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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Looking Beyond Flesh

He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Acts 15:9

Some were teaching that gentiles needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. Others said they did not need to be circumcised. Peter and Barnabas argued that they had received salvation through hearing and believing. They also argued that the new converts were filled with the Holy Spirit which was proof of their changed hearts.

The traditional lesson in this account centers on judging the salvation of others. I think this goes deeper than that.

It speaks to me about accepting and loving others as they are.

We are prewired by society to stereotype others and place them in different categories. We do this by using criteria like the color of skin, gender, or socioeconomic status. We assess people by their outward appearance (flesh) and often fail to look deeper (heart) and accept them for who they are.

It's possible that those who were arguing for circumcision were struggling more with accepting the gentiles because they were different, rather than making sure they were saved.

Lord, help us to see others through your eyes. Teach us to look past the flesh and straight to the heart. Use us as faithful instruments of your love.

6 comments:

Leonard said...

Best.
:-)

Kilauea Poetry said...

I share the exact same sentiment coming to the conclusion. I think the skin, your position in life and all, that factor in as you've said. I think this assessing bleeds into denominational factions (though the above may be easier to hide)..not sure? You know Yvette, getting rejected never comes easy -ha!..I got into a discussion with a lady over predestination. She wasn't satisfied that I didn't think quite the same..so she kept hammering me. I said look, if my thinking is sloppy or I'm not looking at it the way I should..just saying & visa versa? Then don't you think we could peasefully leave it at this and pray..eventually God has a chance to work. Well, a wall went up because I guess she wanted to leave my house with me convinced otherwise? That was the last time we really talked. Same thing happened with someone over the deal with speaking in tongues? Nice reflections-

Laure said...

this right here ...

"It's possible that those who were arguing for circumcision were struggling more with accepting the gentiles because they were different, rather than making sure they were saved."

bingo

and having said that ... i fall to my knees and pray for deeper abiding in the love vine ... apart from that, i can do NOTHING!

Honorary Indian said...

What a truly lovely surprise to find you, my spiritual mentor, providing biblical wisdom and insight on this scripture-based blog! Thank God for you and the gifts He has given you. We are all truly blessed. So, soup, salad, and breadsticks? I would love to hear the outcome of the project I was a part of. :-)

Kilauea Poetry said...

I thought Laure's observation was kinda interesting too-

nAncY said...

good thoughts :-)