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by Teresa Altman  
6/20/2008 / Christian Living

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another." Romans 12:4-5

I heard a story once of a young girl that was being punished for bad behavior. Her parents had her eat dinner by herself in the corner of the room. She took her seat away from everyone else, lowered her head and, from Psalm 23, said her blessing aloud, Thank You, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Those of us who have raised small children probably have a few cute stories like this one in our memory banks.

Sometimes our family and friends seem to be our enemies when they are not quite what we expect them to be. Our spiritual families are no exception. Each person is a unique creation. Our individuality is a culmination of principles, experiences, and education, in addition to various other factors we have encountered during our lifetimes. Our likes, dislikes, habits and traditions may sometimes differ from those of our friends and family. Often, we take offense to those differences because we feel let down or betrayed by them.

God did not intend that our relationships with friends and family be measured by our own expectations. It would be naive for us to believe that our own personal expectations are reasonable for everyone. But if we try to change our focus, we would be better able to live in one accord.

Rather than focusing on our differences with our spiritual family, we should be focusing on our promise in the truth that we are all Gods children through faith in Jesus Christ. We are a chosen generation, His special people (1Pet. 2:9). We, being many, are one body in Christ, individually members of one another (Rom. 12:5). We have all been made to drink into one Spirit (1Cor. 12:13), and as members of the Body of Christ, are to have no division in the body but we should have the same care for one another (1Cor. 12:25).

Since we are part of Gods family, He will never sever our relationship with Him, nor will He treat us as an enemy. Division in the Body of Christ will only come from an individuals surrender to Satans tactics to divide.

Instead of giving in to frustration and disappointment, let's change our center of focus and remember that God uses our individuality to build the Body of Christ. Whenever we feel slighted or let down by our friends and family, let's look up to Him, make our differences an offering, and ask Him to change hearts. The heart He changes may be our own.

Teresa Altman, , an engineer for 25 years, answered God's call to write in 2007. A mother of two and grandmother of six, she lives in Northwest Tennessee.

@2007 by Teresa Altman

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