Monday, October 23, 2006

All for One, One for All

I am a drug addict and I've never taken drugs.
I am an alcoholic and I don't drink.
I am an abuser and I don't abuse.
I am abused and I do not experience abuse.
I've had abortions and I've never had the experience of having an abortion.
I am a murderer and I've never killed anyone.

Are you asking "How?" or are you saying "Stop contradicting yourself" or are you already in the place where you are saying "Ah ha! I get it! I know where she is going"?

Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing Sandy Stiles speak at a Ladies banquet. We couldn't be more different. And we couldn't be more the same. Sandy has what many in the church call "a testimony with a history." I've always been more of the type that is accused of being a "goody-two shoes". Neither of us are perfect in our own right. I fall short of the glory of God on a daily basis. I experience unrighteous anger. I am tempted to gossip. I am (at times) lazy. Sandy has her list that I won't list here so that when you get a chance to hear her speak, you get it fresh from her perspective. Let me just say that her testimony is more likely to bring you to tears than mine. And that is really OK.

So what do our similarities and differences have to do with the list of transgressions I opened with today? Sandy is my sister in Christ. We are both part of the body of Christ. If my foot is broken, my body is broken. My hand can't say "Well, I'm not the foot. I'm not broken. I'm OK." In fact my hand may have to do extra work because my foot is broken. My hand may need to steady me where my foot used to have that duty. So if one part of the body is dealing with 'a past' then the whole body is dealing with that past. The whole body has to help with the healing process. The whole body has to help the one part move forward and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

There was one older woman that sat through the whole banquet speech and the look on her face seemed to say "What does this have to do with me? I never experienced that pain. I never did this sin or that sin." I hope so much that I misread her expression. In case I didn't misread it, will you pray for her? I don't know her name but our Lord does. Pray that she realizes that she is part of the same body with Sandy...unless she doesn't know the Lord, in which case pray about that.

How about you? What do you think when someone comes in your church that has been in a worldly, sinful lifestyle but is seeking to live for Christ now? Do you rejoice that you are 'better than that' and stand pious and say "I made the better choices" or do you say "Welcome to the body! I'll heal along side you if you let me?"

I have so many thought for today's verse that I have to have more than one.

Romans 3:23 (Amplified Bible): Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

Romans 12:4-6 (The Message): In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.

1 comment:

Sandy Stiles said...

Hi Sharon - I was checking my traffic on the website and saw your link. I clicked on it and here you are. This is Sandy Stiles by the way. I had a great time at your church. I haven't been able to get to it on my blog yet, I just got my weekend blogged today! Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and God bless you and your passion for Him, His Word and His will!