This week I began my new assignment from God. He has sent me into the Martin County Jail to be a light. All the doors opened and it was clear that He wanted me there. I met with the Head Chaplin of the jail to get permission to do one on one’s with some of the women I had met with the previous week. He said he wanted me to attend church in the jail on Sundays and two Bible studies each week. He gave me specific names of people he wanted me to work with.
Sunday morning I arrived at the jail full of expectation. My excitement became dismay when I realized that He had connected me with a group of people who have different beliefs than I. I felt betrayed and set up. As I left, I spoke to God, telling Him I was discouraged and full of doubt. I started wondering if I had really been called to this assignment or if I was forcing it.
I contacted a friend who has been walking a similar path, so I could process all the emotions that were boiling over in me. As we processed the situation, I slowly began to see how my pride was getting in the way. My friend was able to help me see that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. The people that the Chaplain connected me with believe most of the things I believe, they’ve just added one thing that I was seeing as a stumbling block.
I believe that we miss the point when we choose to see things from only our prospective, without stopping to consider where others are coming from. We need to seek a common ground with others so we are able to work productively with each other.
I believe this is the reason the world looks at Christians and decides that they want no part of what we are sharing. People watch us fighting against each other and think we have nothing they want. If we can’t show love for people with different beliefs than our own, how can we convince the world that what we have is worth having?
We need to show people that we love them whether they have the same beliefs we do or not. If we love only those who think and act like us, is this really love? In 1 Corinthians, Paul talked about how to reach others.
1 Cor. 9:20-22 “20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”
I believe Paul is showing us how to meet people where they are and to appreciate that we will not all believe the same things, but we can still work together for the common good. We don’t have to prove we are right to work with others and make a difference in this world.
Who can you find common ground with today?