questions that may be asked that I can not answer. So please bear with me as I limp through it.
This has convicted me. And if you allow your heart to be open to what God has to say and not my words, I believe you too will learn from it.
I am young, but thankfully God has used young people to teach large lessons through out history. For example, he used Mary to be the one who carried His only son. He used the young boy to show us obedience through bringing Jesus his fish and bread to feed thousands. I believe, although I am afraid, that He too can use me. So please put aside my age as I speak these words, and hear only what God has placed upon my heart.
I am not a preacher, but a sinner who has been saved. I am a woman who most likely thousands of years ago would be at Jesus’ feet in tears. So please hear these words as me humbling myself and calling myself to realign my heart.
The Bible speaks of what the church is meant to look like. I am afraid as believers we have begun a cycle of trying to jump to weeding out “the truths” we do not agree with.
But to be transparent, the Truth has at times hurt. But it is purely good.
We all know the passage in 1 Corinthians that speaks about One body. But I’m afraid our one body has not been working together well. This can taint our witness, so we must speak about it.
The feet do not want to follow where the head is going, the arms are pulling and hanging onto things that need to be let go of. The nose is falsely identifying, the eyes are not showing what they’ve seen, and the mouth is speaking not of what it is meant to share but of harmful words.
This is just a symbolic way of looking at it, I am not calling you a nose, or myself an eye. But you get the idea.
There is a reason why God gave us diversity. Diversity in personalities, diversity in occupations, diversity in strengths and weaknesses, diversity in race, diversity in culture, diversity in ideas. Diversity gives us an opportunity to truly understand what the word Unity means. It’s not a shock that the world fails at this. But, it can be a shock when the Church fails at this.
Because we are called to be one body, all different but joining together.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
“12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slavesa]”>[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,b]”>[b] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
These scriptures are then followed with one of the most shared passages in scripture, that I am afraid I have become immune to, without realizing the depth of wisdom that it shares for us as the church.
Please hear me when I say this: This is not a message for my “enemies,” this is a message for me. This is not a message for my leaders, or the people I lead, but one I am meant to hear, and speak of.
Please Read: 1 Corinthians 13
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,a]”>[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;b]”>[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
It’s not shocking that we fail each other. Even those who we love, especially those who we love. But if the desire in my heart is to bring destruction or expose a member of the body of Christ through judgment but NOT through love, am I working together with the body?
If any of you have ever gone to counseling because of conflict with another, you know that one of the first things that is said is to hear the other out without trying to prove your side as correct.
Forgiveness is important because without it, we will not be able to work as one body. This also is true to relationships, marriage, families. (Hence the reason Husband and Wife are symbolically compared to Christ and the Church)
Please Read: 2 Corinthians 2:5-10
“5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,”
Something to be said here is, the church at times fails. If we experience pain in the church we attend, but leave because we cannot work it out…We may then go to another and within years will experience it again. The reason- because the church is imperfect people coming together. We are imperfect beings that need to point to the Perfect Being. We have at times forgotten that as humans we fail one another, but the one we look to has never failed. Imperfect and broken people trying to glorify the Lord have at times strayed from scriptures and acted out in flesh, and have hurt us- we have done the same to many.
I know this is not a revelation of my own. I do not take credit for the words and works Paul has shared with the church. But, I am one who is convicted by these words, and writing this to remind myself. Why do we think Paul spoke to the Church, and why was it important to be added to the scriptures for generations down the line? Unless the root issue is sin, and without setting aside our flesh, we will never fully grasp what God is calling us towards. These words Paul wrote are still true today, and they will be true tomorrow.
This goes as well with marriage, and friendships. At some point because we are sinners, we will come to a place where our relationships are tested, where we feel pain from those who lead us, or those we lead.
Please Read: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.a]”>[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconcilingb]”>[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
This word shows that 1. If we are not in the right place before the Lord, it is between us and God. 2. If we are- then all that we do shall be led by Christ’s love.
(Shout out to Mo Isom who challenged my heart to think about how we have often perverted the word “privacy” and at times are not talking about what is sacred but what is darkness)
I’m praying that this word is being delivered to you and to myself in a way where we are able to truly grasp it.
I am not writing this for just the head, or the feet, or the arms, or the eyes, or the mouth- but the whole body.
I did not write this with anyone specific in my mind, but I have found myself being convicted, but thankfully, not condemned. I am realizing that this is more of an encouragement to get my heart in place where I am not listening to or speaking words that bring harm to the body of Christ, but working together to bring unity.
This is a challenge for us to take the next steps forward.
Now is when we put on the armor of God. Pray, spend one on one time with the Lord. Conviction- am I demeaning any parts of the body? Am I trying to make my point or am I building up my leaders or those I lead? Am I being quick to anger? Am I first checking my own heart before I call out others?
This was placed on my heart, and I believe it is a message for MY heart.