My church is going through some changes and some of us are finding them hard to accept. But instead of complaining about the things I don’t like, I’ve been trying to pray for wisdom for the leaders and unity among the members.
So this passage is timely. I’m amazed at how much Paul loved the people in the churches he planted. He agonized over people he didn’t even know.
Not too long ago, I agonized over my church. But it was more about me than about them. This church requires baptism by immersion for membership. I was sprinkled when I was a child and have always believed it was sufficient and never intended to go through it again. But I had been attending this church for a while and felt the need to take the next step. As I wrestled with the issue, it became crystal clear to me that I love this body of believers and have committed to being part of them. So last spring I was baptized by immersion so I could become a fully participating member.
Now, as I watch the changes we are facing, I pray that God will encourage us and knit us together by strong ties of love. I ask that we will remember that what is important is “God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.” It would break my heart to see dissension among this wonderful group of believers because we’ve forgotten the basics.
Actually, the issue is not so big that the health of the church is threatened. But we do need God’s guidance through it. I’m so glad I can be confident, like Paul was, that the faith in Christ of my brothers and sisters is strong and that they are living as they should.
So when I’m faced with a change I don’t particularly like, instead of complaining, I’ll continue to pray for the body. This passage is a reminder that I can pray in confidence because I’m praying for other believers who also follow Jesus.