We Have It, Together

“However, we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16, GW).

Years ago, my dad said something to me that has stayed in my heart permanently. He pointed out that every true Christian denomination and movement has something that we can glean from.  Something vital. However, we will only receive these benefits if we are willing to humble ourselves and learn from others who have differing perspectives than ours.

As different as we all are, we all do have something vital to offer to the Body of Christ. In fact, the very fact that we are so different is what makes this the case. As each of us perceives a facet of the beauty and wisdom of God, together those facets make up something marvelous. Each of us has a relationship with Him that is entirely unique.

It reminds me of the parable of some blind men quibbling over what an elephant is like. One of them was holding onto its leg and adamantly insisting that an elephant is shaped kind of like a tree trunk. One of them had its trunk in hand and was arguing vehemently that the first guy had it all wrong; an elephant’s shape was much more like a thick hose. The third blind man was holding onto the elephant’s tale telling the other two that they were absolutely crazy to be using such obviously wrong descriptions.

Is it possible that our brothers and sisters the next camp over see something that we are not seeing? Is it possible that if we could learn from each other our unique perspectives, we could gain something that would enhance our lives in an irreplaceable way?

There is a reason Scripture says, “We have the mind of Christ.” Notice, it doesn’t say, “I have the mind of Christ.”

We do. Together. Only together can we fully understand His thoughts and intentions for us. 

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Have you discovered key relationships in your life with believers different than you, that taught you something that you treasure?

21 thoughts on “We Have It, Together

  1. As Psalm 133:1 tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (NIV). I believe we can live in unity even if we disagree about some aspects, as long as we believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only means of salvation. I believe it is important for us to find areas where we agree rather than focus on those in which we disagree. The world is eager to find areas of conflict among the different churches. Let’s nor feed into that. Thanks for telling us of your dad’s important words.

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  2. Jennifer, your dad was right, I have been in several denominations in my ** years, and I have gained from each of them.
    I had a dream one night that was rather apocalyptic. I was in hiding with other Christians, and one of them had been out hunting for supplies and found an old hoodie of mine by the side of the road that surprisingly had a wad of cash in it that we could use to buy food without being identified. The hoodie was one from my youth group that had the word “impact” on it, and the money totaled $10,000. The cash was in ones, fives, tens, twenties, fifties, etc.
    As I later thought about the meaning of of this dream, I could see that when the hard times come, I will have resources in unlikely places – “a treasure in an earthen vessel.” These resources include the “impact” I have in the world, and the things that have impacted me. As I wondered about the different kinds of bills, I realized my mind was making a pun – the resources were in different denominations!

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    1. Annie, I so enjoyed reading this, and the interpretation! I love, love, LOVE that kind of word play in dreams. God has fun with us, sometimes even when the topic is serious! Which reminds me that He wants to give us joy even in these intense times we are living in. Thank you so much for sharing this. (Hehe I also smiled at “** years”). Hugs and blessings!

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  3. I love what your Dad said, Jennifer. My Dad refused to register his church plant in Germany as evangelical or Catholic – the two official possibilities – and insisted it was “Christian”. Amazingly that was accepted. He wanted Germans (and foreigners) of both denominations to feel welcome. And they did. Even my teacher (a Catholic nun) turned up at our goodbye party there and my Dad is convinced that was only possible for her because our church was not registered as “evangelical”.

    When I was little, my Dad taught at a Catholic school, while attending an evangelical church with my Mum and us kids. I have learnt so much from my Catholic brothers and sisters over the years (especially from Henri Nouwen’s books) and am so very thankful to my Dad for his example that meant I, unlike many evangelical kids, never ever grew up seeing Catholics as anything other than our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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      1. It’s a list that I’m on, for email. Zondervan sends it out every day, and they send all sorts of different authors. This is the first time I had seen them select from Nouwen, and I liked that.

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    1. God bless your Dad, Anna.When we lived in a tiny town with four churches, I attended a Brethren church on Sunday morning, joined a Lutheran Bible study during the week, and played guitar for Saturday night mass at the Catholic church. I led a Youth for Christ group with kids from all over. Those were happy times. 😊

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  4. One of my best friends is Jewish. She taught me not to disregard, unconsciously, the time before the birth of Jesus Christ. I always respected the Old Testament but in the Jewish presence, a wonderful spark of light appeared, a necessary spark to the coming of Christ. Thanks for you post, the lesson of your dad taught me too.

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