1 Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope[a] at your calling— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.– Ephesians 4:1-6
This was my passage to read this morning thanks to my trusty YouVersion Bible App. I read as I started my day with coffee in hand and the sound of my three boys already coming to blows over who would finish their bowl of cereal first….they had been up a whole 12 minutes.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines loss in a couple ways: destruction, ruin, the act of losing possession: deprivation, an instance of losing, a person or thing or an amount that is lost, failure to gain, win, obtain, or utilize.
Loss hurts. Loss stings. Something that was there is now gone. It’s the removal of something, sometimes good sometimes bad, but loss doesn’t always result in a win for the other side. Especially when you are on the same team.
We have had a lot of losses lately. The vacancies of some of our top SBC leadership positions are plagued with infidelity, abuse, deceit, and power.
Along with these losses we are seeing the loss of years of silence from victims who are starting to step out in both courage and grace. The shame, guilt, and injustice they have waded through is a considerable loss. The or effects of their abuse go far deeper than a tweet or a statement.
There has been deep, hard, incredible loss!
When sin is exposed and the curtain is pulled back, we have to intentionally reflect on our own brokenness and need for grace. When there is loss, Satan likes to sow little seeds of self-righteousness and pride that can seep in and take root in our fickle hearts. The root of this brokenness runs deep through our veins (all of us) and it is a reminder of our daily fight for grace and obedience.
Like Paul to the church at Philippi, we need to consider the things we stand on, other than Jesus, as loss. Our accomplishments, systems, platforms, and pedigrees are nothing in comparison to the work of Jesus.
More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ. – Philippians 3:8 CSB
Sin has its collateral consequences which are always attached to people, hearts, and souls. Has there been a monumental change in the conversation? Absolutely! But it has come at a sobering cost.
Sisters, there is no way forward but together, alongside our brothers. If we have gained ground and traction in the dialogue all to only puff up in pride and to rally ourselves into our own groups of power, we have done nothing more than mimic the failings of those we so loudly tried to convince of their wrongdoing in the first place.
We are not waging war, we are already in a battle, and it’s time we remind ourselves Who and what we are fighting for.
The goal of the Church is both – and, not us versus them. We have to cling to unity and humility. Cheer on your brothers that are making hard decisions, that are listening well, and who are earnestly trying. This is what we have been waiting for; this is the start of a season that can bring about beautiful change and workmanship. Don’t throw it away. Fight for one another. Speak well of one another. Cheer on both your sisters and your brothers.
Paul so beautifully weaves in the heart of Jesus with his urge to the Church. Let us pray that as both brothers and sisters in our words and reactions and in private and public we will be marked with gentleness and humility. That we bear with one another in love and strive most for unity and be reminded of the very Gospel that we rally behind.
Let us commit to being in the Word, to be asking the Spirit to expose the areas of our hearts that are clinging to something other than Jesus, and let us pray like we never have before.
There is work to be done, ground to be taken, a Kingdom to usher in.