In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Colossians 3:11
Let’s just be honest: humans are not perfect. Far from it, actually. We compare ourselves to each other to try and justify our insecurities. We all have flaws, and that’s just the truth. But, despite all our imperfections, our perfect God chose to rescue us from our sin. We aren’t perfect and we can never be perfect, but Jesus was. Jesus lived on earth and experienced life as we do and yet, still, he is pure. Christ is flawless and yet he still CHOSE to live within us. If He is all that matters, everything else is insignificant. So why do we argue? Why do we compare ourselves to one another? Why do we find the fault in others before we find the beauty? Jesus is the one who binds us all together and he is perfect. Because he lives in us, Christ is the one who defines us. We are no longer defined by our humanness but by God. When we look at each other, we should see a reflection of God, not human imperfections.
So stop the comparison. Stop pointing out the flaws in each other and begin to see the body of Christ as a group of believers who are simply a reflection of a holy and matchless God.
There are a few things that I believe are important to take away from Colossians 1:
–Prayer is essential in the friendship of believers.
As important as it is that we as believers remain in prayer about our own lives and relationships with The Lord, it is equally as important that we remain in prayer about our friends. We should definitely pray for our unbelieving friends, but we should also pray for our friends that already know God. We may not know the exact details of their personal lives or what they need prayer for, but everybody needs prayer. In Colossians 1:9, Paul writes: “So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Imagine what God could do if every believer committed to pray for their friends. Prayer has the power to heal, to inspire, to motivate and to transform. What could stand against a family of believers that was rooted in prayer for each other?
–You are not alone.
Maybe that’s a cliche statement to make, but I really believe that sometimes we just need to be reminded of that. No matter what lies the world tries to convince us are true, Christ lives within us and nothing will ever change that. It doesn’t matter what you have done or what you have gone through. It doesn’t matter how many doubts you have had about God. When Christ died on the cross, he died so that we would never have to live apart from God. He and all his mighty power are with you when you, even when you stumble.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. Colossians 1:21-22
“I want you to know how much I have agonized for you..”
Imagine if every believer who was confident in the reality of Christ’s death on the cross agonized for their friends. You see, as a committed follower of Christ, it is not enough to just know the truth, but to share the truth. We know about a love that is so powerful that it defeated death. We know about a love that knows no boundaries. We know about a love that is available to every living creature. We know about all these things, yet we keep them to ourselves. If we truly believe in the power of God, than we should want so badly for all of our friends to get to experience him. We are called not only to love on our friends as Christ did, but to agonize for them. To agonize for our friends is to make sure that we do everything in our earthly power to make sure that they know this truth. For our friends who are skeptics, we continually prove the love of God through the way we live. For our friends who know of God but don’t know God, we pray for a divine encounter. For our friends who think that they are too far gone, we teach them of the redemption of the cross. For our friends who believe that they are too broken too be healed, we show them every example of healing that is in the Bible. We cannot just sit by and watch our friends wonder if God is present in their lives, we must prove to them that he is. True friendship in the body of Christ is to agonize for the ones that we love.
Pray. Pray that God will reveal to you the friendships that require you to act a little more. Pray for your friends that are not believers. It may seem frustrating to continually pray and not be able to visibly see results, but you have no idea what God is doing in their hearts. Don’t ever stop praying for your friends.