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{Week 9} Sisterhood – Accepting Differences

Today I’m thrilled to have a guest post from a dear sweet friend – AND she’s a Good Morning Girl!!!!   This is Joy and I at The Relevant Conference just a few weeks ago – she flew all the way from Indonesia to speak there and it was a blessing to have her as a roomie!

Joy is the wife to a missionary pilot and they, along with their five kids, live in Indonesia.  Joy is a proud wife, blessed mommy, Diet Coke fanatic, runner, homeschooler, reader, thinker, home-maker, lover of nature, and most of all, an undeserving recipient of amazing grace, and grateful daughter of God.  Joy’s heart is to encourage women to revel in their job as mommy and wife, and to see it as good and needed work.  She shares her heart and life of being a mom with readers at her site, Grace Full Mama.

Here’s what Joy has to say about Sisterhood and Accepting Differences in the family of God.  This goes right along with this week’s study in I John 4 and loving one another well.

Joy writes…We are all different, we come from different place in the country and even the world. We have different backgrounds, goals, needs, and even beliefs. That doesn’t mean that we cannot live in true unity with one another.

Our team of MAF missionaries all come from different places and walks of life. We have had to learn to overlook some differences in one another for the higher purpose of living and working in unity. We live in a community that is not primarily Christian, and we feel so strongly that our testimony of unity in the body of Christ is important that we are willing to overlook the differences in one another.

I’m not saying that it is easy, but we work at it in order to promote the bonds of peace and the unity that only Christ can bring as we live and work and minister together.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “..with all humility and gentleness with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.”

Living in unity doesn’t mean that we agree with everyone else’s beliefs, it doesn’t even mean supporting beliefs that you strongly disagree with, but it does mean being willing to love the person behind the belief. And, if necessary, taking your concern in conficence to that particular person. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” Sometimes the most loving thing we can do when we disagree with someone is to love them enough to speak the truth in love, but behind closed doors.

We have to be willing to stand for truth, but to do so in love and with grace. And when we feel that one of us is straying, loving that person enough to come alongside of them, to have the hard conversation, to seek truth together, instead of speaking ill of them.

We need to have the courage to speak to one another, instead of about one another.

True unity isn’t agreeing with everyone on everything. It isn’t always getting along and never having conflict. True unity is working through the mess together, not giving up on one another, and spurring one another on in love and truth. And, there are certainly times where love means quietly stepping back from a friendship, if there is a true impasse. BUT, continuing to love the person and staying committed to their ultimate good.

Think for a minute: Is there someone that you have wronged in this area? Perhaps you have been so intent on standing for truth, you forgot to do it in love? Or maybe there is someone who really rubs you the wrong way and you have spoken ill of them either online or behind the scenes. If so, you may want to think of asking that person’s forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:31-32 encourages us to, “ Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.”

JOY, gracefullmama.com

Thank you Joy for sharing with us here – you are such an inspiration!

Walk with the King!

Courtney, WomenLivingWell

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Comments

  1. What a convicting post.. I know that I’m guilty :( It is wonderful to meet Joy and to catch a glimpse of her heart and work.

    God bless your family’s mission Joy and thank you for sharing.

    Have a blessed weekend.

  2. (((((HUGS))))) sandi says:

    I believe in this! But still I struggle those who continually cause strife in our family. Is it okay to keep a healthy distance sometimes?

  3. Sandi – yes, I think we can forgive, love and smile at those who have hurt us in the past while at the same time keeping a safe boundary of how close we will let them into our lives. I think this is wise and discerning on your part. As long as you are not harboring bitterness – and only you can answer that question…I think it is healthy :)!
    Courtney

  4. Yes, absolutely Sandi. As I said in the post above, “And, there are certainly times where love means quietly stepping back from a friendship, if there is a true impasse. BUT, continuing to love the person and staying committed to their ultimate good.”

    Stepping back is not a bad thing, especially if the relationship isn’t safe emotionally. But as Courtney said, making sure that you aren’t harboring bitterness toward them. If, when you think of them, you truly wish them well in your heart and don’t want harm to come to them, then I think you are in the right frame of mind! Does that help?!
    Blessings!!

  5. YES! *THANK Y’ALL!* I struggle sometimes, as I have this idea that I should strive to always be kind and have an open door~even to the detriment of running my home sometimes….

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