Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. “ Romans 15:7-9

I became a Christian not because I felt an overwhelming need to have my sins forgiven but because I felt an overwhelming need to be loved unconditionally, to be accepted and to belong. It took me years of personal search, prayers and agony before I experienced this from God, but I am still to experience acceptance and a sense of belonging from my fellow Christians. Perhaps I would have found my way to the love of the Father faster had I been able to experience that sense of belonging in the church first. But having to find my way alone was difficult, painful and above all lonely.

Forget for one minute that the World needs forgiveness, it does, but there are other equally crippling needs out there. Needs that the World tries to cover up with a multitude of distractions but really can only be answered by our Heavenly Father.

We live at a time when we are constantly bombarded with images of perfect people having a perfect life with their perfect friends and family. That world is fake, life is far from perfect, people are hurting all around us. It’s easy to stick with people who make us feel good about ourselves, doing things that make us feel happy, and in the process forgetting those who may make us feel a little more uncomfortable. But these are the people who need us, they are the people that need to feel loved. They are the people who need to feel that they belong. They are the people who need to experience the love of God and who better to show them that love than those who have already experienced it first-hand.

There are people out there who may be very good at covering up their distress and it is our job as Christians, who have been given the spirit of discernment, to see the broken hearts behind the shell. I was one of those people, who from the outside appeared confident, sometime too confident, to the point of unwillingly turning people away from me. It was a cover up to protect me from my deep insecurities. Most people never tried to find their way past the overly confident me.

There are people out there who do not conform to the typical Christian lifestyle, even once they have made the first step towards God. But there was never meant to be a one Christian fits all type. We are all different because we all have a different purpose. In the same way that a non-French speaking person, would not be able to teach the word of God to a French person, we each have been placed where we are, with our gifts, talents AND our word of testimony to reach a specific group of people that God has placed or will place in our path.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.

A couple of people answered the call when God placed them in my path, and I owe them my life. They didn’t try to change me, they simply helped me take my first steps towards the Lord primarily by showing me His grace and His love in actions not just words. God did the changing once i had given my life to him.

I pray to be there for those who God places in my path. And I urge you all to be alert when that call is placed upon you. Use your spirit of discernment to see beyond the outward appearance, whether physical or mental and to speak the word that God places in your heart and NOTHING ELSE.