by Michelle Welch
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:14-14 (NIV)
I was making a list tonight of our family. Take our blended children, throw in adoptions and divorces, marriages and deaths and add some differing opinions about small things like religion and politics and you have the recipe for a complete chaotic situation. Sweetheart would like to get all the kids, spouses, grand kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc together for a big family gathering. I am thinking that getting a root canal might be easier to plan and far less painful.
It’s not that I don’t love all of yours, mine, and ours but when it comes to opinions we all have one. They are all wildly different and there is not an ounce of humility or patience in the entire bunch of us. Myself included. I think the phrase “my way or the highway” is a universal theme in our bunch. It’s not that we consider ourselves right all the time. It’s that everyone else is just misinformed.
Yet, like it or not, we are all bound together. Bound by the marriage of sweetheart and I. They may not like it. They may not agree with it. But they are all bound together as part of a big loud obnoxious family. I know, that in spite of all of our differences, they all do love each other, way down deep. I hope that someday we can get them all together. For at least an hour. Then I am taking the grandkids and hightailing it to Disney World without the grownups!
Our family is a little like my Christian family. A big group of people who love Jesus and have put their faith in Him. Each person is sure that they are doing the right thing, living the right way, reading the right book, attending the right church. We all do the very best we can with the life we have. We may make mistakes, say the wrong things, walk the wrong walk, or stray far away from His word. But we are all bound together by our belief in the one true God. We are bound together by His promise that no matter what we do, He will forgive us. It is not for us to judge anyone else. Not for us to make sure that someone else is living the right life. We can only guide and teach and be the best example that we can of Christ’s teachings.
Someone asked me how I could write a Christian woman’s blog with the sins of my past. Wasn’t I a hypocrite saying that other’s should try to live a life that I didn’t live? I answered “how could I not write it?” There are no perfect people here on earth. None. God never says that he likes one person more than another. I have said that many times in the writing of this blog. It is my mantra these days. (That and the saying “well bless your heart!”) There are people who were in my life who constantly pointed out the bad things I had done. There was never any forgiveness, only blame. Then I found out that my God doesn’t hold my sins against me. Ever. I do my best not to hold anyone else’s mistakes against them. I can’t call them sins because I am not allowed to judge another person. Only God can judge. Luke 6:37 tells us “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (NIV)
Like it or not, we are all bound together. Each of us tied with a common thread to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can guarantee you that I will make mistakes. I can guarantee you that kind words and patience will not always be in my list of good qualities. But I can also guarantee you that each and every day, I will do everything I can to be the best family member I can be in this big old sloppy messy Christian family. And even if I do say “well bless your heart” a whole lot of times, I really really do want to go to Heaven with you someday!
Copyright © 2013, Michelle Welch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries. Scripture from NIV Bible.
Photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved.
Originally published on 1/28/2011 at www.theunclaimedgift.com