Frankly Speaking ........Now!

Our differences can influence lives and help shape us into the people that God has intended for us to be.

Romans 12:4-5
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

1 Corinthians 12:18
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

1 Corinthians 12:25
So our body would not be divided, God wanted the different parts to care the same for each other.


I remember when I was in my mid 20's praying for a greater understanding of the bible and God.  Maybe at the time, I just thought He would zap me and ta-dah, I would have all understanding of everything. Wrong!  The fast food mentality was not going to work this time....McGod did not exist!  I found out He leads us unto all understanding by taking us through steps.  It is a process and a journey.....kinda like a baby learning to walk....get up, fall and cry!  The process is repeated over and over until we finally learn the lesson we needed and then off to the next one....

It was during this time that I got a phone call from Tom.  I didn't really know him, but had heard about him.  The best part about Tom calling was that he's a musician and he wants me to start a "band" with him.  "Ok, let me me pray about it" (in religious tone) ....but, I already knew the answer, an"unreligious" yes!  Hooray!

Tom wasn't exactly what I had imagined.  He didn't look like I had thought AND he didn't always play the music I liked.  There were also other differences.  He was a lot older, and looked it (although he would disagree, of course), worked in a coal mines and had a bunch of kids!!  I could go on, but I think you get the point.  He was different from the people I usually hung out with, but I am sure he thought I was awesome in every way when he met me!

I grew up with a more "traditional" way of thinking and had really never studied the bible in depth to learn why I believed what I did.  He continued to throw out things I never had heard of before.  I would get so angry at some of the things he said.  They sounded so ridiculous, but, over time, I saw that he was challenging my thinking....making sure I knew why and what I believed.  

It was through Tom and others like him, that I determined I was going to study the bible for myself.  The time had come for me to take ownership of my belief system.  As I searched the scriptures to see whether the things I heard were true, my knowledge was increased. God's people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, so thank goodness I was learning.  I don't want to live in a destroyed state, living a life that is less than the one I am capable of living.  Through the challenges to my faith, opinions and beliefs, I was learning the whys to my faith.  Finally, I knew what I believed and why.

God used  Tom and the "differences" of others to jump start my studies in His word.  The foundation that God desired in my life began because of statements and opinions I heard from a variety of backgrounds.  Through the interaction with "different" people, I learned to defend my faith and became a much stronger person in the process. 

So let's look upon the "good" in each other.  Let's realize that we are in different places in our lives.  Some of us are just "babes" in areas, while others are adolescents in those very same areas (and vice versa)!  We have had different experiences and backgrounds.  There are some that have had greater opportunities while others were raised with different denominational backgrounds than ourselves.  Even our parents and peer groups have shaped our thoughts differently. 

Yes, the Holy Spirit will lead us unto all truth and understanding, but do we get there at the same time?  Only when we get to heaven will we know in the fullness that God intended.  Until then, we are being perfected and molded into the people that He has intended.  We are the body of Christ with many members.  Let's continue to learn from each other and appreciate our differences.  God continues to use "ordinary" people with all our deficiencies......somehow. 

Tom and I ended up playing music together for almost 10 years.  A lot of lives were changed and encouraged in the process. God used each of us to influence and strengthen each other. He definitely had a plan and purpose for our meeting.  I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't met Tom and experienced that season together!  There are so many other "Toms" in my life that I could have written about, but He was one of the first that strongly challenged my thinking. Let's continue to let God use the "differences" in others to bring maturity in our lives.  We can do greater things......together........

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