We’ve got to stop keeping score. It’s not us vs. them and agreement or disagreement should not impact our standing. If “they” think differently, the results should not be the breaking of relationship. If “we” believe we are who we say we are as the core of our identity, then the differences others proclaim are not threatening. We can walk in relationship while enjoying the Peace of our conviction.
The “we” and “they” I am distinguishing between centers around the presence or absence of Jesus. When He is the One who we allow to define our positions, then we are best served when we find out what He says about how to carry out His business. In Luke 10, Jesus gives pretty clear directions to His followers regarding how to go out and be among “them.” His directions really aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be; He tells them, essentially:
- Go. This isn’t about sitting up in your church building judging and criticizing.
- Don’t go alone. This is a team sport, be part of a team.
- Pray. Depend on prayer, not on your expertise.
- This isn’t easy, and you may very well face hostility.
- Speak Peace. Not confrontation. This is not convincing others of political positions. Just Peace.
- Where you are welcomed, stay there. Don’t force things on people otherwise.
- Share a meal. Simple enough.
- Heal the sick. He heals and tells us to be about it. The Kingdom comes in power.
- Announce the Kingdom. Most of us don’t even consider the Kingdom, much less proclaim it.
- The relationship is not dependent on their agreement; it simply depends on them receiving you.
When we start speaking and walking in peace and without an agenda, we will be received. When we are received and assured in our own identity enough to trust Him with His stuff and not judge those that disagree, we can actually enjoy the meal we are sharing as well as the person we are sharing it with.
Peace, relationship and power all precede our declaration of faith. That faith announcement is validated by the investment of our interaction with people. That interaction with people is not dependant on their affiliation with us, it’s simply dependant on them receiving us. Many, many more will receive peace than they will receive accusation.
This isn’t about metrics, it’s about relationships. We got off track. Let’s go back to what He said and see how that works for a while.