by Pastor David
Have you ever heard someone else (or yourself) saying something along these lines: “I just don’t click with that person. We don’t gel well. He just has a personality I don’t like. She’s sort of annoying. We’re so different. We just don’t have anything in common.” Reality is that we don’t get along easily with everyone we know. Some people irritate us with their mannerisms or habits. Maybe they strike us as odd or make conversations awkward. Sometimes those people are family members, and sometimes those people are church family members. So if we are all fellow citizens, and members of the same family, and parts of the same building, how can we relate to people we don’t naturally like or enjoy or mesh with?
The answer lies in the Gospel, which forms the basis of our church relationships to begin with. Gospel realities should teach us how to relate to people who are different from us. We could not be more different from God if we tried. We weren’t His kind of people. We didn’t like the kinds of things He like, or fit with His personality. But in the Gospel, God showed loved and grace to people radically different from Him. Gospel realities should teach us how to relate to people we aren’t naturally friends with. After all, we were God’s enemies when He loves us to His own death. Gospel love doesn’t come on the basis of friendship, but before it. God has not set His favor on us because we were so likeable, or agreeable, or similar to Him.
People who know and dwell on these great Gospel realities will naturally be able to relate to others in their church family. We may not relate to some members at Grace as easily as we do to others. But when the Gospel informs our relationships we will always relate fully and freely with any person or personality. We don’t need to be the same age or share the same hobbies or enjoy the same entertainment or click based on personalities at Grace Church. We have the Gospel. And the Gospel makes the best relationships in the world.