Series: Always Relevant: God is
John 17:20- 23 MSG
I love learning new words whether they are from the dictionary, the slang dictionary, or the urban dictionary.
Todays word is Yumi.
Yumi and God are one heart and one mind.
Yumi is even a fun word to say. Simply put, according to urbanthesaurus.org, Yumi is you and me. Yumi.
I really hope Yumi is a word that catches on, after all new words become regular words when people begin using them and they become part of common usage.
I think Yumi has a place in scripture.
John 17:20-23 tells us,
“I’m praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in meBecause of them and their witness about me.The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,So they might be one heart and mind with us.Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.The same glory you gave me, I gave them,So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,And give the godless world evidenceThat you’ve sent me and loved themIn the same way you’ve loved me.”
Yumi or you and me (in God) was exactly what Jesus was praying for in John 17:23.
Yumi in God was what Jesus longed for and desired. Jesus wanted yumi to be one in God.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
As a Spiritual Director one of my earnest desires is that the church…people who believe in God, even people who disagree about the details of what that looks like will agree to love each other and to love God.
I’ve received pushback on that because we do not all agree about what that looks like. I simply don’t think we have to agree on every point. Those are details.
I learned a long time ago to let God handle the details.
The one point that we need to agree on is that we are called to love God and to love people. THAT is what matters.
Years ago I was confronted by someone who had a different view than mine on the definition of marriage.
That person told me what they believe. I listened carefully to their definition and to the scriptures they quoted.
I quoted other scriptures and what I believe.
We did not agree and the other person became angry.
Since it was the first time I had openly discussed the issue, I was a little surprised that they were so angry that I didn’t agree with them.
I ended up telling the other person that I loved them and I gave them the right to believe what they believed. I still upheld the right to believe what I believe.
My last words were that I love them anyway.
They did not reciprocate and I was very hurt.
Years later, I’m no longer hurt. I believe as believers we should agree to disagree. I believe God calls us to love even when we disagree, or maybe especially when we disagree.
That’s because it’s easy to love someone we agree with. It’s much more difficult to love when we do not agree.
From my encounter years before I learned that in the moment when I had to decide to intentionally love the person who disagreed with me, several things had to happen.
#1 I had to turn to God to ask what God wanted me to do. I believe clearly we are called to love. Period.
#2 Since I was struggling to love someone who refused to allow me the right to believe something different I asked God to give me love for that person. I learned that is a prayer God readily answers. As a matter of fact, God loves answering that prayer. God loves to help us when we want to do the right thing even when we are struggling with it.
#3 I had to take the high road, as they say. Even after we disagreed and I asked God to give me love for that person, they refused to love me in return. At that point I could have stomped off (and I am capable of doing that) but I knew that wasn’t what God wanted me to do. God wanted me to tell them I love them even after they made it clear the feeling wasn’t mutual.
Today, four grown children, and eight grandchildren later, I don’t struggle so much when people disagree with me.
I actually consider it’s a challenge to love them anyway.
I consider it a great honor to love someone I strongly disagree with.
That’s because as an act of obedience, I choose to love. I choose love because over and over again we are told to love. There isn’t one instance in scripture where we are told to love those we agree with and to not love those we disagree with.
Today’s Spiritual Practice: Love
Love someone you do not agree with. If you find it hard, turn to God and ask God to give you love for that person. God WILL help you.
In God, Deborah