Loving As A Body

“So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:5 (NIV)

Our bodies are like finely tuned machines, with each part dependant on one another. Though they are diverse in appearance and function, they work together in order to carry out the many tasks the body requires. If even one part of the body was rendered unusable, the entire body would be affected. For example, the brain can send signals to the legs to move and run, but if the legs are paralyzed or some other part of the body is preventing the legs to move, then the body will not go anywhere. Or suppose if the eyes see trouble brewing yet the mouth refuses to speak. How then will our voice be able to call out for help in that critical moment? That is why we seek treatment from doctors when something is wrong with our bodies, so that all its members will be able to work together in an effective manner.

Whether we like it or not we are all connected together in the same way as one body. Thus our attitudes and actions affect those around us. If we think that our anger and pride only affects the person that these are directed to, we are sadly mistaken for everyone will suffer in some form or another. Our selfishness and hatred can do devastating damage in our lives and just as how a spider’s web can fall apart if one thread is cut, so too will our relationships crumble. At the root of the problem is our innate sinful nature. This is what propels us to give into harmful attitudes that will only cause us to become mired in unnecessary conflict and misery. It is only when we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts that He will break the hold sin has over us so that He can begin His restorative work in our lives. When we abide in His Spirit and allow His love to shine from within us, there is no room for sin to taint our relationships with others. We will move forward together in unity as Christ propels us to love so that He may impart life to the people around us.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

What Are You Wearing?

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” –Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

One can often learn a lot about a person by the clothes he wears. Clothes can send a message about a person’s background, attitude, and personality even before the wearer utters a word himself. We can discern a person’s profession by the uniform he wears and their ethnicity on occasions where they would wear their native dress. Even more important is how a person wears his clothes. If an office worker shows up to his workplace wearing a neatly kept suit, it reveals his discipline, and commitment to represent his company well. Conversely, if a person should come to work wearing a suit, but one that is unkempt, it reflects his blasé and careless attitude towards his job. Whether we like it or not, people are always watching us and how we present ourselves before others is a choice we all have to make.

The love and righteousness of Christ are like clothes which we wear. They are beautifully designed, immaculately clean, and are gifts which Christ is more than willing to offer. Yet in our fallible human wisdom we choose not to wear them. Like little children who are excited about recieving new clothes, yet are unable to let go of a cherished shirt or dress that is worn and torn, we are comfortable wearing our clothes of sin and in fact prefer it. However, we do not realize how worn they are and how we are cheating ourselves out of something that is better than what we have. Once we have realized the filthiness of the clothes of sin which we are wearing, we try to wash the grime and mend the holes they have by ourselves. But we soon realize that we can do nothing to repair these clothes for our sinful nature is something that needs to be done away with entirely. Only Christ can give us new clothes of His love and righteousness and we receive them when we have allowed His Spirit to reside in our hearts. These clothes however come with a choice. Will we choose to return to our old clothes and shame ourselves by allowing sin to be displayed in our lives? Or will we choose today to allow Christ to help us put on His garments of love so that Christ may restore our lives as He draws others to Himself?

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Love is a Language

“Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” -1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NIV)

Learning a new language can be notoriously difficult. There are two languages in which I am actively working towards achieving fluency, Hindi and Japanese. But as with any other foreign language, both these languages present challenges that must be overcome. One must get used to different sounds, learn a whole new set of vocabulary and idioms, and be able to correctly apply grammatical rules that can be vastly different from those of one’s native tongue. Yet those who have achieved fluency in another language testify to their discipline and humility as students. It takes that constant commitment to learn from textbooks, teachers, and native speakers in order to come to a point where one will be able to think, speak, and write in the language of their study.

Loving others is like a foreign language to our fallen nature. Since all of us have been corrupted by sin, it is hard for us to be fluent in love. Despite our best efforts to speak and show love to others, invariably we fall back on the language of our sinful nature which is pride and selfishness. Love is not something that comes to us naturally because sin has hindered our capacity to love with no conditions or limitations. Only Christ, who is love and perfect in His love, can teach us how to love each other as He has loved us. When we allow His Spirit to reside within us, He will train us in His love so that we may be able to speak life into others. But this can only happen when we have submitted ourselves wholly to His Spirit and with humility make that choice to surrender our attitudes to Him so that He may carry out His work in our lives. As we continue to keep in step with His Spirit and allow Him to teach us how to love, we will lose our fluency in sin and become conversant in His love and righteousness so that others will be drawn to Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.