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“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”1 Peter 3:8/ESV
One thing that turns people away from the church is the plain hard truth that what they see in many cases is the reflection of the world. They encounter gossip, politics, bitterness, and, oh yes, hypocritical attitudes. They think to themselves, “Why should I be concerned about religion because it’s no different than being at work, school, or anywhere else?”
In reality, the people that make up the church are humanly flawed people who stumble, make mistakes, and struggle against the same day-to-day pressures as everyone else. The difference the world fails to see is that even though we, as Christians, are not perfect and, at times, can be tripped up by temptation, we fall under the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit who draws us to confess our shortcomings and seek God’s forgiveness.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us above the pressures of this world, we place ourselves in the position to have unity of mind, sympathy for others, brotherly love for all. It gives us a tender heart towards those who hurt us and a humble mind to see the needs of others as more important than our own. It embodies the two greatest commandments given by Jesus to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. When it comes to religion or being religious; it is not about having religion or being religious, it is about having a personal, one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.
Therefore, let us always seek and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and confess our shortcomings to God. Let us seek His forgiveness and restoration so that we can reflect the words of apostle Peter, who indeed went through his share of hard knocks to become a central figure in the early church. What separates the church from the world? We recognize our shortcomings; we eagerly seek God’s sanctifying work in our lives to mold and shape us into the likeness of His son, Jesus Christ. We look to God; the world looks to itself, which is why it is in such dire need of a Savior, so let us press on to preach the word of God and share the gospel with the world.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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