“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25, NIV84)
The Church (body of Christ) is under attack today. Like the book of Revelation, we seem to be a lone voice speaking sanity in an insane world. Satan and the forces of evil are attacking the very foundations of the Church. It is right for us to see, understand, and strategize approaches to deal with these attacks from the outside. But an attack upon the Church that is often not recognized and dealt with is the attack from within. We don’t like to face the notion that we are still sinful people struggling to live out our faith in this world and in membership in the church. We tend to bring the thoughts and processes from the world into our communication within the church. Above, Paul tells us that we need to continually put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbor. Why? Because we are all members of one body! Jesus’ body!
The issues we face within the church must be dealt with in spiritual ways. We must see others within the body as connected to the same Jesus we are connected to. We need to remind ourselves that the way we treat others is the same way we are treating Jesus. Jesus says, “When you did/didn’t do it to the least of these you did/didn’t do it to Me.” In order to protect the spiritual nature of our differences we must season our words and actions with grace-filled truth. Our relationship with Jesus must be at the center of what unites us and what currently divides us if we are going to work true reconciliation among ourselves.
Once we unite ourselves around Jesus, something powerful begins to happen. We begin to live as submissive members of Jesus’ body. We begin to live in a “one-mindedness” that the world cannot touch. We begin to experience the blessing of living as Christ would have us live among ourselves and then we begin to more effectively minister to the world around us.
May that be the case for each of us today.