This morning, our topic is “getting to know one another.” Sometimes we get so focused on the tasks that are in front of us or on our perceptions of this world, that we forget that another person is on the other side of the conversation or situation who is doing their best to deal with their own issues and perceptions. I may have shared with you before, what some attribute to Plato’s writings on understanding others’ inner turmoil: “Be kind, for all those you meet in your travels are fighting a tremendous battle of which you know nothing. . .” I found a few verses that I thought were appropriate to this topic and I wanted to share them with you this morning:
I Thessalonians 5:12-13 “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”
John 8: 2-11 “At dawn He appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people had gathered around Him, and He sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were asking this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again, He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.””
It’s easy to forget that our brothers and sisters are struggling with all manner of issues that we may or may not be familiar with, such as: family issues, financial issues, housing issues, vehicle issues, addiction issues, depression issues, grief, anger, frustration or even feeling nothing at all and just wanting to feel something — anything again. . . It’s easy to forget but it is important to remember who they are. They are me. They are you. They are we.
We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.