I’m not sure how many of you follow me on Tumblr where I posted one of my personal reflections about being easily encouraged and edified by people. I wrote that exhortation to myself a while ago and I’ve been earnestly seeking to see how God has been working in the lives of my peers but I have come to a conclusion that does not rest well with my soul.
I am selectively edified.
While I realize that this is not something totally unnatural, for we all have people we are closer to and share more with, but I am learning more that as a Christian communing with other believers, this should not be the case. I came to this realization while talking to a number of people about dating and relationships, something that seems to be all the rage these days within my circle of friends. Females, this may provide some brief insight that you most likely already know. I in no way mean or want to undermine the importance of pursuing a godly woman as outlined in the Word, but this is one thing that I’ve learned: anyone can rationalize why they are interested in someone from a spiritual standpoint. What does this have to do with being selectively edified? I realized that I can justify a romantic interest in anyone when rooted in a Biblical world-view but I (and no doubt, many others) often turn a blind eye to people who are sitting next to me in campus fellowships and churches because the focus is on that special person. It is so easy to find Christ in someone when you take a step back and look, but often times I find myself hardly giving a passing glance to my peers. I fail to realize that all my friends are being sanctified by the same Bible, many of same teachers/pastors, and most obvious, the same God. This extends beyond romantic pursuits, to friends in general. Obviously I am not merely alluding to my sisters, but to my brothers in Christ as well. It is so easy to focus on those in my immediate spheres of influence and forget that God works in the church down the street. The church would struggle mightily if its members became callous to the majority and focused on a few individuals.
It is too easy for me to become so narrow-minded and short-sighted to find joy in only a few people. God is doing a miraculous work by his divine wisdom and power imparted by the Spirit in His children who have faith in the precious blood of Christ. It is so easy to forget the Christ in so many of my peers and that my relationships extend far beyond basketball or “hanging out.” I am grateful that I do have relationships where Christ is at the center but oh how often I fail to see Christ in so many people! It is clear that I need greater faith in the sovereignty of God and that He is working all things for Christ-likeness in every believer, not just those immediately impacting my life. How selfish I am to suppose that those who are growing are those affected or impacted by my life. I need to learn patience, to be gracious, and to be open in extending the hand of fellowship to those I don’t talk to as much. I lack faith when I can’t see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears how God is working in the life of people.
Yesterday was Brother’s Appreciation Night at the campus ministry I attend. I don’t think any of my class girls pay any attention to my blog, but I will let it be known (and I hope I make it clear in my personal relationships), that I am greatly encouraged by them. There needs to be no evening dedicated to the celebration of Christ residing in them for me to take joy. I was reminded of the growth that we have taken as a class, and though my relationships with some are stronger than others, it was clear that Christ is changing all of them into His likeness. Obviously paying attention to only my class defeats the purpose of this post, for all my sisters in the ministry have taken great strides in their walks but I was reminded once again when I views my class as an entirety as opposed to paying attention to a select few.
How great is it to share in the imperishable inheritance with all my brothers and sisters. It is easy to forget this but oh, I will strive to be more conscious of Christ’s residence in all of His children. Anthony, take a step back and see Christ! I promise He will not be hard to find.