As members of Christ’s church there are many things that distinguish us from the personalities and practices in our world. All one must do is step into our worship assembly to note the differences. We do not use instrumental music in our singing, nor do we burn incense or make the claim to speak in tongues. These practices, or the lack of them, may be what we consider the most obvious differences between being a child of God and a child of the world.
One of the last messages Jesus gave His disciples was about His people and the way we should be perceived in this world. Jesus told His disciples that they would be known is by their love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
The way we worship certainly distinguishes us from the world and was designed to be that way. However, the first thing the world should notice is not the specifics of what we are doing, but our attitude towards each other. That can be observed even before they step into our worship service.
For the past year our world has gone through incredible changes that have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. We have changed the way we communicate, the way we work, and the way we gather together. In some places, things have not changed much at all and this itself has created divide. Whether we fall into the camp of change or the camp of normalcy, some good questions for us to ask ourselves are, “Have I been loving? Have I been kind?” We need to remember that we should treated our sisters in Christ with compassion and understanding. Too many times we fall into the trap of using social media as an outlet for us to rant and rave. Have we been portraying ourselves on social media in a way that is making a positive impact on our world?
During the first century, the church grew tremendously even through extreme persecution and death. Now, more than a year into our own passage through trials and death, have we had the same world-changing impact? Have we “turned the world upside down” like the house of Jason and the church in Acts 17:6? Each one of us must look inside ourselves and take responsibility for our behavior over the past year, whether it has been good or bad. We must remember that through it all, we have a resolve to follow Jesus’ call for us to be different. We must be loving to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the way we shall be different from the world, and it is how we will turn the world upside down.