Build Each Other Up

We had a church meeting yesterday, and I had been thinking about it coming up all week because the last church meeting was.. shall we say…. dramatic. Not everybody gets along at our church all the time, and a bunch of stuff went down, not everybody handled themselves well, and in the end I think it could have been a lot worse than it was and it was good to clear the air and work through conflict as a community. But it was still dramatic.

One day this week when I was reading my Bible, this verse stuck out to me: Romans 15:2 “Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.” Churches would be transformed, I believe, if instead of pointing fingers and grumbling, people could think to themselves not only “That person sure sucks.” but then add, “What could I do to help them?”

The meeting we had turned out to be pretty calm. There was a lot going on under the surface, but I think everybody was nervous to break the peace, so we just went through all the points we needed to cover and cut the meeting off before anybody asked the wrong question.

Call me crazy, but I think this meeting would have been better if someone had the guts to say “Our church is failing at (this), and we should work together to find a solution.” (Okay I kind of said that, and the reply was “thank you, we’ll take that into consideration. Meeting adjourned.”)

It is delusional to think that avoiding conflict over real issues is better than working toward a resolution with discussion, flexibility and co-operation. If someone had a brain tumour that resulted in terrible headaches would you pat them on the back for popping a Tylenol or would you call them crazy and tell them to find a surgeon?

Scripture teaches us as believers to selflessly build each other up; that is impossible if we can’t even have a conversation.

Rob Bell raises an interesting thought in Love Wins –
“Imagine being a racist in heaven-on-earth, sitting down at the great feast and realizing that you’re sitting next to them. Those people. The ones you’ve despised for years.” (50)

A lot of people are very content to spend their time on Earth in church sizing people up and congratulating themselves on being so spiritual and pitying themselves for being under appreciated by jealous sucky Christians. For many, the joke will be on them when they find out they’ve been “out-done” by a single mom, or a smoker, or someone with a lip ring.

I think the spirit of that verse in Romans is we should hope the best for our neighbours so that should we find ourselves roommates with them in Heaven we are happy to see them there, not outraged.

Iffy theology there people, I don’t actually think we’ll be living in dorms in New Creation, BUT IF. It really is outrageous for a church to go on about sharing the love of Jesus with the world when we have so many excuses for not sharing it with each other.

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Comments

Susan 08-06-2011, 02:48

I think your last sentence hits the nail on the head. We really need to just get over ourselves, don't we? If we did, people would certainly see the beauty of Jesus and our churches and communities would be transformed. That would be amazing!

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