Sometimes I come here to write, and I feel overwhelmed, like I need to summarize the entire chapter or cross-reference thirteen verses or define who God is to the Internet. But no one is asking me to do that, nor do I have the ability. (Hi, my name is Carly and I like to make things unnecessarily dramatic for myself.)
Bethany and I are just here to motion you over towards the Bible, share what grabbed our hearts during our daily reading and invite you to do the same. (We love your comments, emails, push-backs, disagreements and guest posts. Keep ’em coming!)
Whew, what is it about Romans? So much in so few chapters. Here’s what washed over me today:
“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” 15:7
Right before this, Paul prays that the Christians in Rome would live in complete harmony together as is fitting for followers of Christ. How? By accepting each other.
Just as Christ has accepted me. Which personally for me was Jesus accepting someone who was prideful, self-serving, pleasure-seeking, broken and fearful. He didn’t wait to accept me once I fully agreed with him, or once I was completely perfect or relentlessly repentant. He opens up his arms and welcomes us as we are.
This means I need to maintain harmony, and even extend acceptance, towards people I don’t agree with. Note: we are not asked to condone everything people are doing or everything they believe. But this means I need to be loving and gracious with fellow Christians instead of fighting on social media or gossiping about the church staff down the street or judging someone’s same sex relationship.
Live in harmony with one another. Not because there aren’t things to disagree about and not because Paul, or God, doesn’t think it’s important. Because the world is watching the church. They are watching how we treat one another, they are reading the Facebook posts. They are hearing the gossip. How are they suppose to believe they’re fully welcomed by Jesus?