Each Friday, a quotation is posted at Writing Canvas. You can post and share your thoughts on that quotation the following Tuesday. Won’t you join us?
“ We need to learn how to keep people through love.
Despite imperfections, sins,
and irritating habits of other Christians,
they belong to Jesus and they need our love as a healthy climate for growth.”
~ John Wimber
Whether or not we want to admit it, we all have habits that can get under someone else’s skin. I am blessed with an intimate circle of friends and family members with whom I feel safe, in spite of my quirks. With these people, I can risk being my true self, because I am sure of their love and support. This unconditional love helps me to grow as an individual, friend, wife, and Christian.
John Wimber’s quotation reminds us that we do not grow when we live in isolation, or when we harden our hearts in judgment. All Christians are part of one body — the body of Christ. As Paul wrote in Ephesians, unconditional love flows from Christ “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective part by which very part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16, NKJV)
So many times it seems easier to either avoid or argue with those who irritate or disappoint us. We “cross them off our list” or offer a cold shoulder. We become caught up in the heated emotions of the moment. But we can change our hearts and become part of that safe circle — that “healthy climate” — of unconditional love. When one part of the body becomes stronger, the rest of the body benefits. As Paul wrote, we must not only do our share — we must encourage others to do their share. As John Wimber wrote, the key ingredient in that healthy environment is love.