Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
More Wisdom from My Elders
This was our exhortation before the call to worship on Sunday:
How often have you been offended by someone, been critical of a brother or sister, been thinking about what someone's motives are without ever talking with him? Does this affect our worship? I believe it does.
In true community, we should think the best of one another, place each other in the best possible light. We all too often think the worst of one another, distancing ourselves from fellowship that we so desperately need as a body.
We are one body, and we get frustrated with those close to us more than anyone else. We are in community -- one body, Christ Reformed Evangelical Church. Some of us have been together for years and others are just getting to know one another.
As we get to know one another, we get to know the warts, pimples, and messes in each others' lives. How do we handle this? What do we do? We love one another as Christ loved us. Colossians 3:12 says, "As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."
We are commanded to put on love for one another. We are commanded to forgive one another.
Community can be very messy, like our homes. If we did not pick up around our homes they would be a mess. All of us take time to clean our homes. When we don't, our homes are not nice places to be. Just like community, we either have to cover over the offenses, the sin, the awkwardness of bumping in to one another...OR...confront one another.
We need to use wisdom to decide what is best. Sometimes we just forgive and forget, but if this turns to bitterness, we have to do house cleaning in our own homes. And then sometimes we are called, using wisdom, to confront one another, and bring the matter to one another and work things out. Our duty before God is to either forget it or confront it, but not let it affect community, how we love one another.
Just like in our homes we need to keep picking things up, in community we also need to keep picking things up. If we do so, we will grow closer to one another in Christ, and our community will be one in which the aroma is beautiful. If we don't our community will smell like a dump.
So today we are called before God to worship him. Let's do so. And as this week rolls on, love one another, forgive and forget OR get to work cleaning up. Clean up your own stuff first, and then go to one another and work on community with the saints. When we do this we honor the Name of God, we bless our personal relationships, we bless the body at large, we are more joyful for the family -- the church body that God has given us, and we worship God better.
So come before God today, and may this body of believers encourage one another, bear with one another, be patient with one another, and love one another.
Let us worship God in the beauty of His holiness!
In the past couple years I have learned to love better than I ever have before. Perhaps even for the first time ever. I'm still very much in progress, but I'm learning to fight the selfishness and laziness that hinder love. It is wonderful! It is glorious! And it is also sometimes quite painful. There's a part of me that wants to be bitter about the pain: "Hmph. I've learned to love like I'm s'posed to, and this is what it gets me...a broken heart." But I know the good far outweighs the bad. I know it's worth the risk to keep on loving, and to keep striving to love better. These are the saints in the land...the glorious ones in whom is all my delight (Psalm 16:3). Lord, make me a delight to them, too!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 10:59 PM