The Big Picture

“Is there any common ground?” It seems like this has been said repeatedly, but it seems our world is more divided than ever. Whether it’s political parties that can’t agree on the best way to address the needs of the nation or even religious organizations that attack each other in an endless battle. Post comments tend to wind off into endless treads debating whose point of view is right or not. There’s tension, politically, spiritually, and relationally. Living in it all ends up getting tiring. How many rebuttal videos are too many? How many news articles and blogs are enough to come to the right position?  When will we get to a point where comments start saying something like, “Your point is valid. Perhaps I was wrong.” 

There’s validity to standing up for what you believe, especially if it’s Biblical truths, but as time goes on sometimes it feels like the hemming and hawing are fruitless. Some have pre-decided the point they want to nail down and are determined to defend it to the end.  It seems like the argument over who is right gets so caught up in making sure that other people do what’s  right that we can end up missing the bigger picture…

The simply difficult direction

Hebrews 12:14–15 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Many times we choose policy over people and rules over relationships. There’s no doubt, good government is a great blessing, and good legislation can be greatly beneficial for our society but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture – rules can’t bring the gospel. Rules can’t change the heart. With rules you can curb behavior and threaten bad behavior, but that’s not true peace.

You are part of this bigger picture. God calls on you, not policy, or government, to “make every effort to live in peace.” And then he adds “and [you] be holy.” Here he’s talking specifically to believers.  When it comes down to it our primary objective towards our brothers and sisters in Christ is to work towards a good relationship with them. That may mean at times we put aside our strong held opinions (which we believe to be true) to come alongside those who have opinions (which we may believe to be hurtful and unloving) so that we don’t sap them of the grace God has given. God’s grace is not like a one time offer and then it’s gone. It keeps coming to us over, and over to win us to his peace


Not for winning…but to win

So if you’re predetermined to do something, consider this… how about we win in 
…Loving our neighbor
…Joyfully serving our neighbor
… Building peace with our neighbor
… Having patience, and kindness and goodness for our neighbor
After all

Galatians 5:22–26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


How can we win with that? Just as Christ has won!


God’s Peace