“I was reading near the end of the apostle Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth this morning,” Stan began, “and I was reminded of something that happened several years before we moved here. Something that is important for me to remember.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Right at the end of the letter, Paul says that the church should ‘Greet one another with a holy kiss’. He also said that ‘all the saints greet you’.”
“What’s important about that?” I asked.
“The part about the saints,” Stan replied. “It reminded me of two friends in the church who often talked about Paul’s use of the term, ‘saints’.”
“One of them,” he continued, “was hung up on the notion that all believers can be described as ‘saints’. She took the view that the term should be reserved for really special people. They often disagreed about that.”
“Do you think the disagreement was important?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied. “And I think that kind of disagreement gets in the way of what I see as Paul’s point of putting what he did in the letter. In fact, I think it is a roadblock to Paul’s intent.”
“I think Paul was stressing the need for unity between believers. And that they should not allow the unimportant to get in the way of what is truly important.”
“I think,” he continued, “that whether or not all believers are called ‘saints’ can easily get in the way of the important question of whether or not all of the people are believers.”
“I can see that,” I replied. “Being able to be called a ‘believer’ is a whole lot more important!”
“That’s right, my friend,” Stan responded. “And I think there is an additional important point about the unity between and among believers. Focus on what is important, being a believer by accepting the finished work of Christ on the cross, and leave the unimportant alone.”
Concluding, he added, “It is easy to allow what is unimportant to get in the way of what is important. It can easily disrupt unity between believers. That makes Satan smile and laugh. Don’t want that!”
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 2 Corinthians 13:12, 13.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the important truth of your provision of redemption and salvation. I confess that too often I focus on differences between me and fellow believers, differences that do not matter in the big picture of Christ Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Please forgive me for playing right into Satan’s scheme with such differences that do not matter. And please lead and help me to follow in focusing only on what is important, Christ crucified, and leave the petty differences alone. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.