I would like to offer this morning that we are created not to contend with each other but to complement each other. Can you imagine a society built on the idea of coming along side of one another? Each person would be working toward a common goal, not trying to overcome but supporting others. This is certainly contrary to our societal norms of “beat the competition”, “climb the corporate ladder”, and “don’t let others get ahead of you”. Yet wouldn’t it be great if we could put aside our self-indulgent ways and be the body of Christ?
In Romans chapter 12 the Apostle Paul encourages Christians, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How do we get our minds renewed?
As a member of the Body of Christ, I find in myself a desire to put aside contending with my fellow members. I believe this desire is rooted in the love God has put in my heart. Of course, this love wars against my sinful nature which often causes me to be contentious. Romans 12:9-10 gives me guidance by stating, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Love is perhaps the key to being transformed.
I believe the ability to complement rather than contend with our brothers and sisters first requires a full understanding of God’s love for us. We, the members of the Body of Christ, are loved in the deepest sense. No one is a junior member. We have all been given full rights as sons and daughters. God will love us eternally. When we understand that he loves us, we are transformed from who we were in the world into children of the living God. Our mind is renewed; we view things differently. The love that God has poured out on us naturally flows through us and joins us to one another. Don’t let the lie that you’re not loved make you a contentious member of the Body of Christ.