"I thank my God always for you, because of God’s grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you." (1 Corinthians 1:4-6)
The world is getting to be a very hostile place for people of faith so we better start appreciating the Jesus in each other. Imagine thanking God for a brother or sister in the Lord, not for what they have done, but because Jesus saved them. Do you ever marvel at God's grace in a person's life instead of looking at what they used to be?
I have heard mature Christians respond in such positive ways when gossipy people have tried to bring up someone's past: "Did you know this Mrs. White used to ____________?" Response: "The emphasis is on the "used to ". What a wonderful trophy of God's grace she is now, all praise to Jesus." It is amazing how quickly a mature Christian can chase those spirits right out of the room with a wise response.
I have always said there are a lot of bullies in the Church, who try to make themselves feel good by pushing people down. But we don't have time for that in the Church, never did. We need to come back together as a family as the world heats up against us. We need to appreciate the one Spirit we were born from, the one Lord who is our head, the one grace that sustains and empowers all of us. It doesn't matter what we have been forgiven because we all have been forgiven more than we deserved.
We are family and in the months to come we are going to discover the value of our spiritual family. May that day start today. "I thank my God always for you..."