Friday, March 16, 2012

One Great Truth

When I was a little girl one of my favorite games to play with my brother and; sister was pick-up sticks. A bundle of brightly colored pointed sticks was stood on end and quickly released so they fell in a tangle. Sticks fell on sticks and were covered by other sticks in a random pattern of colors, interwoven so that you sometimes had to look closely to see where one stick began and another of the same color ended.

Taking turns, we each tried to pull one stick at a time from the pile without disturbing any others. I recall how it felt to touch one stick and suddenly realize that if I moved it at all, everything would fall apart and the game would end.

Just a child's game.

Simple. But not always easy.

Faith is like that.

Different groups look to the same Scriptures for Truth and ultimately see a variety of meanings in them, finding reasons to choose certain words to emphasize over others. Hopefully, we each seek God's guidance as we read and study these same words and yet we reach different conclusions.

When I find myself in disagreement with other Christians about the details I keep coming back to the one Great Truth of the Bible.

God is Love.

Love forgives, instead of seeking revenge.

Love encourages, instead of tearing down.

Love serves, rather than seeking to be served.

Love wants to embrace, not reject.

Love reaches out to draw in, rather than turning away or walling out.

Love does these things not because they are easy but because they are right.

Galatians 5:22 says "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

When anyone claims the label "Christian" I look for these. I look for the love.

Unfortunately, what I often see is someone clinging tightly to one stick for dear life, afraid that if they release their grip, the whole pile will crumble away to nothing.

"Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

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