Friday, August 02, 2013

Misconception #5: Everyone is Like Me.

[This is the 5th in a series of Top 10 Misconceptions some MKs face.]

I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country and other churches. I have very fond memories of traveling with my family growing up--we went to the East coast and the West coast for a couple of weeks on different occasions. In Bible college I was privileged to meet friends and missionaries from around the world. I traveled on a ministry team to other churches in the country. In Lafayette, I work at a Christian school that has over 70 churches represented. I also get a chance to travel with the Faith Ministry Team (high school ensemble) to visit other churches--some of different nationalities. We aren't all the same. In a church context, we don't all worship God in the same way.

My church has a worship band. Some people raise their hands to worship, some sing with just a piano and a song leader, some don't use any instruments, some have a worship band. I am responsible before God with the talents and abilities He's given to me. My role in my church now is to be a faithful helper to my pastors in whatever capacity they need me to serve--even if it's playing piano or keyboard in a band.

My siblings are different than me. My housemates are different than me. I need to not compromise my beliefs yet still show love and compassion for those who are different than me. It can be a long process to figure out why something might bother me. I need to question myself, "what is it about this that bothers me? Is it because it's violating a Biblical principle or is it just because it's different than what I'm used to?" Jesus was the ultimate example of showing love by associating with those whom the Pharisees considered "unclean" or "worthless." Am I being as loving as Christ?

Yet it is easy to have a hard time associating with people who are different than ourselves. I started to ask myself, "Why is that? Why do I feel more comfortable with some people than with other people?" Or even, "why does my church do things a certain way?" Of course I am thankful for those who are "kindred spirits"--those who are very similar to me. But I think it is important to realize that just because someone's application of a Scriptural truth is different than mine doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. There are some things it's ok to "agree to disagree" on. (Obviously the gospel & other Scriptural commands are non-negotiables.) Not everyone is like me. God created me uniquely with my own story, background, and personality. What is important is that I am closely associating with people who are headed in the same direction I am--closer to God--and reaching out in love. We need to be of the same heart and same mind in wanting to become more like Christ and showing Jesus to the world.

Reality: God creates us to be unique. I am to love others.

1 comment:

Andy Larsen said...

Beth,

I've been really enjoying this series, and look forward to the next five installments. While your title is appropriate, I'm sure, it could even be expanded. Some of these misconceptions are shared by others who grew up in very conservative (or dare I say even "legalistic") environments. Numbers 3 and 5 have a similar theme, and these are subjects that I've done a lot of thinking about in recent years, and especially over the last six months. Do I think the way I do because that's what the Bible says, or because that's how my parents thought, or just because that's what I always believed? Even if I'm comfortable with how I choose to live my life, or what I think on a particular issue, does that mean that others who don't agree with me are wrong, or just that they have a different opinion? I heard Beth Moore years ago in talking about this concept as "flesh issues" vs. "spine issues." Spine issues, as you pointed out, are non-negotiable. Flesh issues are those where we don't all have to have the same opinion, and it really doesn't have to be a big deal. Also important, of course, is realizing the difference, and that not everything in life IS black and white.