As we continue laying our foundation for a building project, we must prepare our hearts for the possibility of hurt.
People forget to filter their words and attitudes, thus causing hurt and ill feelings. We must pre-decide to take the high ground and prepare our hearts for such times. We arm ourselves with kindness and compassion for others drawing from the forgiveness of Christ in our own lives. We looked at a verse yesterday that applies, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Paul taught the church in Rome how to get along with each other and with the community, which was mostly hostile to them. Let’s read about it:
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Proverbs also has wise advice for us to keep in mind:
19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
17:9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
As we move through the process of beginning a building project, may we all practice loving each other as Christ loves us. May we show His love to those who disagree with us, and may we all agree in prayer that Christ has all the answers. He will reveal to us the TIME, the PLAN, and the DIRECTION we need to go. We just need to trust Him.
Abba, may we all begin at the foot of the cross in gratefulness for Your forgiveness. May we proceed to the foot of Your throne asking for mercy and grace, for wisdom and discernment, and for direction for our church, our families, and our relationships. If struggle drives me to you, then I welcome the struggle. May You be the first Person I go to with any conflict I might have with a brother or sister. Knowing You are involved gives me great peace, Lord. Help us move forward as a church in a healthy manner. Amen.