5. Show no partiality.
In the book, When The Church Was Family, Joseph Hellerman discusses the need to reflect on how Jesus used the word ‘brothers’ to describe a community of believers.
In New Testament culture, brotherhood was the top level of community and to be valued above all. When one is regarded as brother, we can recognize that although there may be differences, we need each other. One is not higher or more valuable than the other. Instead, we are all members of the body of Christ and bring something that only we can bring.
Instead of running from the discomfort of accepting a new person, embrace them in the manner that Jesus Himself would. Every individual adds unique value to the church. Rather than focusing on what they look like, see their addition as an opportunity to learn. See them as brothers, not the “others.” Special treatment isn’t required. Those who may already feel out of place simply want to be a part of the family environment of your church.
When we are intentional about diversity, an environment is created where church members can easily invite anyone from their community to be a part of our fellowship. Just as heaven will be full of people from every tribe and tongue (Revelation 7:9), we, the church, must keep our arms open to embrace those who are different. What an amazing opportunity to create an atmosphere that reflects the diversity and unity of heaven itself.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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