Ephesians 4:2-3 (AMP) With all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful].

We are in the middle of what we call “Holy Week.” This is the week we are reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus came to give us restoration. He restored our relationship with the Father, but He also restored us to peace, to fullness and to wholeness. He restored us to Kingdom purpose. So why are we still looking at each other as broken and ready to hurt each other?

We have turned the thoughts that “not everyone will understand us” into “not everyone is for you.” It is okay when others will not understand us, but when not everyone is for us, then we have an enemy. Why? Our thoughts are now they are out for our harm. I have a question. Does the thought that not everyone is for you bring you peace? Does it bring you the desire to seek restoration? Does it bring you the desire to seek unity? Then can we say, does that match the character and nature of God?

Romans 12:14-18 (AMP) Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I know that when I have thoughts that someone meant to harm me, or they were hoping that I would fail, it does not bring me peace. It brings me anger. It brings hurt. It brings in comparison. It brings the feeling of being unloved. So why is it okay for us to say “not everyone is for us.” The enemy, the devil, is not for us. However, we do not fight against, nor struggle against, flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

What if what they said hurt my feelings? What if they did not help me succeed?

I just did a online fundraiser to raise funds for our youth at attend summer camp. I needed to raise $500 for the deposit. We raised $100 of it through them. There was also the option to donate without purchasing the product. We raised another $100 that way. What would your thoughts be if you started seeing people on your feed using the same source (setting up their own fundraisers), but they did not give into yours? It is not for the same cause. What do we do? They did not give into mine, so I am not going to give into theirs? What about when those that you thought would support you, don’t?

How about this real life scenario? I had planned to have my 18th birthday party at my grandmother’s pool. I had also invited a bunch of people. Another girl, in the same grade, had one a few weeks before and lots of people were just having a blast. My party came up and just one of my friends showed up. When I was much younger, this pool was the hangout spot for all the neighborhood kids. You could find my friends and I there just having a blast. Now flash forward to my 40th birthday and it is during the COVID lock down. My family decides to throw a surprise let’s have a car parade party. Sounds fun? Let me tell you it was awkward when not many cars show up. However, I did have more than one friend show up this time.

What does all this have to do with the idea of not everyone is for you? The root of it is rejection. This is the vow we have used to protect our hearts. Will it bring peace? Jesus was sitting at a table knowing that very evening that one of his close friends would betray Him. He still fed Him. He did not tell the others and point him out as “not for us.” He loved him. Jesus said, “So then, in everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is [the essence of] the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets (Matthew 7:12).” Who is He talking to? Us. The nature of man is to do the opposite. We want to treat others on how they treat us. When Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated.

My verse at the beginning is a continuation of a thought by Paul. He starts off with: So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation]”… In the Modern English Version, Ephesians 4:1 states, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling you were called.” What am a I called to? The ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:10-21). As I mature as a believer, my focus is on reconciliation, not who showed up for me. Have I had moments of immaturity? Yes. By the world’s definition was I right? Yes. However, if I follow the example of the Word I am not. I have had to die to that part of myself. It has been one of the hardest things to do. What does it cost? My pride. What do I gain? Peace. Those vows only bring bondage and I would rather live free.

Father, You are all I desire, not for what You can do for me but for who You are. I thank You for sending Your Son to be the Prince of Peace, He is the ultimate example of what it is to serve and love unselfishly. I repent for coming short in areas, when I wanted to live for me. I repent for getting mad and holding people hostage for them not showing up for me. I desire to live a life worthy of the call of restoration. I desire to live a life of Your character, Your integrity and to grow into the maturity of Your Kingdom. I thank You that Your Word has been written on the palms of my hands, it has been inscribed on my forehead and it pours out of my mouth. I thank You that it is for the purpose of reconciliation, so that I focus on Your truth. I take captive every thought, imagination or argument that I have had to bring division to my calling. I choose love today. I choose forgiveness today. I choose hope today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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